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RiverPalooza: Shenandoah Birdwatching

Sep 29, 2023 @ 9:00 AM 3:00 PM

riverkeeper boat by sharon fisher
Riverkeeper Boat Photo Credit: Sharon Fisher

Avoid the heat of the summer and join your Shenandoah Riverkeeper for a gentle and beautiful float down the Shenandoah River. We will put in at the Andy Guest Shenandoah River State Park and float down to the Karo Landing.

This is a peaceful and picturesque journey down the South Fork of the Shenandoah River, starting at Andy Guest Shenandoah River State Park and ending at Karo Landing. As we float downstream, we’ll be joined by experienced birders Heather McSharry and Mark Abdy, Washington County Coordinators for the Maryland Ornithological Society’s Breeding Bird Atlas 3 Project.

Bald Eagle

Heather and Mark will help us identify the various songbirds, waterfowl, and other feathered creatures we encounter on our journey. On past trips we’ve been lucky enough to spot numerous different bird species, including Wood Ducks with ducklings, Great Blue and Green Herons, and even Bald Eagles. We’ll also have the opportunity to glide past a large Great Blue Heron rookery. But the real treat this year, by having our RiverPalooza birding trip at the end of September is that we have an opportunity to see a number of different bird species as they migrate southward.  Broad-wing hawks come immediately to mind. The spring migration is very much a rushed affair as birds zoom northward to get to prime nesting locations and birders can find themselves missing all the action by being a day or two late.  Fall migration is a more leisurely endeavor strung out over a longer period of time and the Shenandoah River is a great spot to stop over, get something cool to drink and good to eat as they head south. Please join us.


Space on this trip is limited, so don’t wait until the last minute to reserve your spot – bring along your binoculars, and we’ll provide walkie-talkies to help everyone stay in touch and share sightings. And if you have your own walkie-talkie, be sure to bring it along as well.

Don’t miss this chance to enjoy a relaxing and informative float down the Shenandoah River with your Shenandoah Riverkeeper and expert birders Heather and Mark. We can’t wait to see you there!


  • Arrival Location:
    Front Royal Outdoors
    8567 Stonewall Jackson Hwy
    Front Royal, VA 22630
  • Begin Arrival & Check in: 9:00AM
  • Shuttle Departs to Put-In: 10:00AM
  • Estimated Take-out time: 3:00PM
  • Paddle Level: Beginner
  • Paddle Distance: 5 Miles
  • Boat Options and Costs:
    Canoe: $150 (Includes registration for 2)
    Kayak: $60
    TandemKayak: $150
    BYOB: $35

Included with each registration:

  • Riverkeeper Leader
  • rental canoe or kayak
  • Paddle insurance
  • Personal flotation device for the day (with rental)
  • Shuttle Service (if applicable)
  • RiverPalooza Tee

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

How to sign up

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

1. ACA waiver:

2. Participant Rental Waiver

Also to do in advance:

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)

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