Learn basic kayak rolling skills under the guidance of ACA-certified instructors!
Captain Your Own Kayak on Class I-II Rapids
All guided river kayaking trips meet at our base in Charlemont, MA.
Kayaking down Massachusetts’ Deerfield River is a great way to see the Berkshires and spend a warm summer day outside and active! These boats are easy to paddle and very stable, making them a great way to get a taste of whitewater kayaking with minimal instruction.
We use single kayaks daily from May through September. Singles are great for children at least 10 years old and adults under 250 pounds who want the freedom to challenge the river on their own, while doubles give kids as young as seven an opportunity to share a boat with an adult and enjoy the river. Guides accompany every trip on the river to help you find the correct line and to maximize your river experience.
While these trips are not instructional clinics, they are a wonderful way to explore the Deerfield River with a guide close by to offer support, paddling suggestions and insight into the natural and cultural history of the area.
Featuring both Class I and II rapids, as well as opportunities to swim and splash in the waters of the Deerfield, this trip provides a wonderful afternoon adventure for families, schools, scout and camp groups. We meet at 1:45 p.m. each day and the trip takes about three to three and a half hours, including registration, outfitting and transportation to the river.
- What To Bring
You are required to wear sneakers or other shoes that can be secured to your feet. No flip-flops or Crocs! In warm summer weather, some guests are comfortable in bathing suits/swim trunks or light layers. However, we ask you to not wear cotton, as it will keep you cold and wet throughout the trip. Wool and synthetic materials such as polypropylene, nylon, and fleece, are appropriate for cooler weather and water temperatures. Wetsuits, splash jackets, and neoprene river booties are available for your use.
Bring any required medications as well as extra money for souvenirs, coin-operated showers, etc. Before the trip, please leave any and all valuables including money as well as your dry clothes and towels for after the trip in your locked vehicle. Expect everything you bring with you on the raft to get wet. Keep your car keys with you during registration, as we will collect those and put them in a lock box before gearing up, then return them to you when you get off the boats.
- Pre-Trip Requirements
For all of our whitewater trips, guests must be able/willing to do the following: Wear a helmet and our personal flotation device (PFD), respond to and follow verbal or visual instruction, roll from front to back in water while wearing a PFD, demonstrate dynamic sitting position (sitting upright), and float with feet up in water.
Specifically for our Guided River Kayaking, guests should be able to paddle in the rapids, but with frequent rests. Remain calm, lay flat, and orient their body so their feet are aiming downstream if they find themselves unexpectedly in the water. In the event that they lose their kayak, guests need to be able to swim their boat and themselves to shore. Our PFDs fit a maximum chest size of 56 inches, and our single kayaks are designed for guests 250 lbs or less. Our double kayaks are intended for an adult and a youth to paddle together or one adult that exceeds 250 lbs.
Don’t forget to read your confirmation letter (there is a lot of useful information in there!). Call our office if you have any additional questions. We’re always happy to help!