RioPalooza 2018

[En español]

Join your Shenandoah Riverkeeper and its partners—the U.S. Forest Service, Corazón Latino, Hispanic Access Foundation, North Bay Adventure, Park Rx America and a diverse community of friends and family on July 22 for a celebration of the Shenandoah River, Wild & Scenic Rivers, and Latino Conservation Week!

This is a wonderful opportunity for everyone to come together and demonstrate their enjoyment of nature and passion for conservation, with a special focus on the unique perspectives of Latinos and other diverse communities and cultures of our region. Educational booths and displays will help festival goers engage in our human connection to the environment and will shine a spotlight on the commitment of Latino communities in conservation. Dual-language materials and staff will be available on site to help participants with a Spanish-language preference.

For many, caring for the environment grows out of joyful, shared experiences in nature. RioPalooza is giving everyone the chance to get out on, in, and even under the water of the Shenandoah River, together!

RioPalooza will take place at the Low-Water Bridge Campground, Bentonville VA, an easy 80-minute drive from Washington, D.C.

The suggested donation for RioPalooza is just $20 per family of four. Every attendee will need to preregister for the event at the link below. You may pay the suggested donation via credit card while registering online, or by cash on the day of the event. Prepayment in full using online registration will secure your seat (and up to three additional family members) for the raft trip, up to a limit of the first sixty people registering.

RioPalooza is being sponsored and underwritten by the Potomac Riverkeeper Network, Low Water Bridge Campground, Downriver Canoe Company, USDA Forest Service, Corazón Latino, Hispanic Access Foundation, Park Rx America and NorthBay Adventure!

NOTE: Due to insurance and safety restrictions, no one under the age of 5 will be allowed on the raft trip. Sorry, no exceptions – we care about you and your children!

Event activities will include:

Fishing: We will have a selection of spinning rods and lures on hand for youngsters, and families to borrow during the day. Volunteers will also be on hand to assist you in catching that fish! Please note that anyone fishing over 16 years of age will need a Virginia fishing license. Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) will be selling licenses on site at RioPalooza.

Rafting: Join representatives from PRKN and the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) for a leisurely raft trip down the beautiful Shenandoah River as biologists share their knowledge about the plants and animals above and below the water’s surface. As a reminder, participants must be at least five years old due to insurance and safety restrictions. Only the first 60 registrants (and up to three additional family members) who pre-paid using online registration are guaranteed a seat on the raft trip at 1pm.  Be sure to check the website before arriving for any last-minute changes to scheduling of the raft trip and clothing/gear recommendations.

Snorkeling: Ever wonder what is going on below the water with those aquatic organisms and fish that keep our streams clean? Join us for an amazing underwater experience with mask and a snorkel, and get up close and personal with biodiversity underneath the water’s surface. U.S. Forest Service and NorthBay Adventure personnel will be on hand to ensure we have a safe, fun, and educational experience, and Spanish translators will help you identify those critters in two languages!

Forest Bathing: Engage in a sensory experience by soaking up the sights, smells and sounds of nature to promote mental, physical and emotional health. Rejuvenate, reconnect and restore.  No bathing suit required!

Buffalo Soldiers will provide an interpretive session on “Buffalo Soldiers’” legacy and achievements, with emphasis on their contributions to park and forest preservation. They will also provide a basic horsemanship lesson.

According to the National Park Service, in the 19th century, Buffalo Soldiers billeted at the Presidio army post in San Francisco during the winter and served as park rangers in the Sierra Nevada in the summer.  They also fought wildfires and poachers in Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks and supported the parks’ infrastructure.

Food: Don’t forget the food! Traditional Latino dishes will be offered around 3 p.m.  Feel free to bring a favorite dish to share, and be sure to bring snacks to stave off hunger until 3 p.m.

Obviously, we have a full day planned! Check out the complete schedule of events. The event will be held rain or shine, as long as river conditions permit safe recreational activity in the water and on shore.  Please come be a part of Shenandoah Riverkeeper’s first-ever RioPalooza as we celebrate the beauty and diversity of the Shenandoah River, learn why your Riverkeeper works so hard to protect its clean waters, and show how Latinos respect and love the Rio.

Lead Riverkeeper: Mark Frondorf – 571-969-0746 or
Para detalles y asistencia en español, llame: Sonia Rangel 915-329-7823 o Abel Olivo 202-492-7586

Event/Campground Location:

192 Panhandle Road
Bentonville, VA 22610
Phone: (540) 635-7277

Event hours: 12 PM–6 PM

Boat Options and Costs:

The first sixty paid RioPalooza registrants have the opportunity to register for a seat on the rafting trip. The raft trip will depart sharply at 1pm so plan on being ready to walk over to Downriver Canoe Co. from the Low Water Bridge Campground at 12:30pm.  Volunteers will be available to escort everyone over to Downriver Canoe Co.

If you want to rent a kayak directly, contact Downriver Canoe Company, 540-635-5526. Cost is $46/per kayak.  For camping information, contact Low Water Bridge Campground 540-635-7277.

RioPalooza Registration/Suggested donation:

RioPalooza registration deadline is Wednesday, July 18. Suggested donation is $20 per family of four.


What to Bring:

  • If you are going on the rafting trip, you must wear proper footwear. NO FLIP-FLOPS. Old gym shoes, sandals with a strap, and water shoes work great.
  • If you bring a phone or a non-waterproof camera on the river, you need a way to protect it with a dry bag or secure ziplock bag.
  • Sunscreen, hat and rain gear
  • Healthful snacks and drinking water. No glass bottles. No alcohol.
  • Change of clothes
  • Low-Water Bridge Campground waiver (bring signed copy with you)
  • Trip waiver (bring signed copy with you) – Adult waiver | Minor waiver
  • Read Paddle Rules
  • Download Water Reporter app to record your paddle experience. #RiverPalooza2018
  • If you plan to fish and are over the age of 16, bring valid Virginia fishing license or buy one at RioPalooza from VDGIF. Proof of VA residency required to obtain resident fishing license. Fishing permits are available for both residents and visitors to the state, with residents receiving a discount on their license to fish. To be considered a resident, you must have lived in Virginia for six consecutive months. Active-duty military members stationed in Virginia and students attending educational institutions in the state are also considered residents when buying fishing licenses. State residents who are younger than 16 years of age are exempt from fishing license requirements.

Optional Activity:

Camping or cabin rentals at Low-Water Bridge Campground

NOTE: Potomac Riverkeeper Network is not responsible for securing camping reservations or for the safety and enjoyment of participants who wish to attend. Scheduled activities are subject to change or cancellation due to inclement weather, high river levels, 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.