River FAQs & Policies

Almost all general information about our river trips is contained below in the FAQs. Parking & direction information, as well as the policy & registration waiver are contained on separate pages under our River Trips page. If your questions aren't answered please call our office at 781.206.4750.

What’s included with the trip?

Included with your trip is a boat, paddle, life jacket, snack, shuttle, water refills, and a river guide. Your guide will also snap a few photos to share with you after the trip.

What should I bring?

You should bring appropriate clothing including foot wear and a hat (see ‘What should I wear?’ below), any medications you may need while on the water,  a signed waiver if you haven’t emailed one in already, a water bottle, sun glasses with a neck strap, sun tan lotion, a change of clothes and a towel to leave in your car, and a snack if you have food allergies. Leave any valuables locked in your car including money, jewelry, and phones. We’ll keep your keys safely in our van during your trip so you’ll have them at take-out. Do not bring keys on the river! Assume everything you bring on the river will get wet.

Will I get wet?

A little bit most likely. Water tends to drip down the kayak paddle and onto arms and legs. It’s also often preferred to step into the water to get in and out of the kayak or canoe, up to your ankle or calf. Splash fights are pretty popular too. There is also opportunities to swim during breaks or at put-ins and take-outs. 

How challenging is it?

All of our trips travel down the river at a leisurely pace with time to take in sites, appreciate our surroundings, and chat with one another. Trips are designed for a wide range of abilities. At a minimum, paddlers should be able to enter and exit their boat either unassisted or with very little assistance, walk to & from put-in & take-out points, and be able to swim unassisted to the side of the river while wearing a life jacket. While we plan our trips to take very little physical effort, the wild setting of the rivers can include high winds and flowing tides with strong currents to paddle against. Paddlers should be 250 lbs or under with no significant medical conditions.

Will there be photos of my trip?

Yes! One of your guides will snap a few photos of the trip and be happy to share them with you before you depart for the day. Though we definitely recommend leaving your phone in your car, you may bring it on the trip at your own risk and take as many pictures as you like. We recommend using a water tight container designed for outdoor use to protect your phone while on the river, like an otter box, dry bag, or waterproof phone case. Zip-lock bags are not reliable for phone protection on the river.

What should I wear?

The clothing you wear can have a significant impact on your enjoyment of the river trip. We recommend:

  • a hat keeps the sun off your head, face, neck, and shoulders
  • footwear that will stay securely on your feet, can get wet, and provide confident traction on wet rocks, like sandals with a heal strap or old sneakers without socks
  • non-cotton light long-sleeved shirt and long-pants to keep the sun off your arms and thighs
  • a second non-cotton layer for your torso in-case you get cold, like a fleece
  • sunglasses with a neck strap so they can’t be lost
  • some people like to wear paddling or wetsuit type gloves
  • suntan lotion

How will the trip go?

Follow the parking information provided and we’ll meet you to begin our trip. We’ll talk with you to answer any initial questions you might have, to ensure all waivers and reservations are finalized, and to make sure everyone has a full water bottle, appropriate clothing, and any needed medications.

From there we’ll fit you with a life jacket, then get our boats and paddles to the launch point. Before launching we’ll have a group safety and instruction talk, then we’ll head for the boats. Once everyone is comfortably in their boats we’ll make sure everyone has the basics down and we’ll set out, either upstream or down depending on the tides.

Along the way we’ll keep an eye out for wildlife, talk about the history of the area, continue to work on our boating skills, tell jokes, enjoy nature, and maybe have a splash fight. At a mid-point, on most trips, we’ll stop to stretch our legs and have a snack or a meal. We’ll load back into the boats and continue our trip until we reach take-out.

From there we’ll tend to the gear, rinse off our feet, and reflect back on our trip. If you are not at your car at this point we’ll shuttle you to it. Trips run from 2 – 12 hrs, with 3.5 hrs being standard.

Can I book a trip last minute?

We do our best to accommodate last-minute reservations, but most of our trips are fully booked ahead of time. If the trip is available for booking online with the number of slots available that you need, the trip is still available. If there are no slots available, but you would still like to try and go on the trip, call our office at 781.206.4750 and we’ll do our best to accommodate.

Can I book a double kayak for two adults, or a canoe?

Our double kayaks are intended for an adult and a youth to paddle together, or one adult that exceeds 250 lbs, the recommended maximum weight for a single kayak. We do have a couple double kayaks & canoes available that are ideal for two adults, or even two adults & a small child. If you have concerns about booking into individual kayaks, please call our office at 781.206.4750 and we would be happy to answer any questions. 

Is it safe? 

While we have an excellent record, the sport of river running has inherent risks. It should be recognized that accidents can and do occur. For this reason, we cannot assume responsibility for injury or loss of property. Participants in all activities will be required to sign a waiver stating they are aware of the risks involved and are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Those with health problems limiting their normal activities may be prohibited from participation at South Shore Outdoors’ discretion. Pregnant women are prohibited from participating in river trips. 

What if I have food allergies?

All of our meals & snacks are either prepared by local restaurants or purchased at grocery stores. We do not purchase food with nuts, but cannot guarantee that the ingredients do not contain nuts or other food allergens. If you have food allergies or other special dietary needs, we strongly suggest you bring your own snack in non-glass containers and we will pack it with the trip. You're also welcome to call our office at 781.206.4750 with any questions about the snack.

Are wetsuits recommended?

No, wetsuits are not recommended. Though we are often out in early and late season when water temperatures are low, and often early in the morning or during adverse weather when air temperatures are low, we remain dry or mostly dry during river trips. If you happen to fall into the water completely, you’ll usually be able to dry during the remainder of the trip without sacrificing comfort. Please avoid wearing cotton layers on river trips as wet cotton conducts heat away from your body. If you are a naturally cold person, be sure to wear one more layer than recommended in the “what should I wear” FAQ response.

Do you have group rates?

Our rates are listed with each trip, including the number of slots available for any given trip. Groups of 5 or more receive discounted pricing. For example, on the South River, if you book 5 paddlers you get it for the price of 4. If you have a group larger than the number of slots available, please call our office at 781.206.4750 and we’ll do our best to accommodate your group.

What do I do with my car keys?

Given your car keys to the guide or shuttle driver before the van leaves your group and we’ll keep them locked away then return them to you at take-out.

Should I tip my guide? 

This is at your discretion. If you feel the service you receive from your guide is exceptional, and you want to say "thank you" with a tip, although it is not expected, it is always appreciated.

Can I request a guide?

If there is a guide you would prefer we will do our best to match their schedule to yours. Simply request your guide when you make your reservation. Please be aware that we are not always able to match requests, but we will do our best!

Weather policy

We run our trips rain or shine, so you should come prepared for the weather. If we do have to cancel the trip, that decision would be made on the morning of the trip. However, it’s rare that weather forces us to cancel our river trips. If you are concerned about the forecast for your trip, you’re welcome to give our office a call at 781.206.4750.

Alcohol and Drug Policy

The use of recreational drugs or alcohol is prohibited on all programs. If you arrive under the influence, you will be prohibited from participating in the day's activity and you will not receive a refund. 

Cancellation policy

Cancellations made more than 48 hrs before the trip time will receive a full refund. Cancellations made 48 hrs or less before the trip time will receive a 50% refund. If the trip is cancelled for weather you will receive a full refund.

Phones, Drones, Electronic Devices Policy

Drones are prohibited on all of our trips. 

Though we definitely recommend leaving your phone or other electronic devices in your car, you may bring them on the trip at your own risk. We recommend using a water tight container designed for outdoor use to protect your devices while on the river, like an otter box, dry bag, or waterproof phone case. Zip-lock bags are not reliable for phone protection on the river. Music is prohibited on most outings. Music on group outings is allowed at the guide's discretion.