RiverPalooza 2019: Good-Bye Summer Paddle

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

WHEN: Saturday, August 24, 2019

Brent Walls, Upper Potomac Riverkeeper; Dean Naujoks, Potomac Riverkeeper; and Mark Frondorf, Shenandoah Riverkeeper, are thrilled to announce this year’s RiverPalooza Goodbye Summer Celebration! Join them and Potomac Riverkeeper Network (PRKN) for our exciting whitewater day-long celebration.

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 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 optional camping to celebrate PRKN’s year-round work to protect and defend these national treasures.


Rafting & Kayaking Trip Details

Title: Millville to Potomac 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 Potomac 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.
  3. Shuttle Service: (Sorry, NO shuttle service for hard kayaks or canoes for this event)
  • 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, shuttle departure no later than1:00 PM; 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 ducky. Shuttle service is provided only for inflatable duckys. No hard shell kayaks.
  • Participant Limit: 60 people

Once we dry off and catch our breath from the trip, our riverkeepers will be meeting up at Harpers Ferry Brewing for snacks, drinks and live music, then camping out at Harper’s Ferry Adventure Center Campground (HFAC) overnight. Anyone who wants to join is welcome!

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


Optional Activities for after RiverPalooza Wrap-Up

Optional Activities for before or after RiverPalooza Wrap-Up:

  • 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.
  • Harpers Ferry Brewing, 37412 Adventure Center Lane, Hillsboro, VA 20132
  • Camping or rental cabins at Harpers Ferry Adventure Center (HFAC).
  • Join our riverkeepers for an overnight stay! 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


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 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.