Photo by Roy Sewall.
This entire section is designated State Scenic River--the only section of the Shenandoah to hold that honor. While much of the Shenandoah is a playground for tubing and hundreds of paddlers a day, our home section of the Shenandoah near Ashby Gap has very limited access and is rarely used by liveries, so there is little to no boat rental traffic. This float is just the right length to allow paddlers to set their own pace with a fun mixture of Class A and Class I/II rapids, mazes, ledges and riffles to keep the paddling active. In the summer, there are some amazing swimming holes with cold spring water feeding into the river to cool you down. If you’re curious, we can find historic mill remnants, ancient Native American fish traps, rock bluffs, and crazy cool wildlife.
Would you like to do more of this on your own? Because this section is so close to our home base, we have a lot of freedom with the logistics of this trip, so our customers have a lot of choice in designing this one. We can fully outfit you for a float, including rowing your group, setting camp and cooking. Or, we can tone down on any feature you’d like, allowing you to paddle, set camp and/or do your own thing (pricing shown is for our “out of the box” 2-day trip with an overnight; please inquire about pricing for a customized trip). This allows families to do it on their own, but not worry about having the right gear because we provide it--even packing the overnight cooler, if you’d like. Any combination is within bounds, so give us a call to start planning.
Trip Length: 9-20 miles (distance depends on guest preference)
Trip Duration: 2 days and 1 night camping riverside
Trip Difficulty: Class A, and I/II rapids. Lots of interesting paddling, but this is one of our more family- or beginner-friendly sections of river.
Trip Cost: $350 per person, or reserve a private raft for up to six guests for $1,500 ($250 per person if you bring 6) all inclusive. We must have 3 people signed up to run the trip.
When is this Trip Available: April - November
Minimum Age: 6 years old when accompanied and supervised by an adult
Number of Guests per Trip: 3-12
Trip Meeting Time: Between 8AM – 12PM the first day
Trip Ending Time: Approximately 12PM- 5PM the second day
Trip Meeting Location: Waterloo, VA, near Boyce, VA.
Activities: Paddling, swimming, birding & wildlife viewing, camp-side games and sports, relic hunting, ecology and geology education, camp-side fishing and most of all…. relaxing and enjoying each other’s company.
Food Options: Day 1: Lunch and Dinner. Day 2: Breakfast and Lunch. Please contact us early to talk about dietary restrictions.
Who This Trip is for:
If you’re paddling a kayak or canoe, while the rapids are limited to class I and II there are some places where attention needs to be paid, but it’s still an excellent novice trip and a trip for fit seniors. If you’re rafting, no experience is required.
In our experience, this is THE perfect trip for families, with just enough river spice to be exciting to all but serious adrenaline junkies.
Meet your guides in the morning, get boat assignments, shakedown gear and then to the launch. The first day’s paddle is scenic and relaxing, but be sure to keep an eye out for bald eagles, mink, river otter, turtles, deer, and black bear. We will camp by the river, on a sandy beach, if water levels permit. Your guides will hand you a beverage and set up camp while you swim, fish, or just enjoy the group. During hors d’oeuvres, dinner is prepared for you over an open fire. Enjoy it under the stars. Bedtime comes when you’re done staring at the campfire.
On the second morning, laze in your tent, or linger by the campfire before enjoying a hot breakfast. Float or paddle, swim in a deep pool, and lunch on the riverbank. Then load up and float to the takeout. We deal with the gear, clean up, and get you back to wherever you need to be.