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RiverPalooza: Good-Bye Summer Blowout

August 28 @ 12:00 PM 4:30 PM

(No Rain Date — Please note: event will only be canceled if river levels do not permit and is not based on forecasted rain.)

rafts around pillar in river

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

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 eventually merges with the Potomac River. You’ll put in at Millville with our talented guides from River Riders, 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. Perfect for an invigorating quick rinse before the steep climb up the hill back to the buses to shuttle you back to your car.

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 going to be so 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 2 different boat configurations designed for all skill levels:

  • 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!
  • Ducky: Whether you are the grizzled veteran or the grizzled veteran wannabe, 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.

Shuttle Service: (Sorry, NO shuttle service for hard kayaks or canoes for this event)

Location: Harpers Ferry, WV

Register by Thursday, August 18th

Please keep in mind PRKN is hosting Harpers Ferry Tubing and Overnight Camp on Saturday, August 28th at nearby Harpers Ferry Adventure Center (HFAC) This is the perfect opportunity to join us for some easy tubing on the Potomac on Saturday, camp Saturday then join us at Harpers Ferry Brewing Company for beer, food and live music Saturday evening! Wake up and hit the “Doah” the very next day! So make it a weekend! Two Days! Two Rivers! Two Float trips! You better join in the fun because summer is almost over! Please be sure to register for each event separately if you plan to attend both trips on Saturday and Sunday! Hope to see you on the river, one of them anyway!

Camping or rental cabins at Harpers Ferry Adventure Center (HFAC) are limited so reserve them well in advance. Visit HFAC for reservations—Potomac Riverkeeper Network is not responsible for securing campsite reservations.


Lead Riverkeeper: Mark Frondorf – (571) 969-0746 or mark@shenandoahriverkeeper.org

Arrival Location:
River Riders, Inc.
408 Alstadts Hill Rd
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
(800) 326-7238

Arrival/Check-in Time: 12 PM
Launch Time: shuttle departure no later than 1:00 PM
Anticipated end time: 4:30 PM
Paddle Distance: 7 miles
Skill Level: Novice 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.

Included with each registration:

  • Guide
  • rental canoe or kayak
  • PRKN Clean Water Act 50th anniversary commemorative t-shirt

Participant Limit: 100 people

Note:  Rentals are only available to adults or children 8 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.

1. ACA waiver

2. Outfitter waiver-  Participant Rental Waiver

Also to do in advance:


  • Packed lunch
  • 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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