RiverPalooza–Paw Paw Bends Float & Camping


Join your Upper Potomac Riverkeeper on RiverPalooza 2017’s iconic float through the entrenched meandering bends on the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail near Paw Paw, WV. The Paw Paw Bends are the classic signature of the Upper Potomac River. The rural, almost wild like scenery and sky high rocky cliffs literally feels like a walk back in time. This two day trip leaves from Paw Paw, WV, camping at Bond’s Landing at the edge of the Green Ridge State Forest and ends at the 15 Mile Creek Campground on the C&O Canal.

Our trip begins with a special tour of the Paw Paw Tunnel on the C&O Canal with a guest speaker from the National Park Service. Followed by a beautiful paddle through Paw Paw Bends. Dinner will be provided by Mission BBQ on Saturday night at Bond’s Landing where we set up camp and eat around an open campfire. A light breakfast will be available on Sunday along with a “make your own” packed lunch buffet. Water and drinks will be available throughout the weekend but feel free to bring your own snacks and drinks.

We will be meeting at the Paw Paw Tunnel Campground located at Mile 156 on the C&O Canal Towpath at 9 AM. Cars will be parked at the campground. Your camping gear will be stowed in our gear truck and hauled up to the campsite at Bond’s Landing. Paddlers will be shuttled back to their cars on Sunday by River and Trail Outfitter.

If you would rather not wake up at the crack of dawn to meet at 9 am, join your Upper Potomac Riverkeeper for camping at Paw Paw Tunnel Campground (on a first come first serve basis) on Friday night. Paddlers can also camp at 15 Mile Creek campground Sunday after the end of the paddle.


Outfitter: River and Trail Outfitters

Arrival Location: Paw Paw Tunnel Campground 

Arrival Time: 9:00 am on the 15th

  • Option to camp at the National Park Service Paw Paw campgrounds on the 14th
  • End time: 6pm on 16th
  • Take out location on 16th: 15 Mile Creek Campground

Paddle Level/Distance: Beginner. Day 1 – 12 miles/6.5 hrs; Day 2 – 9 miles/4.5 hrs.

Paddle Options and Cost: $100 per person nonrefundable. This covers use of canoe, kayak, or bring your own boat, personal floatation device, paddle insurance, Catered dinner Saturday night, Breakfast and packable lunch items on Sunday, and a one-year Potomac Riverkeeper Network membership to support the Upper Potomac Riverkeeper.

Optional Activities:

  • Tour of Paw Paw Tunnel
  • Overnight camping at Bond’s Landing
  • Dinner, breakfast, and “make your own” packed lunch provided
  • Optional camping at Paw Paw Tunnel before the trip and 15 Mile Creek after paddle trip.

Follow us on social media at #RiverPalooza2017


EVERY PADDLE PARTICIPANT must print, fill out and bring their ACA waiver with them on the day of the event. Depending on your trip, you may also need to bring an outfitter waiver. Please see your confirmation email for details.

 ACATripWaiver_adult   ACATripWaiver_minor

Free RiverPalooza T-shirt to first 10 registrants!

Participant Limit is 30 people. Registration deadline July 12th.

Potomac Riverkeeper Network (PRKN) is not responsible for optional camping arrangements for Friday July 14 or Sunday July 16 nor for the safety and enjoyment of participants who wish to attend. Trip times are subject to change or cancellation due to inclement weather, high river levels, tidal fluctuations, wind and other factors that could jeopardize safety and enjoyment of participants. Unfortunately, there can be no refunds. Potomac Riverkeeper Network is not responsible for any personal property that may be lost, damaged, or stolen during the trip. Potomac Riverkeeper Network is not responsible for limited camping, outfitter service, lengthy paddle distances, late start times and uncontrollable weather that could potentially prohibit/limit our ability to provide an enjoyable and safe paddling experience.


RiverPalooza is a Waterkeeper Alliance SPLASH Series event, presented nationally by Toyota and locally by the National Park Service and MOM’s Organic Market.