River Riders was the WORST experience I have ever had. My group and I went tubing and literally every few minutes we had to stop because one of us would be stuck on a rock. It made for a painful trip. We did do the white water tubing so rocks were expected to keep the rapids going but we did not have any more than 15-20 minutes of relaxation because we had to fight with the rocks pretty much the entire time. Along with the rocks, we had to fight with kayaks and white water rafts which made me feel really unsafe because being in a little tube doesn't offer much protection when a kayak rams into you (yes that happened). The directions for the exit was only on the wristband they give you and it is extremely ambiguous. There is an area about half a mile or so where apparently all the locals hang out and our group saw a lot of River Rider tubers getting off so we thought that is where we thought we were supposed to go...boy were we wrong. Once we fought through more rocks to get on the shore we then could see it wasn't the correct exit and we had no safe way of getting back into the water so we had to walk up the side of the mountain to the street and walk the 1/2 mile to the bus. The exit should be clearly marked if that many people mistake it for the end. My last concern is the locals that stand on the side of the river and scream rude comments. I pay for this attraction and I really don't feel comfortable bring my kids (recommended for 10 and over) down the river when there are people screaming about how we are dumb for paying so much money for a tube to float down a river and telling us to leave West Virginia along with some obscenities. I wrote River Riders a letter explaining my situation and its been 2-3 weeks and I have still not heard back from them. Terrible customer service and a terrible time. I recommend going somewhere else if you want to go tubing.
Thinking we'd save a few bucks and not understanding any real advantages to the "deluxe" tube, we rented the standard black tube. These tubes should not even be an option for people under 5'4"-- the hole that you sit in is too big for short people making it very uncomfortable and the diameter of the tube is too large to comfortably paddle with your arms or to kick off from rocks with your feet. This is especially dangerous in any kind of rapids.
The instructions that were given to our group on the bus before we left to go to the river were all verbal. NO maps, drawings, diagrams, nothing! We were told to look for bridges as markers which was helpful but the buoy we were told to "stay to the LEFT of" in order to get to the take out point was nonexistent. Actually, the get out point was on the right side of the river. Again, a map would have made it all clearer. Once you miss the take out point, you are in deep doodoo. The current was swift and you would soon be floating over to the MD side and frankly, I am not sure what you'd do then. Two in our group had to be helped to the take out point and it was very scary.
Be prepared to paddle (against the current) from the put in point about the length of 2 football fields with your arms kind of like backstroking (very tiresome and very painful ...tube rash on your arms) to get to where you need to float. LOTS of large rocks, shallow water, and swift currents.
ALSO, very important, check your tube when they hand it to you. Squeeze it hard and listen for air.... you shouldn't hear any! One in our group had a pin hole in his and it quickly shrank to about the size of a bike tire (no fun and very dangerous). They tell you two options for a popped tube are 1- share a tube with someone else....virtually impossible or 2- go to the side of the river and walk to the road where one of their buses may see you... good luck getting to the side with the swift currents!
One last point, after you get out and kiss the ground, you have to hike up a thankfully short hill BUT it is almost vertical ...to get to the road where the bus comes (funny none of the employees mentioned this hill...again a map or photo would have been helpful...expectation management is not one of this company's strong points) The girl who came to get us laughed when she was told of the tube with the pin hole....oh well, guess that was "waived" on the paperwork with all the initaling.
The highlight was the scenery. The mountains around you as you go down the river is breathtaking (that's why I gave atmosphere 5 stars). But I'd rather see it from the bank or maybe on one of the guided rafts next time.
Tubing in Harpers Ferry is a blast. Anybody in Washington, Dc or visiting must take a trip to Harpers Ferry to check it out. It's only about an hour and it's rapids from beginning to end. They're not big rapids, but none the less, you don't have to paddle, you can take a cooler and it's such a party. You'll have a good time. My friends and I go every year.
Currently closed in order to undergo restoration to public spaces and guest rooms; projected to re open in 2011. Amenities:Air
Conditioning (In Room). Telephone. Television (Cable/Satellite). Television. DVD/VCR. Daily Maid Service. Hotel Details:64 Rooms / 3 Floors. Built in ...
Primitive Waterfront campground in Historic Harpers Ferry. Dock your boat at your RV or tent. Whitewater Rafting, tubing, kayaking, canoeing,
biking available on site. Amenities: kayak. canopy tour/zip line on site. raft. marina and boat launch. bike rentals on ...