Grab a kayak and go: Local business offers families a fun and affordable day trip down the river

Editor’s note: Soon after this interview took place, Day Trippin Adventures announced that due to unforeseen events, it will not be running regular weekend trips for the rest of the 2020 season. We have chosen to publish this story because Day Trippin Adventures plans to return in the 2021 season. Moreover, the outdoors outfitter is still available for special and private events. Please contact Day Trippin at 304-516-6353 for more information. Anyone with a currently scheduled trip will be contacted for the purpose of rescheduling or canceling.

BUCKHANNON – Day Trippin Adventures offers outdoor exploration on local rivers and lakes.

The owner and operator of Day Trippin Adventures Alan Stephens said he is a full-service outfitter offering tube rentals, guided fishing trips and more.

“My main goal is to bring more of the outdoor recreation aspect to Buckhannon,” Stephens said. “A lot of our surrounding areas are absolutely beautiful and there’s a lot of kayaking and fishing and river activities outside the area, but many people in the area don’t really realize that’s around.”

“My goal in the long run is to is to introduce kayaking, water sports and paddle sports into the immediate area, and then eventually not even stick to the water,” he added. “I would like to just have outdoor adventures; I would like to plan on doing mountain bikes in the near future as well.”

His current goal is to provide a fun family activity to the area and to show not all outdoor activities have to be extreme.

“A lot of companies in West Virginia are really geared towards extreme outdoor adventures — for example, rock climbing and whitewater rafting,” Stephens said. “I really want to show people that paddle sports is a family-friendly activity as well.”

Day Trippin Adventures provides customers with the boats, a ride/shuttle to a location and then information for a trip down the river; these river experiences are unguided.

“My trips are unguided,” Stephens said. “I do offer guided fishing trips, but they’re not as prevalent as the unguided trips I offer. Basically, I’m just a means for your family to have their own experience: I supply the boats, I supply the information, I supply the ride, and then it’s really up to you to have the experience, but I don’t do guided trips as far as flatwater kayaking.”

He said his most popular river experience begins at the Hampton boat ramp in the Sago area and ends at the Riverwalk boat ramp in Buckhannon.

“I drop them off with their boats at Hampton, and I give them instructions on where to get off. Then, I see if they have any questions because a lot of my customers are first-time kayakers, so I’ll offer brief instructions, a safety brief and we’ll get them on the water,” Stephens said. “When they feel comfortable, I’ll send them on their own, and they will end up at the Riverwalk, where I will meet them, pick up their boats and they get back in their vehicle.”

He said the trips he offers vary in length and in the end, the paddler determines how long the trip is. For example, he said the trip from Hampton to the Riverwalk is roughly two-and-a-half hours but has taken paddlers both shorter and longer amounts of time.

“You can choose that two-and-a-half hours by casually paddling every once in a while, just kind of floating with the river,” Stephens said, “but I’ve seen that done in an hour or an hour-and-a-half, I’ve seen it take four hours, take five hours. It really varies depending on the people themselves; however, at the usual casual pace most people go, it is typically about two-and-a-half hours.”

Trips can be scheduled throughout the week by calling 304-516-6353, but the actual trips take place on the weekend.

“It’s weekends only for the most part,” Stephens said. “I am a one-man show, and I also have a regular job, so I’m not available during the week. Certain holidays, I am available because I work for the state, so any holiday that’s on the calendar, we have off.”

Day Trippin Adventures also offers a shuttle service for people who have their own boats.

“A lot of people are buying their own boats, which is fantastic,” Stephens said. “That is something I highly encourage. I have a trailer, and I have a van, so how it works is, if you have your own kayak, or canoe or whatever you prefer, I can always meet you, say at the Riverwalk, and I can get up and take you off river.”

Stephens said he updates Day Trippin Adventure’s Facebook page regularly and people can look for updates on special events.

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