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Floating Down a Lazy River with the Family around the DMV

August is the perfect month to dream like Tom Sawyer and float down a lazy river. You can take a guided tour and learn some history, or do-it yourself from a raft, tube, kayak or canoe.

Before you go tips

  • There are age restrictions. Make sure to pick a trip that is suitable for all ages in your group.
  • Heed the warnings and don’t take on more than you, or others in your party, are ready for.
  • There are different sized options from 6-person rafts to single inner tubes. 
  • Wear shoes with a heel-strap, no flip-flops.
  • Wear a pfd (life vest) at all times, most rentals include a pfd. 
  • Check out current water conditions. Low water levels mean your trip might take a little longer.
  • Bring plenty of drinking water, snacks, sunscreen, shoes that you can wear in the river.
  • You will get wet – bring a change of clothes.
  • There are no lifeguards on the water.
  • No alcohol allowed.

Where to go

Here are some outfitters that can accommodate you on a River Rafting trip.

Front Royal Outdoors

Front Royal, VA
Shenandoah River – floating on the South Fork you will encounter water moving with small wavers and riffles, Class I and a few places with easy Class II water. 4 and 6-person rafting, tubing, kayaking and canoeing available. Shuttle service is included in the price.

Jim Thorpe River Adventures

Lehighton, PA 
On the Lehigh Gorge, tours range from easy (minimum age 4) to challenging whitewater rafting (minimum age 8). Rafting, inflatable kayaking and biking also offered.

River Riders 

Harper’s Ferry, WV
Trips are on the Shenandoah and/or Potomac Rivers. Rafts accommodate 4-6 people plus a guide. Beginner level to more advanced. Tubing can be done on flat water, or white water. Rafting, tubing, canoeing, zip lining.

Harper’s Ferry Adventure Center

Purcellville, VA
Tours on the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers. River tubing is their most popular adventure. Choose flat water tubing if you have young children or are looking for a laid-back lazy river ride. River Tubing, river rafting, white water kayaking, zipline and ropes course also available. Do you have your own equipment and just need a lift to the river and back? These guys will do that for you too.

Check out some great places to go Tubing in Maryland.

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