Whitewater Rafting Shenandoah & Potomac River Rapids

  • Dates: Mar 15- Nov 15
  • Duration: Avg 3-4 hours
  • Price: $51-$77
  • Includes: Guide, equipment, shuttle, some trips include picnic
  • Location: Harpers Ferry, WV

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 Ride the rapids in Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia

Go Whitewater Rafting Through 3 States!

Ride the rapids in Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia with River & Trail Outfitters.  Located only 1 hour from Washington DC & Baltimore in Knoxville, Maryland, just 3 miles east of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia and minutes from Virginia. Join us for whitewater rafting on the final stretches of the Shenandoah River as it tumbles into the Potomac, carving a spectacular 6.5- mile watercourse through the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Our Potomac & Shenandoah River rafting trips offer Class I-III whitewater, made up of a mix of mellow water (permitting fun splashing and floating), multiple easy riffles and ledges, and some more challenging rapids such as “Bull Falls” and “White Horse.”  During periods of low water the trip takes you down the Potomac River exclusively, where you will enjoy coursing through this majestic water gap that is home to a view Thomas Jefferson wrote was “worth a voyage across the Atlantic.”

Enjoy a Riverside Picnic!


Join us on a riverside picnic (included with most trips) and relax and mingle with family and friends along the banks of our scenic rivers. There’s no better place to enjoy a meal with friends while creating memories to last a lifetime!

Those on morning trips will enjoy a picnic lunch while those on the afternoon trip will enjoy an early picnic dinner.  Weather permitting.  See details in the “Info” tab below.

Ride the Rapids by Harpers Ferry National Park!

Note: This trip is generally a beginner level whitewater rafting trip, however, trip length and difficulty vary according to water levels.  From kids to active seniors, get ready to have some fun on this Harpers Ferry whitewater rafting adventure!

Tour Information

  • Pricing for September 4- November 4
    (**picnic not included on these trips)

    • Weekday: $57/adult | $51/youth 12 & under
    • Saturday: $67/adult | $61/youth 12 & under
    • Sunday: $62/adult | $56/youth 12 & under

    *Add 5% amusement fee + $2.50 per person user fee.

    Pricing for Memorial Day (May 25) – Labor Day (Sept 2)

    • Weekday AM: $67/adult | $61/youth 12 & under (includes riverside lunch)
    • Weekday PM: $57/adult | $51/youth 12 & under
    • Saturday: $77/adult | $71/youth 12 & under (includes riverside lunch or dinner)
    • Sunday: $72/adult | $66/youth 12 & under (includes riverside lunch of dinner)
    • Holidays & Holiday Weekends: $77/adult | $71/youth 12 & under (includes riverside lunch or dinner)

    *Add 5% amusement fee + $2.50 per person user fee.

    Group Discounts

    • Groups of 10-24: $6 off/person
    • Groups of 25-49: $8 off/person
    • Groups of 50+: $9 off/person
    • Bring your own picnic option for groups: $8 off/person (must be applied to entire party)

    *Groups must pay collectively to be eligible for group discounts.

  • June – Sept 21

    • Weekdays: 10am, 11am, 12:30pm, 2:45pm
    • Saturday: 9am, 11am, 2:30pm
    • Sunday: 9am, 12pm, 2:30pm
    • Holidays: 9am, 11am, 12pm, 2:30pm

    Sept 22 – Oct 15

    • Weekdays: 10am, 11am, 1pm
    • Weekends & Holidays: 9am, 2pm

    Oct 16 – Nov

    • Weekdays: 10am, 11am, 1pm
    • Saturday: 9am, 11am, 2pm
    • Sunday: 9am, 2pm

    Apr – May

    • Weekdays: 10am, 11am, 1pm
    • Weekends & Holidays: 9am, 2pm
  • Included

    • Riverside picnic (Only provided on weekend and weekday morning trips during summer dates. A drink break is provided on weekday afternoon trips.)
    • Guide in each raft
    • Shuttle
    • Equipment

    *Wetsuits are available for rental as needed (not included).

    Required Minimum Age: 7 years old (Minimum 50 lbs.).

    Length of Trip: Approximately 3 – 4 hours on the river

  • Dressing for River ActivitiesWhat to wear rafting

    If the temperatures are in the 70s or above and you do not wish to wear a wetsuit, we suggest you wear the following:

    • Synthetic shirt layers (silk, Under Armour, wool, fleece).
    • Waterproof jacket.
    • Leggings (Spandex, Under Armour, fleece-lined).
    • Waterproof pants.
    • Wool or fleece socks.
    • Neoprene booties, old sneakers, or Teva-type sandals.

    *Important: No flip flops or cotton.

    Other Things You Should Bring

    • Dry change of clothes
    • Towel
    • Sunscreen
    • Water bottle
    • Glasses strap
  • 604 Valley Road

    Directions from Baltimore

    1. Take I-70W to Frederick.
    2. Take Exit 52 onto 340W for 16 miles.
    3. Turn right on Valley Road at the yellow flashing lights just before the Potomac River Bridge. We are immediately on the left.

    Directions from Washington D.C.

    1. Take I-270N to Frederick.
    2. Merge with I-70W toward Hagerstown. Move to far right lane immediately.
    3. Take Exit 52 onto 340W toward Charles Town. Follow 340 for 16 miles.
    4. Turn right on Valley Road at the yellow flashing lights just before the Potomac River Bridge. We are immediately on the left.

    Directions from Northern Virginia

    1. Take the Greenway to Route 7W or get directly on Route 7W (Leesburg Pike) past Leesburg.
    2. Exit onto Route 9W toward Charles Town.
    3. Approximately 2 miles after the small town of Hillsboro, turn right onto Route 671.
    4. Turn right on Valley Road at the yellow flashing lights just before the Potomac River Bridge. We are immediately on the left.
    5. At the T-intersection turn right onto 340 and cross the Potomac River Bridge.
    6. Turn left at the first Maryland intersection (yellow flashing lights just past bridge) onto Valley Road. We are immediately on the left.

    Directions from Harpers Ferry WV

    1. Take 340 N, go approximately 3 miles past Harpers Ferry, crossing over the Shenandoah and Potomac River bridges into Maryland.
    2. Just after the Potomac River Bridge, turn left at the yellow flashing lights onto Valley Road. We are immediately on the left.

    Groups Arriving in Buses
    When you arrive at River & Trail, continue 1/2 mile past it to the top of the hill to find turn arounds in the developments on the right. DO NOT TURN AROUND IN ANY OF THE SMALL DRIVEWAYS BEFORE THIS. This many cause an accident or a ditched bus!

  • What to know before you go!

    So you say you’re going whitewater rafting and you don’t know what to do!
    Here are some answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions at River and Trail Outfitters. Just follow these simple hints on these Whitewater FAQs to keep warm and have fun! Get wet, you bet!

    • Do we need any paperwork?

      Yes. Before each activity a waiver MUST be filled out. A new waiver must be filled out and signed for each day and for each activity before participating. Waivers are now available to be signed on-line or can be found under the waivers link on our website. A copy of the waiver can be mailed or faxed upon request. Minors Anyone under the age of 18 is considered a minor and must have a parent guardian permission form filled out prior to each activity.
    • Are videos and photos available?

      Currently we do not video or photograph on our trips, but we do sell waterproof cameras which can be purchased for our Harpers Ferry rafting trip at our store in Knoxville, MD.
    • Where do I sit to stay dry?

      The bus. You are going to get wet 🙂 If you somehow manage to get through every rapid dry, someone is bound to take pity and dump a bailer full of water on you!
    • Where can I put my beer so it does not get lost?

      Short answer: At home.
      Long answer: Save the bottled fun for after the run. If you show up for the trip intoxicated or on drugs, you will not be allowed to go and your money will not be refunded. Drunk or drugged boaters pose a serious danger to themselves, our other customers, and our staff.
    • What about my physical & medical conditions?

      Please inform your reservation specialist before arrival of any physical or medical conditions of anyone in your group. Also inform your trip leader prior to the trip. We highly recommend you consult a physician prior to participating in our activities if you have any concern. We advise all ASTHMATICS to bring their inhalers. We also advise that anyone who has allergies requiring an epi-pin to bring it.Note: We reserve the right to refuse anyone participating in our adventure activities due to physical, mental or size limitations that, in our opinion, would expose that person or group to extreme risk.
    • What are the age limits?

      At River and Trail we have suggested ages for each of our trips. Age limits will change depending on water levels and trip formats.
      Suggested Ages:

      • Rafting Shenandoah: 7 years & 50 lbs.
      • Rafting North Branch: 10 years
      • Kayak Lessons (Beginner): 8 years
      • Kayak Lesson (Intermediate): 12 years
      • Sit-on-tops & Thrill Kats: 12 years
      • Antietam Tubing: 7 years & 50 lbs.
      • Bike Rentals: 12 years
      • Hikes: 7 years

      *Minimum weight for a youth life vest is 50 lbs. Maximum chest size on an adult vest is 58 inches.

    • Do I have to wear a life vest?

      YES. Always wear your life vest. Not only does this add another layer to keep you warm, it also keeps you floating should you decide to leave the boat mid trip. Our U.S. Coast Guard approved life vests are required by law, our insurance, and our company policy. We will provide you with an approved life vest, so please do not bring one with you.
    • Should I bring my camera?

      Like you, your camera will get wet. Things also have a way of going into the river, never to be seen again. This being the case, we would suggest a sturdy strap and a waterproof camera. We do sell waterproof cameras in our outfitter store.
    • Should I bring my cell phone, wallet or car keys on the water?

      As stated above “Like you, your cell phone, wallet and keys will get wet. Things also have a way of going into the river, never to be seen again.” This being the case, we recommend that you DO NOT BRING THESE ITEMS ON THE TRIP WITH YOU unless you have a completely waterproof container. Our guided trips carry cell phones for emergency situations. We suggest that you lock your personal belongings in your car trunk and give your keys to our shop staff. Watches can be worn if they are waterproof. Keep in mind that River & Trail is not responsible for any of these items mentioned that are damaged by water if you choose to take them on the trip with you. We try to keep dry boxes and bags for cell phones stocked in our shop.
    • Can I request a specific raft guide?

      Yes.  Please let us know at the time of reservation the full name of the person you are requesting.
    • How many people to a raft?

      Anywhere from 4-6 plus a guide, this depends on water level and group size.
    • What, when and where are we gonna eat?

      On most trips between Memorial Day and Labor Day, a picnic is served riverside on Harpers Ferry rafting trips, inflatable thrill kat trips, and Antietam tubing. Food is served mid-way to ¾ way down the trip. A typical picnic consists of water, fruit drink, fried chicken, potato salad, and fruit. Vegetarian alternatives are possible. On our dam release rafting trips we serve a barbeque style picnic. If you are a group of 20 or more, other picnic options may be available!
    • How do I get to that road across from Harpers Ferry?

      Comment: We know this question has nothing to do with whitewater, but it is our most frequently asked question.
      Turn onto Keep Tryst Road from U.S. 340, the flashing yellow lights just on the Maryland side of the Potomac River Bridge. Turn onto Sandy Hook Road from Keep Tryst. After you pass through a long row of houses on the right, Sandy Hook Road becomes Harpers Ferry Road. Do not park in the school bus turn-around at the end of Sandy Hook. There is parking near the C & O Canal access points just after the bridge.
    • Since I am going to get wet, is it at least OK if I wear my warm sweats?

      Cotton wicks the heat away from you when it gets wet and will cause you to become hypothermic. Wear wool, or PolyProtm — these will keep the heat in. Sweats are most definitely out, until after you get back to dry land. However, cotton does help to keep you cool on hot days when it is wet!
    • What can I drink to stay warm?

      Drink warm liquids. These will help you replace lost body heat and warm you from the inside. Please note that warm food will have the opposite effect. A good hot meal an hour or so before the trip would, however, give you energy reserves to keep you warm.
    • How do I know what to wear?

      Know the weather conditions.
      Being prepared is the best way to keep warm. Check to see what the water and air temperatures are. If you add the air temp, adjusted for wind chill, and the water temp together and they equal less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, you are in prime hypothermia conditions. You can get current weather, water level, and water temperatures from the National Weather Service. Our Outfitter Store will be happy to rent you a wetsuit when the weather conditions call for it , but please reserve them in advance (sometimes they are even included, so check your specific tour). You must also wear shoes.

Want To Add Extra Excitement To Your Trip?

  •  Add a $20 zip to your trip and fly down our 840 ft zip line at a special package deal price! Save $5/person on your rafting trip when you book a zip line for the same day.
  • Discount will be applied at checkout after both items have been added to your cart.
    (Available Saturday and Sunday or any day for groups of 20 or more)
  • Or, ask us for a FREE UPGRADE to a Sit-On-Top or Personal Inflatable Kayak! (Recommended during lower summer river levels.)

We Look Forward To You Joining Us!

Please Note: Spaces on these popular trips are limited and fill fast. Book Now To Secure Your Spot!