How to portage from take out?

Me and the wife have just purchased a used OT Disco and just got back from our first paddle (flatwater lake). We are interested in paddling some slow moving rivers class I or II at the most. It seems like the only way to do this is to drive two vehicles and park one…drive back…canoe…load and drive two cars back home. That doesnt make it seem very enjoyable to me. Any suggestions on finding canoe liverys that will portage for a fee and what is a reasonable fee for this service? BTW…most river runs would be in West Virginia.


Do you bike at all?
What “the bride” and I do when we are by ourselves and want to run a river.

We bring a old beater bike, (actually it is a pretty nice road bike -has done many century rides)

I drop her off at the put-in with the canoe, gear, a book and some bug spray.

I drive to the take out and leave the truck/car there.

I then peddle back to where she is at the put-in, and we lock the bike to a tree or post.

We take off in the canoe, and after we take out, we go and get the bike.

I end up getting a nice bike work out as well as a paddle.

check with any of the local outditters.

I know along the New river here in Nc of at least two that you can pay to get a shuttle from.



What you are calling portage
is called a shuttle. Portaging is just taking the boat out of the water to go around an obstacle.

Often the shuttle is very short compared to the drive to the river, but you always need two vehicles (unless you bike). If you are new to whitewater, hook up with some other folks in your area and they can at least help keep you and the wife from having to drive separate.


Shuttling is a fact of life

– Last Updated: Jun-08-08 8:45 PM EST –

for most river paddlers. Try to hook up with your local chapter of the AMC or any other paddling group so you get to know new people and don't have to worry about shuttle logistics.

If you start paddling whitewater, even class II, make sure you get the proper instruction and outfitting in your boat. Water doesn't have to be moving very quickly to get you into trouble.

You didn’ say what part of W.Va. …

– Last Updated: Jun-08-08 9:19 PM EST –

......... but if you try typing in "canoe shuttle W.Va" on your browser you may find some interesting shuttle services asso. with livery renters .

In time you may have some friends who are interested in getting (or already have) a canoe also and do the 2 canoe party thing . To my knowledge any outfitter on a river who rents canoes will also provide a canoe owner with a shuttle for a reasonable fee . On that note , look for canoe rentals on the W.Va. rivers to find that shuttle .

Are you anywhere near Paw Paw ??

what i do
I often go our for a quick 20 mile run down the river. Solo- or tandem

I take the boat, gear, and if tandem, the other person. Drop them off at the start.

Drive to the takeout where you plan on ending.

I always bring a paddle and wear my life jacket and bring a small cardboard sign that says… “17-Miles”

I ususally get a ride the first couple cars, WHY? well if i was some homeless drifter i wouldnt be wearing a life jacket and carrying a paddle. Plus the fact they know how far you need to go helps too. That way when the see “17 miles” they know they can put up with me for 20 minutes. I usally toss a few buck on the seat when i jump out and say thanks.

Another plan…if you go with anothr couple…well you each drive. put both boats on one car and leave the empty one at the take out.

Another options is paddle up river and paddle back.

Other option: only paddle lakes.

We live in…
Huntington, WV. Not near Paw Paw…which I had to look up becuase I had never heard of it. We have several Corps of Engineers Lakes within a 1 hour drive so we will spend alot of time on those. But would like to travel to other parts of WV to try out some rivers.

I used to do that solo…

…start out paddling upstream. Obviously you are

somewhat limited in the current speed, but you can

do it.

After going your distance upstream, go back to the car.

Starting out upstream is critical. Otherwise you’ll

get too far away from your car, you’ll be tired, AND

you’ll be facing an upstream paddle.

you paddle UP-stream. then paddle and or float back.

Around Fayetteville, West Virginia
For the New River Gorge National River we use Frank’s Bait Shop to shuttle our cars. It costs $35 per car, but with 5 people per car that’s not bad, and we don’t have to drive an extra two hours shuttling back and forth.

Frank Hartenstein

Frank’s Bait Shop

Thurmond Road (between Glen Jean and Thurmond)

(304) 469-9660

what type river…
is it on that trip around Thurmond? Pretty easy to start out on? I can be there in just over 1 1/2 hrs

learn to pole
That way you can go downstream and then pole up.

One of the best whitewater paddlers in
our club has a great system when he wants to take his wife and do something completely different. He scouts the maps for relatively big flatwater rivers below the fall line in Georgia, focusing on some that have sections dividing between islands. They go to a bridge ramp, hop in the tandem, paddle upstream along one bank and on one side of islands. Then when they’re a little tired, they turn and go down the other bank, and on the other side of the islands. They do these trips at times of the year when the river current is low to moderate. With shuttle eliminated, it makes their day seem shorter, even allowing for a bit of distance from Atlanta.

I’m a decent poler myself, but poling with another in the boat does get difficult. Two person poling requires extraordinary coordination.

I’ve found…
that local liveries charge a LOT to shuttle you to a put in spot. I’ve called around and they charge way too much. It seems unless you drive a semi, it’s much more economical to just drive two cars. The local livery charges like 25$ or 30$ to shuttle you for a 2 hour trip…ridiculous. that’s just hauling you and your boat on a trailer with a bunch of others and dropping you off. I mean, I know gas is a little outrageous, but come on.

If you don’t want to bike then buy you a little scooter to ride back to the put in spot. Be sure to chain it up before you start downriver.

I like the bike idea…
and I have a good road bike. It will require some pre-planning with maps etc and checking it all out once we arrive but I think we will try it.

I found a good resource book on WV canoeing that has info on the type of water, when to run it, shuttles etc:

Also found this link for companys that shuttle on differnet streams: