One evening per week from mid-May through early September, the Friends of NCTC host 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 Lounge/Dining Hall building), 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 Shepherd Island.


Wed. May 29

Wed. June 5

Wed. June 12

Tue. June 25

Wed. July 10

Wed. July 17

Wed. July 24

Wed. July 31

Tue. Aug. 6

Tue. Aug. 13

Wed. Aug. 21

Wed. Aug. 28

Wed. Sept. 4

Wed. Sept. 11

Wed. Sept. 18

Wed. Set. 25

Biologist-led Paddling Tour on the Potomac River  Friends of National Conservation Training Center

The Potomac River near Shepherdstown, WV meanders between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the C&O Canal National Historic Park on the Maryland shore. It 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 the 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 including turtles, fish, herons, waterfowl, and resident bald eagles.

The biologist-led tour 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 to this riverine environment.


$51.00 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.

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

Trip Season, Time, and Length

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

Minimum Weight

Minimum weight is 50 lbs for children accompanying responsible parent in a tandem boat.

Minimum Attendance

A minimum of 10 paddlers are required for the interpreted trip to take place, so encourage your friends to participate. Please register early to avoid trips being cancelled due to lack of interest.

Register online anytime with River & Trail Outfitters through Monday before the trip. After that, call 301-834-9950 . Please register as early as possible. When calling, please tell them it is an NCTC trip. River & Trail Outfitters has been providing outdoor adventures for over 40 years.

Participant Registration and Payment

You must book before 5 PM the day before the trip.

Important Notes for booking:

1. 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.

2. A minimum of 10 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 301-834-9950 or and tell them it is an NCTC trip. A minimum of 10 participants is required.


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