Take a kayak trip down one of the Roanoke area’s scenic rivers. The Roanoke River runs right through town, providing a great float that is easy to do in a few hours. The James River is only 35 minutes away for those looking for a bigger river and a longer day on the water. See below for more details.
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Kayak Rentals and Shuttles
We have a variety of kayaks available for rent, with great sections of the Roanoke River right out back. Our most popular float is a 5.5 mile stretch from Rotary Park in Salem right back to our shop, typically giving boaters 2 – 3.5 hours on the water. We also offer a shuttle service to get you and your gear to and from the river if needed. Or rent your kayak and take it wherever you may be going for the day or weekend. Please call ahead for multi-day rentals. See rental and shuttle pages for pricing, as well as our Maps page for some different options on the Roanoke River. Our shuttle service is not a guided trip so remember clients are responsible for themselves and the safety of their group on the water.
- Kayak, Paddle and Personal Floatation Device (PFD)
- Dry bag
Kayak Shuttle and Rental Information
- This is not a guided trip and participants are responsible for themselves and the safety of their group on the water. Designate a group leader.
- Participants should be able to swim.
- The minimum age we can shuttle and put on the river is 8.
- Personal Flotation Devices should be worn at all times on the river. Anyone under 16 must wear PFD at all times per State Law.
- Previous kayaking or canoeing experience is recommended.
- Avoid any dangerous obstacles. Portage around if needed. Never try to paddle through or over a downed tree or debris in the river.
- Make note of landmarks and reference points and remain aware of groups location at all times in case of emergency.
- Road access to the river is very limited in certain areas.
- Water shoes or tennis shoes are a must to protect your feet on the river. Flip-flops are not recommended and bare feet are not allowed.
- Participants should take a cell phone in case of emergency and for contact if help is required. We provide dry bags as well as 1 dry box for groups to keep their phone in.
- Bring adequate food and water.
- We recommend wearing synthetic clothing. It dries quickly whereas cotton gets wet and stays wet. Dress accordingly to the season and weather forecast. Extra layers for the dry bag are a good idea in Spring and Fall.
- We recommend bringing sunscreen, hat and sunglasses.
- No littering, pack it in, pack it out!
- Paddling and alcohol do not mix.
- We recommend not floating when combined water and air temperature is less than 110 degrees or water temp is less than 50 degrees.
- Know what your take-out point looks like. Make note of landmarks that you will recognize.
- GPS/Maps on your phone is often the best way to determine your location.
- Participants are responsible for any lost or damaged RMA gear.
- If emergency call 911 and RMA– 540-525-8295.
- If Lost or other help is needed, call RMA – 540-525-8295
Half Day Guided Kayak Trip
The Roanoke River running thru town and right in front of our shop makes it easy to get on the water when you only have a few hours. The Put in is a 15 minute drive from our shop and the takeout is just behind it. This is a nice 5.5 mile stretch with intermittent class I rapids with slower stretches in between.
- Experienced guide
- Kayaks, paddles and Personal Floatation Devices (PFD)
- Snacks and drinks
- Shuttle to and from river.
Total Trip time: 3 hours
James River Kayaking
As the Roanoke River becomes too low to run in the summer we can offer shuttles and guided trips on the James River. The James River is perhaps Virginia’s most famous and significant river, flowing through the Allegany Highlands into the Piedmont as it cuts through the Blue Ridge and on its way to the Chesapeake Bay. The James includes class I and II rapids as it passes through rural countryside with beautiful Blue Ridge views. Most sections have a nice mix of calm sections with great swimming opportunities with rapids in between. Please give us a call to inquire about options on the James.