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“Awful Outfitter for Scout Group Boating Trip”

River & Trail Outfitters
Ranked #1 of 5 things to do in Knoxville
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: River and Trail Outfitters of Knoxville, Maryland has been family owned and operated since 1972. River and Trail offers guided and unguided white water and mellow water rafting, tubing, kayaking, canoeing trips as well as biking hiking, climbing and cross-country skiing in the historic and scenic Harpers Ferry, WV area. We also sell new and used canoes, kayaks and paddling accessories located in our shop. Check out our website for details on our various trips, ranging from our Paddle N Wine Tour to our Team Building
Germantown, MD
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Awful Outfitter for Scout Group Boating Trip”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 19, 2013

Our 2pm departure was delayed to 3:15pm. We were driven to a river that was 40 minutes away when we were originally supposed to leave from campground. Our bus driver took a wrong turn and drove into Virginia by accident and had to turn around. Finally got on water, our water trip took 3 hours and 15 minutes because it was such a slow river. Our original trip was supposed to be done in 2 or 2 1/2 hours. Got to the take out and had to wait over an hour for someone to come get us and the boats and then had a long ride back to camp. Ended up arriving at camp after 9pm, missed our group dinner, missed all of planned evening activities. This was an activity planned for a group of boy scouts and their families. Horrible trip. Never again.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank B R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiverTrailManager, Manager at River & Trail Outfitters, responded to this review, June 25, 2013
Dear BR,
Thank you for reporting the problems you had on your trip. As a member of the Baihly family that owns River and Trail Outfitters, I apologize for the inconveniences you and the others experienced. Due to high water levels on the Potomac we sent your group on a different river and obviously did not prepare our staff adequately. Nora, one of our managers, has spoken to one of your trip leaders and attempted to contact you by phone in an effort to ameliorate the situation. Please contact me personally if you would like.
Sincerely,
John Gonano
301.834.9950
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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368 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Disorganized and Unprofessional – Choose a Different Company”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 19, 2013

Paddling is fun, but don't expect a smooth experience if you rent boats from River and Trail Outfitters.

I just finished a canoe and kayak trip organized through them, and I am extremely disappointed. I thought it would be a fun day on the river with a few friends, but the company's staff was so unprofessional and disorganized that it put a big damper on the day.

I would have just shrugged off a problem or two, but the hits just kept coming:

1. The trip leader got us started about 30 minutes late.

2. The trip leader got us lost on the way to the pull out point. He drove a big bus that was full, so he asked if we could follow in our car. That seemed like a fine idea, except that he crossed a highway and, instead of stopping for us while traffic cleared, zoomed off and made another turn.

3. We couldn't find the bus, so we called the store to ask them to send the trip leader back to get us. When he got back, the driver berated us for not keeping up.

4. When we finally reached the creek to start paddling, the outfitters were two kayaks short. We had a group of six, and they only had enough for four of us.

5. At this point, it was about an hour after we were supposed to be on the water. They dug out a tandem kayak with broken seats and said that we could either use that or wait 40 more minutes for the kayaks we ordered.

I figured there were enough problems that I should tell the manager, so I headed back to the store after spending the day on the water. I also thought it was reasonable to request a refund for the broken tandem that they gave us instead of separate singles (not only because it was broken, but also because singles are more expensive). The manager, Rocky, scoffed at me for being dissatisfied and refused any kind of refund.

So apparently this is their typical customer service. I'd choose another company if I were you.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
6 Thank Hardy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiverTrailManager, Owner at River & Trail Outfitters, responded to this review, June 25, 2013
Dear Sir or Madam,
Thank you for reporting the problems you had on your trip. As a member of the Baihly family that owns River and Trail Outfitters, I apologize for the inconveniences you and the others experienced.
I would like the opportunity to find a way to make this up to you. Please contact me personally.
Sincerely,
John Gonano
301.834.9950
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great Girls Day Out”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 12, 2013

My daughters, ages 20 & 22, and I joined R & T for an afternoon of biking the C & O canal and paddling the Potomac. The staff was delightful and catered to our every need. We even were offered "Dorothy" style baskets for our bikes. The stretch of river we paddled, Brunswick to Point of Rocks, was calm with a couple of little ripples. It was very relaxing and offered great scenery. We will join them again for another adventure.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank tallyhojo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great Whitewater Kayaking!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 20, 2012

My 16-year-old daughter, her two friends, & I (60+ female) took this whitewater kayak trip with River & Trail. All of us had kayaked at least once, but only on flat water. Our guide, Jake, was great at talking us through the trip & giving us pointers. He led the way & we followed. It was SO much fun!! Don't hesitate if you have no experience, it's very doable, as long as you have even a smidgin of physical fitness.

I had done the rafting trip previously, when my daughters were 11 and 8, and we enjoyed that trip a lot. The kayakers travel ahead of the rafters along the same route. I'm not a hiker or a biker, but kayaking is a blast! I can't wait to try another trip.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank DCLawyerMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiverTrailManager, Manager at River & Trail Outfitters, responded to this review, October 8, 2012
Dear Lawyer Mom,
Great job taking the next step to take the sit-on-top ! We hope you come back soon.
-John Gonano
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“A Great Day on the River”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2012

We took our four children out for a day tubing on the Shenandoah River. Setting up the outing was easy and we had no problems. The day was a little bit overcast, so the crowds may have been lower than for a sunny day. A bus runs all day (10 AM to 5 PM) to take you to the river entry from which you drift 1.5 miles back to the lace where you park. We also did a combo deal where you can kayak or canoe. If you come there are not many picnic tables, so plan on bringing you own food and chairs, tables, etc. to use for picnicking. The changing areas and bathrooms are also primitive, so be prepared. The changing area is a tent separated into two areas by a wooden wall with benches and the bathrooms are port-a-johns. We made a reservation, but they are very loose about it. You can show up most anytime and get on the bus with your tube. Not fancy, but a lot of fun.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank slenker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiverTrailManager, Manager at River & Trail Outfitters, responded to this review, October 8, 2012
Dear Slenker,

Thanks for the helpful feedback! I'm glad you had a great day on the river. I hope you are able to bring your family back soon!
-John Gonano
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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