RiverPalooza 2018 Wrap-Up Event

The Riverpalooza kickoff event includes a little bit of whitewater action.


**** This is the rain date for the June 2 Kick-Off Event that was postponed due to dangerous river conditions. ****

WHEN: Saturday, August 25, 2018

Brent Walls, Upper Potomac Riverkeeper; Dean Naujoks, Potomac Riverkeeper; and Mark Frondorf, Shenandoah Riverkeeper, are thrilled to announce this year’s RiverPalooza Wrap-Up! Join them and Potomac Riverkeeper Network (PRKN) for our exciting whitewater wrap-up event to RiverPalooza 2018, a two-month celebration of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers!

Thomas Jefferson described the confluence where the Shenandoah merges with the Potomac as “the passage of the Potomac through the Blue Ridge” that is so beautiful and stunning “it is worth the voyage across the Atlantic.” So please come tube, raft, or kayak with us at perhaps the most scenic place along the entire Potomac River—join us in historic Harpers Ferry for a fun day on the river and then a post-float celebration (optional camping) at Harpers Ferry Adventure Center (HFAC) to celebrate PRKN’s year-round work to protect and defend these national treasures.

Our three Riverkeepers will be hanging around post-float, grilling out and doing an overnight camp. So bring something for the grill and please join us at the HFAC brand new Brew Pub, which will be open and is a perfect spot with an amazing view to catch up with old friends and meet new ones! Fun for the whole family!

Rafting & Kayaking Trip Details

Rafting and Kayaking

Title: Millville to Potoma Wayside
Rivers: Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers
Trip Description: Whether you are an absolute, never-done-it-before whitewater novice or a hardcore, adrenaline-junkie veteran paddler, this is the trip for you! Join your Shenandoah Riverkeeper and Potomac Riverkeeper to run the confluence stretch of the Shenandoah where she merges with the Potomac River. You’ll put in at Millville, hit all the best whitewater in the Harpers Ferry area, and take out at Potoma Wayside (just upstream of the Rt. 340 bridge)—which just so happens to have a gorgeous hidden waterfall where Piney Run spills into the Potomac.

This beautifully scenic paddle will take us down through Bull Falls, the Staircase, past Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, and through the Mad Dog and White Horse Rapids—literally the best whitewater in the Harpers Ferry area. It’s gonna be sooo much fun! Stretches of this paddle are along the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail.

But wait! How can stone-cold rookie paddlers hang with the grizzled veteran paddlers wanting to strut their stuff in shredders and play boats? Easy—we’re all running the same water, but with 3 different boat configurations designed for all skill levels:

  1. Seat in a guided raft: For beginners and less experienced paddlers wanting to experience the thrill, but with a modicum of protection added in, we have contracted with River Riders to provide six-person (including the guide) rafts with expert guides to get you safely down the river. You are not just sitting there watching. You are an integral part of the team with a paddle in hand, working with your guide and fellow raft-mates to navigate your way down the river. Perfect for families, first-timers, and older folks!
  2. Ducky: Want to be the captain of your own ship but don’t have a ship to captain? Sign up for a River Rider ducky rental! Duckies are inflatable kayaks, incredibly forgiving, and a blast to paddle. Experience whitewater paddling for yourself in a safe and enjoyable environment with lots of paddler friends and raft guides to provide encouragement and assistance, if needed. Too much work? See “Tubing on the Potomac” below if you just want to lay back and soak in a few rays while enjoying a shorter, easy float through some fun rapids. See the “easy float through” option below.
  3. Shuttle Service: Do you have your own whitewater kayak (sorry, no canoes for this event) and still want to join in the fun? You’re in luck! River Riders is providing shuttle service for our RiverPalooza 2018 event. River Riders’ guides are not responsible for people paddling their own boats. Sign up now so you can say, “Been there, done that, and got the t-shirt too!”

Once we dry off and catch our breath from the trip, we encourage everyone to stop by Harpers Ferry Adventure Center and continue having fun on terra firma. Riverkeepers are planning on camping and everyone will want to check out the new HFAC Brew Pub overlooking the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah! Please be sure to secure a campsite or cabin directly through Harpers Ferry Adventure Center (540) 668-9007.

  • Lead Riverkeepers:
    Mark Frondorf – 571-969-0746 or mark@shenandoahriverkeeper.org
    Dean Naujoks – 336-809-6041 or dean@potomacriverkeeper.org
  • Outfitter and Arrival Location:
    River Riders, Inc.
    408 Alstadts Hill Rd
    Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
    (800) 326-7238
  • Arrival Time: 12:00 PM for paddle trip; anticipated take-out time 4:30 PM
  • Paddle Distance: 7 miles
  • Skill Level: Beginner to advanced
  • Boat Options and Costs (including registration for party):
    Ducky rental: $65
    Raft: $75 per raft seat
    BYOB (Bring Your Own Boat): $35 per boat for the shuttle. WHITEWATER KAYAKS ONLY—NO CANOES. BYOB is not considered part of the guided float

Optional Activity: Come early and check out the amazing ropes course or take a flight on their Superman zipline. For more info, be sure to check it all out at: http://www.riverriders.com.

Participant Limit: 100 people

Tubing Trip Details


Harper's Ferry, WV, is right at the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac.

Title: Whitewater Tubing—Beginner Level
River: Potomac River
Trip Description: Join your Upper Potomac Riverkeeper for an exciting tubing adventure on the Potomac River to see why he works so hard to protect and defend the Upper Potomac! This section of the river is part of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail and your float will take you past Old Town Harpers Ferry, WV and through the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, experiencing the thrills of beginner class I-III rapids from a tube. This is an all-day pass, so you can float straight through the trip or stop off on the large island-like rocks in the middle of the river for a picnic or some sunbathing.

Once you’ve landed, enjoy an after-trip up to the top in a 5-ton military vehicle. Join all the RiverPalooza 2018 kickoff paddlers at the HFAC’s brand-new Brew Pub and optional overnight camping. Please be sure to secure a campsite or cabin directly through Harpers Ferry Adventure Center (540) 668-9007.

  • Lead Riverkeeper: Brent Walls – 443-480-8970 or brent@potomacriverkeeper.org
  • Outfitter and Arrival Location:
    Harpers Ferry Adventure Center (HFAC)
    37410 Adventure Center Lane
    Purcellville, VA 20132
  • Arrival time: 12:30 PM (12:30–1:15 is registration and safety talk, departure is at 1:30), off river around 4:30 PM
  • Difficulty Level: Beginner
  • Tube Rental: $25

Participant Limit: 100 people

Optional Activity After RIVERPALOOZA Wrap-Up:

  • Camping or rental cabins at Harpers Ferry Adventure Center (HFAC).
  • Harpers Ferry Adventure Center (HFAC) also offers optional zipline and ropes course activities.

37410 Adventure Center Lane
Purcellville, VA 20130
(540) 668-9007

Contact HFAC for reservations—Potomac Riverkeeper Network is not responsible for securing reservations.

What to Bring:

  • Wear proper footwear. NO FLIP-FLOPS. Old gym shoes, sandals with a strap, and water shoes work great
  • Sunscreen, hat and rain gear
  • Healthful snacks and drinking water (no glass bottles)
  • Change of clothes
  • Dry Bag or Waterproof Container—if you bring a phone or a non-waterproof camera, you need a way to protect it
  • If you plan to fish, bring a valid fishing license for the waters you would be fishing
  • River Rider 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

NOTE: Potomac Riverkeeper Network is not responsible for securing reservations for camping, hotel, optional ropes courses, zipline adventures, or 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 the 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, or uncontrollable weather that could potentially limit or prohibit our ability to provide an enjoyable and safe paddling experience.