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RiverPalooza: American Indian cultural Interpretation Paddle

June 4 @ 8:30 AM 1:00 PM

(Rain Date June 24, 2022)


This amazing trip is a partnership between Potomac Riverkeeper Dean Naujoks and the tribal chair, Francis Gray, of the Piscataway Conoy Tribal Council. We are truly honored to provide a pre-paddle cultural history presentation, then guide and provide interpretation of cultural resources along our circular paddle starting at Atlantic Kayak Company. Atlantic Kayak owners Joe and Shellie Perrie, have a passion for culture and history, and will also provide interpretive and ecological education for our program

canoes river tall grass plants

Mattawoman Creek is the ancestral home of the Piscataway tribe, despite being pushed from their homelands, many of the tribal members still live in the Southern Maryland area. The name of Mattawoman creek comes from the Algonquin term Mataughquamend, which translates to “where one goes pleasantly” or the more contemporary version, “a place to go quietly”. To no surprise, this term describes the Mattawoman creek perfectly.

This section of the Potomac is connected to national trail routes, including the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. State and federal agencies have consistently characterized the Mattawoman watershed as exceptional in terms of its biodiversity and biological productivity. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has noted the creek’s abundant underwater grasses. It is also home to more than 50 species of fish, as well as mussels, wood ducks, and bald eagles. Its extensive wetlands and forest help support one of the healthiest food webs in the Chesapeake Bay.

standing on canoe

Following your river excursion, you can spend time at the Mattawoman Creek Education Center, which has numerous aquariums to observe fish and other critters from Mattawoman Creek, close-up and personal! Come support Potomac Riverkeeper and partners to celebrate Mattawoman Creek the 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act!  Please consider signing up to paddle for clean water to support fifty years of clean water progress and the goals of “fishable, swimmable” waterways so future generations can continue to enjoy the Potomac River and critical tributaries like Mattawoman Creek.

Trip Details

Lead Riverkeeper: Dean Naujoks – (336) 809-6041 or dean@potomacriverkeeper.org

Outfitter and Arrival Location:
Atlantic Kayak
108-A Mattingly Ave,
Indian Head, MD 20640

Arrival/Check-in Time: 8:30 AM
Launch Time: 9:30 am
Anticipated Take-out Time: 1:00 PM
Paddle Distance: 3 miles/2.5 hours
Skill Level: Beginner

Boat Options and Costs:

  • Tandem kayak: $95 per seat
  • Single kayak: $95 (limited number)
  • BYOB (Bring Your Own Boat): $75 registration and launch fee

Included with each registration:

  • Paddling Guides (First Aid and CPR Certified)
  • Interpretive Guide
  • rental, tandem kayak or kayak, PFD, paddle 
  • PRKN Clean Water Act 50th anniversary commemorative t-shirt

Participant Limit: 25 People

Note:  Rentals are only available to adults or children 12 years and older who are accompanied by an adult.


Two waivers must be signed online (in advance) for you to be registered for this trip.

ACA waiver

Outfitter waiver –  Participant Rental waiver (print and bring with you)

Also to do in advance:

Please Read Paddle Rules

What to Bring:

  • Packed lunch
  • Reusable water bottle (please no plastic bottles or glass)
  • Wear proper footwear. NO FLIP-FLOPS. Old gym shoes, sandals with a strap, and water shoes work great
  • Sunscreen, hat and rain gear
  • 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.

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