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Paddling Tours with Friends of the NCTC

Wednesday Evening Biologist-led Paddling Tour

On Wedesday evenings, mid-May through August, the Friends of NCTC hosts a weekly, interpretive kayak paddle on the Potomac River. Departing at 6:00 PM, SHARP, from the traffic circle adjacent to the Commons (next to the Social Science Lab - Lounge), paddlers will be shuttled to the NCTC boat ramp for a two hour down-stream paddle/float around Terrapin Neck. Take-out is on the Maryland side of the river at Taylor's landing. During low-flow periods, we'll paddle upriver to the foot of Dam 4 and around Shepherds Island.

The Potomac River near Shepherdstown, WV meanders between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the C&O Canal National Historic Park on the Maryland shore and is ideal for canoeing and kayaking. This ambling stretch of river features a few easy to navigate riffles and ledges and delightful scenery.

Join River & Trail Outfitters and Friends of NCTC on these fun, relaxing, interpreted float trips, which reveal the inter-relationship of human and natural history in the watershed. Paddlers and birders can observe a diversity of wildlife along the river from turtles, fish, herons, waterfowl and the resident bald eagles.

This biologist-led tour, embarking from the NCTC boat ramp, will help you to identify local flora and fauna by the river. Protection and restoration of our local watershed will be discussed as you learn more about the human impacts on our local river environment.

map of paddling tour



$44.95 including taxes and fees (w/~$5 per paddler to be donated to the Friends of the NCTC) Includes: Interpreter(s) and certified guide(s), kayaks, life-vest, paddle, helmet (not required but available if requested at the time of reservation), and shuttle service to and from the NCTC.


$40.57 including taxes and fees. (Kids paddling their own boat 10-14 and seniors (=/>62.5 yrs)receive a 10% discount).

$25 including taxes and fees for participants for paddlers bringing their own boat (w/~$5 to be donated to the Friends of the NCTC.

Kids under 14 riding in their parent's tandem boats, paddle free of charge.

Trip Season, Time, and Length

May-August, 6pm-8:30 or 9 pm, Shuttle departs @ 6:00 from NCTC in front of the Commons. Check in @ 5:40 pm. Trip length & time will vary according to river conditions and excursion option chosen (based on river levels and group size).

Minimum Age / Weight

10 years old / 50 lbs.

Minimum Attendance

A minimum of 8 paddlers are required for the interpreted trip to take place, so encourage your friends to participate.

  More information/FAQ

Register online anytime through Monday before the trip. After that, call 301-695-5177 and ask for Tasha, Kandee or Sonia (specify whether you're signing up for the Friends of NCTC Paddle or a special NCTC event) Try to register early to avoid glitches!


Special & Scheduled Weekend Paddling Events with River & Trail Outfitters

Rafting, Tubing, Specialty Paddling Tours, Teambuilding, Biking the C&O Canal & More!

River & Trail Outfitters has been providing outdoor adventures for over 40 years. We have a variety of trips to offer to individuals or groups on both weekdays and weekends. Contact us to plan a special group trip or browse our wide array of trip offerings on-line River & Trail Outfitters. Either way, be sure to let us know that you heard about us from the Friends of NCTC website!


Participant Registration and Payment

You must book before 5:00 pm Tuesday the week of the trip. A tandem kayak or canoe will be assigned to group participants unless a single kayak is specifically requested upon booking.

Important Notes for booking:

2. A waiver of liability will be required from each participant. Participants under 18 will need a signed parent/guardian permission form. Bring this form with you on the day of the trip, please do not send ahead.

3. A minimum of 8 participants is needed to run the Wednesday Evening Interpretive Paddle. River & Trail will notify paddlers of no-go decisions by 10 am Wednesday morning. Trips run rain or shine.

Please call 301-695-5177 or and ask for Tasha, Kandee, or Sonia if you have any questions regarding this trip. A minimum of 8 participants is required.

  More information/FAQ


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