People kayaking through rapids
People kayaking down the river
People kayaking down the river
Group of kayakers on the river having fun

Guided River Kayaking

Ages

10+

Duration

Under 4 Hours

Season

June–September

Location

7 Main Street, Charlemont MA

Intensity

Moderate

Mild

Chill – These trips offer a mellow outdoor experience with a minimal (but not non-existent) chance of falling out of the boat. They require a basic level of fitness.

Moderate

Looking to Explore – These trips have some exciting parts and some more laid back parts. They require a moderate level of fitness.

Wild

Epic – These are our most exciting trips.
They require a higher level of fitness and carry a higher chance of falling out of the boat in challenging rapids.

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.

A Typical Day

Our Guided River Kayak trips will paddle a five-mile stretch of up to class II whitewater! Our guides are there to give you as little or as much help as you need. They will get you fitted correctly with your boat, lead you down the deepest river channels, show you the best eddies and surfs to catch, and they will also do their best to reunite you with your boat if you unexpectedly find yourself in the water.

Participants must be at least 10 years old and under 250 lbs for a single kayak. For guests exceeding 250 lbs or adults wishing to share a kayak with a youth, please call the office to book at 413-339-4010. We have a limited number of inflatable kayaks on reserve just for you.

All participants should be prepared to paddle and may have to self-rescue by climbing back up onto the kayak from the water or swimming the kayak, the paddle, and yourself to shore. Halfway through the trip, we’ll pull over at a private swimming area for a swim and a light snack and rehydration.

Please be on time, since we must work within the schedule of water releases decided on by the power company. You will be required to read and sign a release of liability at this time. All guests will be required to wear a Zoar Outdoor issued PFD (Personal Flotation Device) and helmet. You will also be provided with a paddle. Trips take place on the Fife Brook section of the Deerfield River in Northwestern Massachusetts.

Make it a full day with a multi-activity, single day Adventure Package!

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Expect everything you bring in the kayak to get wet!

Best options for clothing:

  • Bathing suit and/or shorts in the warmer weather, long pants and sweater made of wool, nylon, fleece, or polypropylene in the colder weather.
  • Sneakers or other shoes that can get wet and can remain securely on your feet during a whitewater swim.  (Bare feet and flip-flops are not allowed)
  • Avoid cotton clothing such as blue jeans, sweatshirts, or t-shirts as cotton keeps you cold when it gets wet and are not appropriate for this activity.
  • We provide all the kayak equipment!

A few more details: 

  • Wetsuits, splash jackets, and neoprene river booties are available for rental if you need them. Call our office or inquire when you arrive, and we’ll get you set-up!
  • Bring any required medications as well as extra money for souvenirs, coin-operated showers, or any other goodies.
  • 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. Keep your car keys with you during registration; we’ll collect those and put them in a lock box before gearing up, and then return them to you when you get back to Zoar.

All Participants must be 10 years old and up!

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.
  • Be able to walk on rocky, uneven ground and descend staircases with no railings.

A couple more details:

  • Our PFDs fit a maximum chest size of 56 inches.
  • 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.

Remember to read your confirmation letter (there is a lot of useful information in there!).

Call our office if you have any additional questions: 413-339-4010. They’re always happy to help!

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Words really cannot describe how amazing of an experience my family had last week! It was the most exhilirating yet relaxing four days! The guides were fantastic--it is evident everyone at ZOAR truly loves being a part of the ZOAR family. My 12 year old has already said when she grows up this is what she wants to do!! The kayaks were fantastic! Just a perfect, memorable family get away! Thank you--we'll see you again soon!!

Stephanie