Downriver Canoe Company – Kayak Trips

Kayak trips are not guided. After signing up for the trip of your choice we will go over basic safety procedures, review your river trip with you, and provide basic paddling instructions for novice paddlers. The majority of our trips start up river and float back to our base, so take your time and finish at your leisure. We do not have set departure times either, we go when you are ready. We like to say we run on your schedule and don’t make you run on ours.

So, when you’re ready, you will be transported to the launch site of your trip and cast forth upon the waters. Please note: the time indicated for each trip is the approximate paddle time for kayaks paddling at a steady but leisurely pace under normal river conditions. If you are fishing, just floating, or the river is low then trips will of course take longer. We find it’s better to go a little too short than a little too far, so try not to be overly ambitious when selecting the length of your float.

Canoes and kayaks are almost twice as fast as rafts, and rafts are swifter than tubes. Consequently, suggested raft routes are shorter. Also, the tube float is normally fixed at 3 miles taking about 3 hours. All floats finish back at our base unless otherwise indicated.




Short Trips
TRIP #1 HAZARD MILL TRIP — 3 miles, 1 hour paddle time $36 per kayak
A very easy introductory trip over calm water for those with limited time (or those hard core fisherman wishing to thoroughly work this great fishing section).
TRIP #2 STATE PARK TRIP — 3 1/2 miles, 1 hour + paddle time $36 per kayak
A short float paralleling the new Shenandoah River State Park and finishing in the park itself. This is an excellent section for bird and wildlife enthusiasts.
STATE PARK HIKE — FLOAT TRIP — 3 miles hiking, 3-1/2 miles floating, 3 hours $36 per kayak
Park your car near the canoe launch in Shenandoah River State Park. Hike the easy trail up river to Downriver Canoe Company. Rent a canoe or kayak and float back to your car. Please reserve in advance so we may be expecting you.
Most Popular Day Trips
TRIP #3 BURNERS BOTTOM — 7 1/2 miles, 2 1/2 hours paddle time $46 per kayak
Our most popular short trip through stunning mountain scenery including the Sudden Ledge and the Old Mill Race (my favorite section). Makes a great all day fishing trip.
TRIP #4 SEEKFORDS LANDING TRIP — 12 miles, 4 hours paddle time $46 per kayak
This is our best day trip over the most remote section of the river including the challenge of Compton Rapid (class II), the sudden ledge, and the old mill race.
MASSANUTTEN — HIKE/FLOAT TRIP — 12 miles hiking, 12 miles floating, 9 hours $52 per kayak
Starting at Downriver Canoe Company hike the Tuscarora Trail to the top of Massanutten Mountain. Follow the Massanutten Ridge Trail south about 6 miles. Descend on Indian Grave Ridge trail to Seekfords landing on the river. Canoe or kayak back to Downriver Canoe Company. Hiking portion is rocky and steep in places (with spectacular views). This trip is geared toward experienced outdoors enthusiasts in good physical condition. Start time is no later than 9 am. Please carry a cell phone to facilitate timely delivery of river equipment. (strenuous and challenging)
Longer Trips
TRIP #5 J.R.’S CAMPGROUND — 15 miles, 5 hours paddle time $52 per kayak
This full day’s paddling adventure begins right where the river “gets good” about 4 miles above Compton Rapid and includes all of the previous two sections.
TRIP #6 CAVALIER FARMS — 19 miles, 7 hours paddle time $52 per kayak
A long trip for the stout of limb (intellect slim) or when the river level is high and pushy (like my punk girlfriend). Start early, paddle hard. Don’t even think about doing this trip in low water.
TWO DAY TRIP (FORT STOVER) — 24 miles, 9 hours paddle time total $94 per kayak
A great overnight trip starting at Fort Stover with camping in Golden Rock Campground at Compton Rapid (the prettiest spot on the river). We recommend spotting your vehicle and camping gear at the campground to avoid wet sleepingbagitus (we shuttle you back at the end of the trip).
FIRST LEG AND CAMP Ft. Stover to Compton Rapid — 13 miles, 5 hours paddle time $74 per kayak
Simply the first day of the two day trip with camping (one day of paddling).
TRIPS LONGER THAN 2 DAYS $94 per kayak first 2 days, $34 per day thereafter
Everyone is unique (this is ostensibly a good thing). Therefore, all trips of three days or longer will be custom planned depending on river conditions and guest priorities (and peculiarities). We have 160 miles of river to work with. 12 to 15 miles per day is a good pace. Be careful not to overload your canoe.


Downriver Canoe Company maintains a fleet of over 60 open cockpit, sit inside kayaks that are stable, easy to handle, and fun to paddle. Kayaks are highly maneuverable and give the individual paddler great flexibility in exploring the subtle nuances of a flowing river. A mix of canoes and kayaks allows everyone to try each in turn, or makes a great option for that odd person in your group (every group has one).

Tandem Kayaks

We also offer tandem (two person) kayaks. We have replaced the Loon 160 tandem kayaks with Necky Manitou II’s which have two separate cockpits. The front cockpit is fairly small though. The rental price for a tandem kayak is the same as that for a canoe. Please be advised paddling a tandem kayak takes a certain amount of acquired skill and coordination between the participants. Tandem kayaks are generally pretty sluggish and definitely do not do well in low water conditions. We call them divorce boats.

Kayak Tips

We have added 30 Current Design Kestrel 12 foot kayaks to our inventory. These new kayaks are more responsive but exhibit slightly less initial stability than the Old Town Loon 111’s we have been using for years (and which are out of production). The new Kestrels also have a large dry well. As always, all our kayaks have high seat backs providing excellent back support. We also stock larger solo kayaks for larger folks. Solo kayaks do quite well in low water conditions.


To receive quantity discounts, tube groups must pay as a group, not individually. 10 percent discounts for groups of 20 or more for any activity on any day. 20 percent discounts for any activity on any day regardless of group size for:
–Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops on official troop outings
–Church youth groups in which at least half the participants are under age 18
–School groups participating in sanctioned school events
–Active military (we deeply appreciate your service)

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