Whitewater Rafting on the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers
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. Enjoy a riverside snack of a granola bar, apple squeeze, and drink while relaxing with family and friends.
*During periods of low water, this trip takes place on the Potomac River, passing by Harpers Ferry. Rapids include a long series of Class II rapids through the Needles of the Potomac culminating in the wavy fun of Class III White Horse! “Funneling” or swimming through the rapids is included as weather permits. Duration is about 2-2.5 hrs.
Rafting On The Shenandoah & Potomac Rapids
- Dates: Mar 21- Nov 14
- Duration: Avg 3-4 hours
- Price: $54-$69
- Includes: Guide, Equipment, Shuttle, Riverside snack
- Location: Harpers Ferry, WV
Groups may choose to enjoy a Riverside Picnic!
Groups of 15 or more may request a riverside picnic on our half-day rafting trips. Advance notice is needed.
Relax and mingle with your group along the banks of our scenic rivers.
This year enjoy a sandwich, potato or pasta salad, fresh fruit and a drink. Vegetarian options are available.
March 21 – May 22 and September 14 – November 14
- Weekday: $58/adult | $54/youth 12 & under
- Saturday: $69/adult | $65/youth 12 & under
- Sunday: $64/adult | $60/youth 12 & under
*Add 6% WV sales tax + $2.50 per person user fee. Non-profits may be exempt from sales tax.
May 23 (Memorial Day Weekend) – Sept 13
- Weekday: $65/adult | $61/youth 12 & under (includes riverside snack)*
- Saturday: $79/adult | $74/youth 12 & under (includes riverside snack)*
- Sunday: $69/adult | $65/youth 12 & under (includes riverside snack)*
- Holidays & Holiday Weekends: $79/adult | $74/youth 12 & under (includes riverside snack)*
Add 6% WV sales tax + $2.50 per person user fee. Non-profits may be exempt from sales tax.
*Riverside snack includes a Granola bar, apple squeeze, and drink
- Groups of 10-24: $6 off/person
- Groups of 25-49: $8 off/person
- Groups of 50-99: $9 off/person
- Groups of 100-149: $10 off/person
- Groups of 150-200: $11 off/person
*Groups must pay collectively to be eligible for group discounts.
May 23 (Memorial Day Weekend) – Sept 7 (Labor Day)
- Weekdays: 10:30am, 2:30pm
- Saturdays: 9:30am, 10:30am, 2:30pm, 3:30pm
- Sundays: 10:30am, 12:30pm, 3:30pm
*custom times for groups of 15 or more available
March 21 – May 22 and September 6 – November 14
Starting October 4th 1pm on Sundays
Starting October 17th 1pm everyday
*custom times for groups or 15 or more available
- Riverside snack
- Guide (in each raft)
*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. Depending on water levels and routing, the trip duration can range from 2.5 – 5 hours.
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
- Water bottle
- Glasses strap
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.
- 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?For rafting & inflatable thrill kat trips at Harpers Ferry, a picnic is served on weekend 12pm & 2:30pm trips between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day. Antietam tubing offers a lunch picnic all the time. 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 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?DO NOT WEAR COTTON ON COLD DAYS.
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.
Reserve Your Spot:
Ride the Rapids by Harpers Ferry National Park!
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.”
Our West Virginia Put-In Location & Virginia Take-Out
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!