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“Polite staff, fun tubing time!”

The Downriver Canoe Company
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Located at the Low Water Bridge in Bentonville, VA 22610 At our headquarters we have plenty of parking, two bathrooms, two changing rooms, a small retail shop with items useful on the river or gifts to take home to the folks who couldn't make it to the river!
Front Royal, Virginia
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Polite staff, fun tubing time!”
Reviewed 18 August 2013

We just had a girls' tubing trip this past weekend. It was a great time! The staff where super polite and helpful. They drove us out to a drop off point, where a nice man even offered us rope to tie our tubes together. It was beautiful scenery along the way. The river was a bit low, so we got a work-out climbing over rocks with our tubes. It just added to the fun. When we arrived back to the destination, a nice man offered us a hose to wash off our feet, and another brought us bags to put our wet clothes in after changing. Those little details made it a wonderful experience! The website says three hours, but it took closer to five with the water level. Plan your time accordingly. Rubber soled shoes are required, and for good reason- do not ignore this request! Very reasonably priced!

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Vapeach23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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47 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Washington, DC
Level 6 Contributor
198 reviews
84 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
“Beautiful ride, very helpful outfitter”
Reviewed 7 August 2013

Our family of four (two kids 9, 11) took a raft out with Downriver on a Saturday morning. Staff helped us figure out what kind of device (canoe, raft, tube, kayak) was best for what we wanted to do that day: toodle along the river, stop here and there, and not tip over! We were able to put our biggish cooler right into the raft, which was great. Staff here are very nice, professional, helpful and efficient. We had our life jackets on and were in our own minibus to the drop-in point in just a few minutes. The equipment was in great shape and the information they provided us about our trip was very helpful. The river is gorgeous - you can see clear to the bottom. We stopped at an island for lunch, wading and gazing. We arrived near 11am on a Saturday and they were getting busy. We had called ahead and reserved some spots - they told us on the phone that on weekends, particularly Saturdays, they often book up and reserving is a good idea. Lots of parking. Small shop with water shoes, t-shirts, souvenirs. A covered area where you can have a picnic. A great day, all in all. Would definitely return here.

Visited August 2013
Thank citysuburb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“What I Wish I Knew Before My Recent Trip Down The Shenandoah”
Reviewed 30 July 2013

I had been down the river before, in fact many times...but that was 20 years ago. Had it changed? Having recently rejuvenated some hobbies that had been shelved, I was pleasantly surprised how little the river had changed from what I remembered.

We arrived at the Downriver Canoe Company and just as many years ago was greeted by friendly people. They are celebrating 40 years in business this year and the secret of their success, well, is really is no secret at all. They are just awesome to work with and conveniently located right next to the Low Water Bridge. Within a very short amount of time we were being taken upriver for the 7 mile trip (Trip #3 Burners Bottom). The cost was reasonable at $69 and included all canoeing equipment necessary for a safe trip down the river. I have some suggestions as what additional to take on the river and will cover that later. Depending on the water level and how much time you spend swimming/fishing/playing will determine how long the trip will take you. My personal favorite level for the river is between 3' and 3.5' which gives just enough current to push you along but not so much that you feel rushed or in danger. This day we were in luck as the water was a little over 3' with crystal clear clarity. At this level you should plan on between 4 and 7 hours for a leisurely trip although you can paddle it straight in 2.5 hours.

What to bring...
SUNSCREEN! This is NOT optional unless you just happen to be Aboriginal and the sun doesn't bother you. You will be fried like a piece of bacon if you don't wear sunscreen, I think my boating partners would agree with me on this first trip tip.
Cooler with ice and plenty of hydrating liquids.
Snacks... energy food is key
Seat cushions...sitting with a wet butt on those seats becomes very uncomfortable quickly, I suggest some flat foam floats (seat cushions) from the dollar store or sporting goods store. Dry Bag...can buy one at Walmart for about $10 to put anything in you don't want to get wet.
Fresh change of clothes for the end of the trip
Fishing gear (AWESOME fishing)... the black Berkley Gulp Helgamites unweighted work best for me.
Camera... WAY to beautiful not to take pictures.
Anchor and rope... this is NOT supplied by the outfitter but is key when you want to stop just anywhere and fish.

After mile marker 25 the river gets shallower and doesn't run as fast. The last 3 miles involve more paddling than the first 4.5 miles do. Put your fishing poles away and save your energy for the push to the end.

I hope this short story of my trip will make your trip down the river more enjoyable. Since the trip described above I have purchased a used canoe from Downriver Canoe Company and have been back 3 additional times in the last 45 days. When you go in look for the guy in the hat who is always smiling... that is John who owns Downriver. Tell him Jim sent you :)

Visited June 2013
2 Thank James T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chesapeake, Virginia
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Very friendly and laid back”
Reviewed 28 July 2013

The people at Downriver were very nice and attentive. The scenery on the section of the river they drop you off at for tubing is beautiful. We had a great time and would highly recommend to anyone looking for something relaxing and low key.

Visited June 2013
Thank Christina M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laurel, Maryland
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Friendly Staff, Fast Service, No Hassles”
Reviewed 11 July 2013

3 of us rented 1 canoe and 1 kayak for a 2 day trip. We parked our car and set up a tent at a very nice campsite that the Downriver company has - it at the halfway point for the ~24 mile 2 day trip. Their shuttle picked us up at the campground and dropped us off at the beginning of the route, up river.

Their equipment is perfect for the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. The river has a couple of class 2 rapids, then some other ripples along with slower, lumbering stretches of the river - it was excellent for the beginner in our group and for us other 2 who have canoe/kayak experience.

Scott was our first shuttle driver, very personable and pleasant. So was everyone else we dealt with from the Downriver Company.

Visited July 2013
Thank DoctorDisco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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