For more than 46 years, River & Trail Outfitters in Knoxville has led guided rafting trips at Harpers Ferry on the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers — from rip-roaring Class I and II rapids to relaxing, leisurely floats.

“Our rafting and water excursions are very adaptable to different abilities and age levels, so we’re not exclusive to one type of group or traveler,” said John Gonano, general manager at River & Trail Outfitters. “People come to River & Trail for expert river tours and to take in the beautiful scenery and history. We have beautiful weather in the fall, as colors start to show in October, which makes for great viewing while rafting, canoeing or kayaking.”

River & Trail Outfitters canoe
River & Trail Outfitters, Knoxville, Md.
Credit: River & Trail Outfitters

For a unique experience, groups can schedule a food- and drink-inspired river trip. The Food Float, which pairs River & Trail’s Antietam Civil War Kayaking Tour with a brunch before hitting the water, is a long-standing favorite. Or, groups can choose from a list of Paddle & Pour tours that feature stops at local distilleries and breweries along the trip.

“We attract a lot of groups to River & Trail Outfitters because our excursions provide a confluence of river adventure and history,” Gonano said. “People stop at River & Trail for fun on the river, whether it’s whitewater rafting, kayaking or tubing, but they also find a lot of history here. Our guided trips are a great way to see Harpers Ferry from the water, not to mention our close proximity to Washington, D.C., the Gettysburg battlefield, and historical cities like Baltimore and Philadelphia, which you can get to in a few hours.”

On the outfitter’s grounds, groups have their pick of a variety of accommodations, including RV camping, tent camping and cabin rentals. The Brunswick Campground, on the bank of the Shenandoah River, features five rustic cabins, which sleep up to six people. They also are outfitted with air conditioning, electricity and heat, and a covered, front porch. Hiking, biking, rock climbing and an 840-foot zipline are available to the public on-site.

River & Trail Outfitters provides group rates and discounts depending on the size of the group, as well as advance bookings.

Contact River & Trail Outfitters at 301-834-9950 or

Article by Erica Zazo