Discover The Potomac/Fall Colors Trips Info Packet

Thank you for registering for beginner kayaking trips with Potomac Paddlesports! This packet of information is provided to help keep you organized and ensure that you are fully prepared for your lessons. Please review all of this information carefully at least one week prior to your lesson. You may contact us at any time with questions by calling 301-881-2628 or emailing us at


This packet contains the following:

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions.

  1. You have up to two years from your first trip to complete any membership package.
  2. Please schedule or re-schedule your trip online.
  3. You have up until 72 hours before start time to reschedule (please do so online). Guests who do not reschedule in time or don’t show up forfeit their trip. No exceptions are made to this policy and we do not offer refunds.
  4. Please do not wait until the last minute to prepare for your trip.
  5. Please arrive and be prepared fifteen minutes prior to your trip start time. (Late arrivals will not be admitted.)
  6. Personal floatation, paddle, and kayak are provided at no charge.
  7. Although our beginner trips do not include intentional capsizing, you could accidentally end up in the water. Therefore, in the spring and fall we require that all participants wear synthetic clothing that dries quickly. Patagonia Capilene is great for such a situation and it can be worn under basic nylon pants and jackets. Long pants are a good idea on many beginner trips. Visit our retail store for assistance with purchasing the right clothing for kayaking.
  8. On some trips, you will have to help carry your kayak on two short portages.
  9. Store your car key in a “Hide-a-Key” box or similar somewhere on your vehicle.
  10. You may repeat any trip at a discounted rate of 10%. Please call our registration office for further information.
  11. All trips meet rain or shine. A decision to postpone due to lightning or other dangerous conditions is made on-site at the last possible minute. (Mother Nature often cooperates if we wait and see.)
  12. For your safety and enjoyment, we request that you keep your personal information up to date via your schedule page. Please log in and update your info at

List of Things to Bring

The following list of things to bring is for your comfort, safety, and enjoyment of your on-water experience with us. ALL ITEMS ARE STRONGLY RECOMMENDED!
April - May, and September - November

  • Windproof nylon Jacket and pants
  • Synthetic under-layers
  • Year Round
  • One liter of water
  • Waterproof snack (Clif Bar, etc.)
  • Allergy medication (required for all severe reactions such as bee stings, peanuts, asthma, etc.)
  • Shoes that can get wet and have excellent traction.
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hat
  • Insect repellant (Optional)
  • Binoculars (Optional)
  • Waterproof bird guide (Optional)
  • Eyeglass strap (so you don’t loose your expensive prescription lenses)
  • Towel and change of clothes (In case you capsize.)
  • Tips for guide (Suggested)
  • Directions to Lesson Location

    The Discover the Potomac and Fall Colors trips are held at the Pennyfield Lock area of the C&O Canal National Historical Park off River Road in Potomac, Maryland. For alternate routes, or from points north or west, google 12100-12351 Pennyfield Lock Rd., Potomac, MD 20854.

    From the Capital Beltway (I-495), take River Road (exit 39) west towards Potomac.
    Continue west on River Road approximately 8.9 miles and make a left turn onto Pennyfield Lock Rd. (The sign for Pennyfield Lock Road is on your right and you will see a sign on the left that says “Historic Tobytown”)

    Drive to the end of Pennyfield Lock Road to a stop sign and park in the parking area immediately in front of you adjacent to the C&O Canal. You should see a 24’ Potomac Paddlesports trailer.

    PLEASE have all your clothing and supplies ready to go fifteen minutes prior to start time so that we can start promptly.

    Restrooms: If you make a left at the stop sign and continue to the end of the access road you should find the Port-o-Johns near the Pennyfield House. After you use them, please return to the parking area near the stop sign.