Paddle Potomac! Paddle Shenandoah! 2016

Over 300 people experienced the most beautiful scenery in the region with our Riverkeepers. They joined us on 12 diverse paddle trips from June 8th to 19th, from novice to advanced, from a few hours to a few days. We paddled areas from the South Branch of the Potomac to the Shenandoah River to the Georgetown waterfront in DC, and down to Mallows Bay in the Lower Potomac. Each paddle trip included rich cultural and educational opportunities — and tons of fun and lifelong memories. We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the National Park Service’s Centennial than by paddling along the many national and state parks and trails on the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. We want to thank all of the local outfitters (listed below) who provided quality boats, equipment and shuttle service. Check out the photo galleries (below) for each trip.

Paddle Potomac! Paddle Shenandoah! was a Waterkeeper Alliance SPLASH Series event, presented nationally by Toyota and locally by the National Park Service, Microsoft and Spindrift.


The Potomac is the only river in the U.S. that includes portions of five national trails—the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, the Start-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail, the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Trail, and the Appalachian Trail. Connected by dozens of state and national parks, these trails trace hundreds of miles throughout the Potomac River Basin to provide an array of experiences. What better way to celebrate the National Park Service’s Centennial then by paddling along these parks and trails. We urge you to get out and enjoy these parks and trails along our rivers anytime this year!

Check out our adventures on Twitter and Instagram @potomacriver and on our Facebook Page, #PaddlePotomac #PaddleShenandoah.

Download Event Press Release


Join Us on the Shenandoah River July 13 for Our River Rodeo!

Our annual Shenandoah River Rodeo is Saturday, July 13 at the Bentonville Low Water Bridge Campground. Our region’s best fishing guides donate their guide fees to Shenandoah Riverkeeper! We want to fill up their boats — the fees you pay to your guide go directly to help support the Shenandoah Riverkeeper’s work. Lots of fun, food […]

Paddle Trip: Free Float the “Trough” on the South Branch Potomac on Father’s Day

About 40 paddlers joined the Upper Potomac Riverkeeper enjoyed this one of a kind beautiful and scenic river, the Trough! The Trough is a 6-mile long 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 […]

Paddle Trip: Full Moon Paddle – Edwards Ferry to Seneca Creek

Ok, technically the moon wasn’t totally full but a 93% full moon was good enough for over 60 paddlers to enjoy an evening paddle with the Potomac Riverkeeper on this wide and lazy stretch of river. And the weather was perfect! Located on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Edwards Ferry is at milepost 30 where […]

Paddle Trip: Make a SPLASH for Clean Water in DC

Almost 100 paddlers were out before the heat to enjoy the Georgetown Waterfront on the Potomac. The Potomac Riverkeeper led one of DC’s iconic paddles — a guided paddle tour around Roosevelt Island. In the 1930s, landscape architects transformed Mason’s Island from neglected, overgrown farmland into Theodore Roosevelt Island, a memorial to America’s 26th president. […]

Paddle Trip: “The Needles” – Whitewater Paddle on the Potomac

Just above Harpers Ferry is a unique section of river called “The Needles” that is a favorite for whitewater paddlers and anglers alike. About a dozen paddlers joined the Potomac Riverkeeper and Upper Potomac Riverkeeper to enjoy the beauty of the Blue Ridge. We paddled waves and whitewater through a series of rapids in The […]

Paddle Trip: Confluence Paddle – Millville to Harpers Ferry Adventure Center

Over a dozen hard-core adrenaline junkies joined all 3 Riverkeepers to run the confluence stretch of the Shenandoah and Potomac, putting in at Millville and running some fun white water down to the Harpers Ferry Adventure Center (just below the Rt. 340 bridge). This beautiful scenic paddle took us past Harpers Ferry National Historical Park […]

Paddle Trip: Antietam Creek – Float Through History

About two dozen people joined Upper Potomac Riverkeeper for a fun-filled experience on the Antietam. History shrouds the Antietam Creek with the National Battlefield along its banks and the many stone arched bridges that cross the river. The Antietam Creek is history. The day began with a guided tour of the Antietam National Battlefield at […]

Paddle Trip: Sunset Over Dyke March Paddle

Over two dozen people joined Potomac Riverkeeper and Friends of Dyke Marsh on a beautiful sunset paddle at Dyke Marsh. We learned about the successful conservation efforts currently underway to preserve and restore Dyke Marsh. Dyke Marsh is located east of the George Washington Memorial Parkway and the Mount Vernon Trail and is part of […]

Paddle Trip: Paw Paw Bends Paddle & Overnight Camping

Two dozen people joined Upper Potomac Riverkeeper on an iconic float through the entrenched meandering Paw Paw Bends along the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail. The Paw Paw Bends are the classic signature of the Upper Potomac. The rural, almost wild like scenery and sky high rocky cliffs literally feels like a walk back in […]

Paddle Trip: Shenandoah River Birdwatch & Paddle

A dozen paddlers and birdwatchers joined the Shenandoah Riverkeeper for a gentle and beautiful float down the Shenandoah River. We put in at the Andy Guest Shenandoah River State Park and floated down to the Karo Landing. Accompanying us on this trip were two avid birders from the Potomac Valley Audubon Society and who helped […]

Paddle Trip: After Work Float at Fort Washington

A dozen people joined the Potomac Riverkeeper and Atlantic Kayak for a leisurely after work interpretive paddle trip on this beautiful and historic section of the Potomac River. Some participants arrived at 3 pm a special tour of Fort Washington. Across the river from Mount Vernon lies Piscataway Creek, an aquatic oasis just ten miles […]

Paddle Trip: Island Ford to Elkton Landing on the Shenandoah River

Over a dozen paddlers joined the Shenandoah Riverkeeper on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River on a wonderful sunny day for the first float of Paddle Potomac! Paddle Shenandoah! The water levels were high but we still enjoyed fishing and some swift rapids! Paddlers enjoyed the beautiful scenery, where pristine mountain creeks flow from […]