River & Trail

Shenandoah River 2 & 3 Day Canoe & Kayak Rentals

Escape the city or suburbs on a delightful overnight camping trip on the Shenandoah River!

Shenandoah River Canoe & Kayak Rentals near harpers ferry, WV

Kayakers and canoeists will enjoy this novice overnight camping trip on the Shenandoah River above Harpers Ferry. This trip is a perfect getaway for families, couples, and groups. Don’t worry if you are new to river camping trips. We do all the hard work for you – with river maps, recommended campgrounds along the way, and all rental equipment, setting you up for success!

As you paddle this scenic river, you will find yourself navigating small rapids and ledges as well as paddling through mellow water sections, allowing for relaxation and play. In your canoe or kayak, you will wind your way down river through the scenic Shenandoah Valley, nestled between the rolling Blue Ridge Mountains.

Paddling trips on the Shenandoah often include wildlife sightings of birds such as blue heron, osprey, egrets, and sometimes bald eagles. You can bring your fishing pole or just enjoy watching the fish jump around you. Canoers and kayakers will enjoy the solitude, relaxation, fishing, and sunbathing opportunities along this winding and beautiful stretch of the Shenandoah River.

Trip Info

Overnight Shenandoah River Camping: 2 and 3 Day Options

This multi day canoeing or kayaking river trip on the Shenandoah River upriver from Harper’s Ferry WV is a delightful way to escape the city and the suburbs for fresh air, and active adventure! The 2 day trip is 29 miles and floats the lower section of the Shenandoah River, from Rt 50 to Moulton Park. The 3 day trip is 40 miles and floats the Shenandoah River from Morgan’s Ford to Moulton Park.

River & Trail recommends that people participating in canoe and kayak rentals have basic knowledge of how to steer the craft they are renting and have also been on a comparable difficulty of water. For first timers, we recommend park & paddle, our half day rental on the Potomac or our guided Sunset Paddle.

For more information on our other trips on the Potomac River, Shenandoah River, and Antietam Creek, check out our kayak and canoe rentals page.

Trip Details

> Rental Trip Put -in and Take Out:
  • Starts above Harpers Ferry, West Virginia at Rt 50 and runs to Moulton Park
  • River & Trail provides the shuttle to put-in and from take-out back to your car.
>Shuttle:
  • Customer cars get parked at our Harpers Ferry Headquarters.
  • Customers will be shuttled back to their cars at the end of the trip.
  • Check-in: 9:00am, Depart for the river: 9:30am
  • Shuttle Arrival at Take Out: 4:00pm pickup
>Distance:
  • First day 15 miles
  • Second day 14 miles
  • 5-6.5 hours paddling each day
>Camping: 
  • Night 1: 
    • River islands around Rt. 7 bridge are available for individuals during dry weather or Watermelon Campground 540-955-4803 (Campground has full facilities.) 
    • River & Trail is not affiliated with Watermelon Park.  You will need to call to see if they are open and have space available for you. 
    • Customers will need to bring water, food, etc… if camping on river islands. May also need a machete for clearing.
>Pricing:
  • Canoe:  $219/boat   – best suited for 2-day due to capacity to carry gear
  • Kayak: $139/boat
  • Boat rentals include Boat, paddles, PFDs, and 2 way shuttle
  • Plus 6% sales tax + $2.50/person user fee
  •  If fishing: For this trip, both WV and VA fishing licenses are needed. 
  • Group Discounts: 6 or more people receive 10% off when paying collectively
  • Non-profits should inquire about weekday specials

> Rental Trip Put -in and Take Out:

  • Starts above Harpers Ferry, West Virginia at Morgan’s Ford and runs to Moulton Park
  • River & Trail provides the shuttle to put-in and from take-out back to your car.

>Shuttle:

  • Customer cars get parked at our Harpers Ferry Headquarters.
  • Customers will be shuttled back to their cars at the end of the trip.
  • Check-in: 9:00am, Depart for the river: 9:30am
  • Shuttle Arrival at Take Out: 4:00pm pickup

>Camping:

  • Night 1:
    • First night is wherever you find a nice spot along the shoreline. Around 11 miles.
  • Night 2:
    • Second night is river islands around Rt. 7 bridge for groups of 5 or less during dry weather or Watermelon Campground 540-955-4803 (Campground has full facilities.)
    • River & Trail is not affiliated with Watermelon Park. You will need to call to see if they are open and have space available for you.
  • Customers will need to bring water, food, etc… if camping on river islands. You may also need a machete for clearing.

>Pricing:

  • Canoe: $275/boat – best suited for 2-day due to capacity to carry gear
  • Kayak: $190/boat
  • Boat rentals include Boat, paddles, PFDs, and 2 way shuttle
  • Plus 6% sales tax + $2.50/person user fee
  • If fishing: For this trip, both WV and VA fishing licenses are needed.
  • Group Discounts: 6 or more people receive 10% off when paying collectively
  • Non-profits should inquire about weekday specials
For Shenandoah Canoe & Kayak 2 or 3 Day River Trip

Your specific needs will vary depending on the length of your trip and your camping plans.  Be sure to pack everything you’ll need for the full duration of your trip. 

Note: Watermelon Park Campground has a small store, but you shouldn’t rely on it being open.

Download this packing list in a PDF: River & Trail -Planning Your Multi Day Shenandoah River Camping Trip with helpful phone #s. 

  • Maps and River & Trail’s important phone numbers in waterproof case
  • Cell phone in protective bag
  • Matches/lighter/fire starter in waterproof container
  • Knife or multi-tool and a hatchet for clearing camp space on islands
  • Headlamp or flashlight (with extra batteries)
  • First-aid supplies
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Water bottles (2 liters per person per day for drinking and extra for cooking, cleaning, & personal hygiene)
  • If you’re not bringing a full supply of water (2 liters per person per day for drinking) be sure to bring a water treatment method.
  • Energy food (bars, gels, trail mix)
  • Tent, tarp, hammock or bivy sack
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Meals and snacks
  • Cooler (with ice)
  • Stove and fuel – test before you leave
  • Cookset and utensils
  • Dishes, bowls and cups
  • Insect repellent
  • Toilet paper and sanitation trowel
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Packable lantern
  • Credit card; small amount of cash
  • Water Shoes
  • Moisture wicking / sun protective clothing