Summer is the perfect time to go tubing. Grab some sunscreen and get out on those Maryland rivers!
Tubing combines the best of both worlds – technically, you're outside and doing something, but on the other hand, you don't even have to paddle. Sure, kayaking and canoeing are nice and all, but wouldn't you rather just flop down on a tube and let the current do the work? Grab a few friends and a cooler and head to one of these spots to try your hand at tubing down a river.
As an activity, tubing is great for anyone ages 6 and up. You should be able to comfortably sit in/on an inner tube for anywhere from two to five hours so this might not be the best bet for anyone with back or neck problems. Most excursions will only allow groups of two or more so check the fine print before you book. Safety vests will be provided with your tube rental fees.
The best way to prepare is to bring the right gear. Water shoes, plenty of sunscreen, and a hat or visor are the bare minimum if you're going out on a hot, sunny day. You'll also be INFINITELY happier if you bring your own cooler packed with ice, snacks, and beverages. Floating can be thirsty work!
You'll check in at an outpost and either be transported to a drop site or picked up at a landing site. That's it! Excursions go out in groups, so there will be plenty of company on the river. Now that you've got the basics down, here are two Maryland companies that will get you out on the water.
River and Trail Outfitters
ADDRESS: 604 Valley Road | Knoxville, MD
PHONE: (301) 834-9950
RATES: $46 per person
DURATION: 4-5 hours
The tube rental fees at River and Trail Outfitters include a waterfront picnic (with fried chicken!) and guides in canoes following you every step of the way. This extra layer of security is a nice touch for novice tubers! This company offers significant discounts on group excursions, so try to get a big group together.
Courtesy of River and Trail Outfitters
Monkton Bike Rentals
ADDRESS: 1900 Monkton Road | Monkton, MD
PHONE: (443) 212-5951
RATES: $25 per person on weekdays, $30 per person on weekends | $15 per person for small children
DURATION: 1.5- or 2.5-hour trips offered
It's a bit more DIY with Monkton Bike Rentals. You check in at the shop and walk either 15-20 or 25-30 minutes for your choice of tubing routes. There is no pickup or drop-off service with this one!
Courtesy of Monkton Bike Rental
If you have your own tube and want to try going out on your own, Deer Creek is where the locals like to float. You do so at your own risk and there are currently no lifeguards or guided tours on this stretch of water. Find more information about tubing in this area here.
Are you a big tubing fan? What should every first-timer know about how to have a great time on the water? Let us know in the comments!