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RiverPalooza: South Branch Trough

May 19 @ 9:00 AM 3:00 PM

(Please note this paddle is rain or shine; however, if river levels are unsafe for paddling
the alternative date is June 2nd)

2 bright canoes on the river

Join your Upper Potomac Riverkeeper for this one-of-a-kind paddle on a beautiful and scenic river section of the South Branch Potomac—the Trough! The Trough received its name from the six-mile long trough-like wooded gorge carved by the South Branch Potomac River with cliff faces almost 2,000 feet tall, situated in the Allegheny Mountains.


The Trough is a prime breeding ground for bald eagles with its limited access, clear water, and rugged mountain terrain. During your trip you will experience some fast rapids and deep pools perfect for swimming. We will stop and enjoy the scenery for lunch, a swim, and a wave at the passengers of the Potomac Eagle Scenic Train. You will marvel at the beauty and enjoy the seclusion of the Trough.

This trip also has the option to camp on-site with our partners, Calleva Trough Outfitters or just down the road at Wapocoma Campground.

Trip Details

  • Arrival Location:
    Calleva Trough Outfitters
    9690 South Branch River Road
    Purgitsville, WV 26852
  • Begin Arrival & Check in: 9am
  • Shuttle Departs to Put-In: 10am
  • Estimated Take-out time: ~3pm
  • Paddle Level: Intermediate (can handle more advanced whitewater strokes)
  • Paddle Distance: 7 miles/4-5 hr
  • Boat Options and Costs:
    Canoe: $100 (Includes registration for 2)
    Kayak: $60
    BYOB: $45 (Canoe or Kayak)

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 Register

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

ACA waiver

Outfitter waiver – 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)

Tag us in your paddle trips on