Family Weekender: Washington, D.C.

Rappahannock River
By Mary Burnham
Go Guide: Rappahannock River
Who can go : 12 and up for kayaking lessons; 5 and up for canoe and tube rentals.
Activities : Kayaking, canoeing, tubing.
Distance from D.C.: 1 hour.
Getting there : From I-95, take exit 133A onto Route 17 south. Go right on Route 1 south, right at second light, to the Virginia Outdoor Center, 3219 Fall Hill Ave., Fredericksburg.
Contact : Virginia Outdoor Center, (877) 752-9822.
Reference : Classic Virginia Rivers: A Paddler's Guide to Premier Whitewater and Scenic Float Trips in the Old Dominion by Ed Grove (Eddy Out Press, 703-533-8334).
Extra treats : For a more leisurely day on the river, rent canoes or tubes with a shuttle from Virginia Outdoor Center.

In a split second you are underwater, upside down, dangling from the cockpit of a kayak. Not a very natural position, granted, but the underwater exit is one of the first, and most vital, maneuvers you'll learn in a beginner kayak class on the Rappahannock River.

Younger or less adventurous kids may prefer rafting or a fun canoe trip. Fortunately, the Rappahannock is a great river for almost any kind of water sport, even intertubing.

Whether you're out for whitewater or flat water, you'll find it here, with a mile of Class II and III rapids running through Fredericksburg, and calm coastal waters downriver and upstream.

Start with an outfitter to provide all the gear you'll need, plus lessons and transportation to the river.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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