Half-Day Potomac River


Impossibly Beautiful Float Down to DC’s Border

Float through the lower part of the Potomac Gorge dotted with amazing scenery, and even float under Washington, DC’s Beltway in style! We’re going to open up this opportunity ever so lightly so as not to spoil the serenity (we’re not kidding! it is surreally quiet under the Beltway) and provide an avenue for DC-area residents to scratch their river itch.

Call Us To Talk Options: 540-955-7179

Photo by Roy Sewall.

Trip Details:

Love rivers? Want a unique way to spend half a day with friends or family? Starting in 2020, Ashby Gap Adventures is going to make daily or twice daily runs down this stretch of river on weekends from April through November. You won’t believe this place. We literally know of no urban stretch of river in the world that’s this wild and pretty. From beginning to end it’s sprinkled with Class I-III rapids and our custom raft, designed for this type of water, keeps you dry and happy while our guides row you downriver.

In the spring you might see migrations of ocean spawning fish, active eagles’ nests and their fledging young, as well as other birds of prey taking advantage of the massive but short-lived food source. If the timing is right, you could see the spring amphibian migration and reproduction in the vernal pools along the river.

In the summer, enjoy a more mellow experience as water levels drop and the river takes on a more tranquil feeling. Take a sun rise or sunset tour: we don’t think you’ll forget it.

In the fall, the river is an amazing place when the air is cooler and the river banks come alive with the color of fall leaves. It’s a great place to take in autumn foliage and is minutes from downtown DC, so no need to follow the crowds to Skyline Drive.

Trip Length: 2.5 miles

Trip Duration: 2.5-3 hours at most water levels

Trip Difficulty: We do the rowing! So all are welcome. Please note, guests WILL be required to walk from the parking area to the river’s edge across National Park land. The walk does have some obstacles such as makeshift stairs, exposed roots, loose gravel, and has fairly steep slopes in places. We are always happy to offer an elbow, but a walking stick could be useful for those with joint or balance issues.

Food Options: Refreshing non-alcoholic beverages and hors d’oeuvres provided. Feel free to stock our cooler with wine or beer of your choice. Please contact us early to talk about dietary restrictions.

Trip Cost: $85 per adult, $55 per person under 14 years of age. Or reserve a private raft for up to six guests for $425

When Is This Trip Available: April – November

Minimum Age: 6 years old in raft

Number of Guests per Trip: 2-12

Trip Meeting Time:
3:00 PM Friday afternoon October 4 – November 8th
9:00 AM Saturday morning October 5-November 9th
3:00 PM Saturday afternoon October 5-November 9th
9:00 AM Sunday morning October 6 – November 10th Reservations required, but please feel free to call right up until a half hour before departure time.

Trip Ending Time: Approximately 12PM for morning floats and 6PM for afternoon floats

Trip Meeting Location: Old Anglers Inn parking lot within the C&O Canal National Historic Park. During weekends, we recommend taking an Uber to and from the lot to ensure that you don’t get caught without a parking space, since hikers and bikers flock to this area.

Activities: Birding & wildlife viewing, ecology and geology education, but most of all…. relaxing and enjoying each other’s company.

Who This Trip Is For:

Since you’re rafting, no experience is required.

This is also a great trip for families, call us if you’d like to reserve your own boat.

Have Questions?

Feel free to get in touch, or check out our FAQ section, where we answer the most common questions about your trip.