Frequently Asked Questions

What time is the trip?

Half Day and Full Day trips start at 9:00AM during the summer, late spring and early fall. Trips start at 10:00 AM during early spring or late fall to allow the day to warm up.

Overnight Trips generally start at noon.

Our start times are not set in stone, and we can normally accommodate custom start time requests.

Where do we meet for the trip?

Your meeting location will be provided during your confirmation process and depends on where we take you.  Where we take you depends on what you would like to experience, how long you want to spend on the water, and other factors like weather and river level.  We can usually accommodate requests.

What food should I bring?

For half day trips we provide water, snacks, hors d’oeuvres and refreshing drinks. Upon request we also cater lunches.  Lunch is customary on full day trips.

For longer trips we will have planned an intricate set of meals and will provide descriptions in our itinerary. We love food and we love cooking, so if you have dietary restrictions, please let us know.

What clothes should I bring?

Please review the trip preparation form we forwarded when you booked your trip, or the website for your specific trip. Clothing requirements can vary greatly depending upon the season and the trip. But generally we encourage our customers to bring more, not less clothing, to ensure their comfort. And we strongly suggest customers prepare to dress in layers composed of synthetic fleeces and waterproof shells, except for hot weather when light colored, light weight loose clothes help keep you comfortable.

Please avoid cotton against your skin in cold weather and please don’t wear flip flops (closed toed river sandals or old sneakers are best).

All guests are asked to bring a personal water bottle already full of water.  We will have back up but are trying to reduce waste and guests have given us positive feedback on this policy.

Can I fish?

We offer some of the best guided fishing experiences on the East Coast and are delighted to take you fishing.

Our eco-tour styled trips are not designed to be fishing excursions. However, call us if the conditions are right and one of our fishing guides is available we can sometimes add fishing to these trips.

How long will we be on the water?

Half day trips are 2-4 hours. Full day and overnight trips average about 6 hours of float time per day.

What kind of shoes should I wear?

We love heel-strapped river sandals from May through September. We don’t love flip-flops, and recommend against them in the boat.  Sneakers are OK as long as they can get wet.

From October through April, we recommend smart-wool or fleece socks with waterproof boots, or sneakers if you have them.

Will I get wet?

We are floating rivers, and so the answer to be prepared for is YES. But most people, on most of our trips, can go the whole day without getting wet if they put in a little effort. The exception being if you are on a class II or class III whitewater trip, you should expect to get wet.  If the weather is going to be cool some waterproof layers will help.  As backup, Ashby Gap brings six ponchos in each boat for our guests.

What if I need to cancel my reservation?

Short Answer: we have basically done away with any form of cancellation policy since COVID created a new normal.

Long answer: we were already setting a standard for flexibility since we know our customers really want to come on these trips, and would only cancel in the event of an emergency or unavoidable life commitment.

Since our guides reserve their day for your trip, please help us respect their time by giving us as much notice as possible.  Two days is optimal, one day works.  Especially now that we're in a pandemic, we understand last minute quarantining may be necessary so we're not going to penalize our guests for any cancellation and will refund you in full.

No refund is to be expected for "no shows" day of.  We've only had one in the history of our business.

Will you cancel for weather?

Yes, naturally. 

Some form of weather adversity or chance of precipitation occurs nearly every trip. And so while the short answer is yes because we want happy guests, there is a longer answer.  Basically we ask our guests to be prepared for some chance of weather but if it looks like there's going to be a 50-60% chance of precipitation or greater, we're going to post-pone your trip.

How deep is the river?

1’-18’ deep.

 

Most people are familiar with large rivers that scour the bottom to create some uniform depth. But our river bottoms are bedrock, or bedrock with a layer of stone sand or silt on top. So the river doesn’t scour a path and so this truly limits the depth. So on average we see most of the river is between 2 feet and 5 feet deep, and yet our pools and deep ledgy areas can approach 15 or 18’ feet.

Once upon a time one of the local guides compared the bottom of the river to the cutting edge of a saw.......up and down, up and down. 'd say that's a pretty good analogy.

How big are the rapids on this float?

Ashby Gap Adventures operates on waters with rapids generally ranging from Class A (Riffles), Class I and class II whitewater with the rare Class III.  Guests have many options to choose from and we'll help you pick the right float for your group. 

Many of our floats are very mellow, and yet others have consistent and entertaining whitewater.  In the end though, we are not in the business of big whitewater adrenaline trips.

So we go through great pains to describe the nature of the whitewater on each trip so our adventurers can self-select the level of whitewater they’d like to face. Fluctuating water levels also toggles some whitewater up, and some of it down, depending on what is creating the whitewater to begin with.

In any event, we’re constantly watching the levels and will often be prepared to convert our canoe/kayak trips to rafting/paddling trips when levels are up or customers become uncertain about their comfort level with paddling.

Will I be paddling?

If you’ve secured a trip in a canoe or kayak, yes. If you’ve secured a trip in one of our rafts it depends on the kind of trip you signed up for. Our "unique to the industry" six seat raft configuration means no paddling required and that's what most guests choose.  But we can bring paddles if you want.

What physical mobility is required?

Short answer: it varies.

Some require little mobility at all.  Yet others require our customers to be able to scramble up/down modestly steep inclines with some lose gravel or mud.  We will make great efforts to describe the level of effort and mobility required for our trips so please ask if you think this may need attention. We are often asked to work with guests with limited mobility.

We have developed experience with guests up to 90 years old (we recently hosted an octogenarian birthday on the boat). We have also served guests with missing limbs and have been very successful.

Is my guide experienced?

We select our guides for their experience and personality. Most have between 20 and 40 years on the river or in the outdoors professionally. Additionally, most of our guides carry first aid and CPR certifications.

What knowledge will my guide have?

We’ve tried to find guides who bring a lifetime of experiences to our adventures. And while they harbor what may be encyclopedic levels of knowledge about the river environment and its inhabitants in and around the water, we also recognize not everyone is interested in the gobbly gook. So please help us by letting us know what level of information would be welcome. Every day the guides will be prepared to let you have a quiet day on the river if you prefer. In the same manner, we’re all prepared to turn up the educational component of the trip if that’s what you’d like. Hiding within nearly every one of our floats are artifacts, remains of industries and settlements of the past, and a wealth of wildlife and geology to be revealed and discussed. Remember, we’re still learning too!