Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

RiverPalooza: South Branch Trough

July 9 @ 9:00 AM 3:00 PM

(Note: This paddle is rain or shine; however, if river levels are unsafe for paddling the alternative date is July 30th.)

2 bright canoes on the river
3 canoes on the river

Join your Upper Potomac Riverkeeper for this one-of-a-kind 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.

beached canoes

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.

Are you interested in paddling our waterways WHILE raising much needed funds for clean water? You’re in luck! This year is the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, a momentous legislation that gives PRKN the power to force polluters in the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers to clean up their messes. And we’re asking you to help us catalyze our past successes into a cleaner, more just future by creating your very own clean water campaign!

This year you can put your paddle trip miles to good use by hosting your own paddlethon. Track your miles paddled and ask your friends and family to pledge X amount per mile. Become our top fundraiser and you can win:

  • A brand-new kayak
  • Recruit a buddy to form your own team (or increase your team’s impact if you already have one) and win a trip on the Sea Dog – PRKN’s 42’ Research Boat (limit to 10 people) 

Get Started Today!

Trip Details

Lead Riverkeeper: Brent Walls – 443-480-8970 or brent@potomacriverkeeper.org

Arrival Location:
Calleva Trough Outfitters
9690 South Branch River Road
Purgitsville, WV 26852

Arrival & Check in Time: 9:00 AM
Shuttle Departs to Put-In: 10:00 AM
Estimated Take-out time: 2-3pm
Paddle Level: Intermediate (can handle more advanced whitewater strokes)
Paddle Distance: 7 miles/4-5 hrs

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
  • Clean Water Act 50th Anniversary commemorative t-shirt

Participant Limit: 30 People

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
  • 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)
  • Although there will be plenty else to do, If you plan to fish, bring a valid fishing license for the waters you would be fishing.

Tag us in your paddle trips on