Watermelon Park is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains right along the Shenandoah River.
This is a great way to relax, make some memories with the family while being surrounded by beautiful scenery.
Tubing at Watermelon Park is so much fun and you can expect to spend around 2 – 3 hours floating down the river depending on the river’s condition that day.
Watermelon Park is a family owned and operated campground on the Shenandoah River with the best tubing rates around.
While most tubing outfitters in the area are located in Harpers Ferry, WV, Watermelon Park makes its home along the banks of the river in Berryville, VA.
Tubing at Watermelon Park
The depth of the water varies by the time of year and of course how much rain there has been. At some points during the year it is only a couple of feet deep which can actually be nice for kids to be able to get off the tube and into the water to play.
The river is shallow and there are many rocks to stand on so having water shoes (or at least old sneakers) is helpful.
If you have a child close to 4 feet they will be able to find a spot to stand most of the way.
The river is very slow moving so getting out to swim doesn’t put you in danger of losing the group or your tube.
With kids, the 2-hour+ journey down the river works and they’re ready to go once they see the flag signaling the end of the floating ride.
Other Activities at Watermelon Park
Kayaking is another popular option at the park. There are different destinations and you can choose routes that go from 1 – 7 hours.
The shorter trips will take you down secluded sections of the Shenandoah and the semi-long trip even has class I and II areas.
On the longest trip, although probably too long with kids unless they’re much older, you are likely to see some amazing birds like Bald Eagles, Osprey, Blue Herons and others.
Other activities include:
- Relaxing on the river bank
- Sports: soccer and volleyball
- Canoeing & kayaking
Watermelon Park Tubing Tickets & Pricing
The tubing prices are straightforward: $20 for a tube rental, $15 for a floating cooler rental and an all-day tube rental is $30.
Tax isn’t included so it will be a little more. You’ll also want to plan to bring some extra cash to tip the shuttle driver which is strongly encouraged.
You can make reservations here.
On site, you’ll be able to buy snacks and drinks if you’d like, such as: water, Gatorade, soft drinks, candy and snacks.
What The Tubes Are Like
The tubes all have a drink holder in them if you just want to bring a standard disposable water bottle or something of similar size and shape.
Two types of tube rentals are available. Standard donut shaped tubes and tubes with a bottom in them with a little back rest for smaller travelers.
We opted for the solid bottom tubes for our girls, ages 6 and 7 since this was their first time but they spent most of the float swimming in the water or sharing tubes with one of the adults.
Tube rentals for families also come with ropes to keep your tubes tied together.
When to Go & Hours of Operation
Tubing typically opens in early June. Before heading out, always make sure to check the weather in Berryville and not just your home town to make sure the weather is good.
For the best update, check the Watermelon Park River Adventures Facebook page.
Tubing is open so long as the weather permits.
Tubing hours are:
- Tuesday – Friday from 10am – 5pm
- Saturday – Sunday from 9am to 6pm
- Tubing is closed on Monday
As you can imagine, going on a weekday draws a much smaller crowd as compared to the weekends.
We’ve also found when there has been some rain in the area, people tend to not come out so that could work in your favor if the rain passes.
While this is a family-friend outing, more people tend to bring “coolers” on the weekends.
What to Bring
You’ll definitely have more fun if you come fully prepared for your day on the river. Here is what we recommend you consider bringing:
- Water shoes (in case you want to get out of your tube while in the water)
- Lots of water
- Cash tip for the shuttle driver
- A change of dry clothes
- Waterproof camera
- Picnic (for before or after)
Watermelon Park is located at: 3322 Lockes Mill Road, Berryville, VA 22611
It’s a straightforward drive using the GPS. The last bit is a more narrow road with some tree branches hanging over the road. It’s fine for regular cars and tighter for RVs.
Note: Cell phone signal is not always the greatest here depending on your provider.
There is more than enough parking on site.
Good to Know Before You Go
- No personal tubes are allowed
- Life jackets are available upon request.
- You will need to complete a waiver before tubing. You can print and complete it before going if you prefer.
- This activity is good for all ages
- Bring a waterproof camera if you have one. It’s nice to get shots of the family enjoying the water. If you don’t have a waterproof camera, a waterproof case for your phone is good too.
- Bring life jackets for non-swimmers and little ones (or request one on-site)
- Pack a picnic lunch for before or after you float. There are several picnic tables located near the check in point and down by the river where you take out.
- Make sure to check the weather report for cities further out such as Leesburg and Winchester to ensure you don’t make the trip there to find storms brewing.
If you’re sticking around in Berryville for more time, here are a few other activities you can do in the area:
- Play at the playground and covered sandbox at Chet Hobert Park (13 minutes)
- Grab a slice of Peach Berry Pie and fresh produce at Nalls Farm Market (12 minutes)
- The Watermelon Pickers’ Fest takes place in September if you want to coordinate visits (14 minutes)
- Shop for hand crafted, fair trade items from around the world at My Neighbor and Me (12 minutes)
- Pick-your-own fruit at Mackintosh Fruit Farm (19 minutes)
Watermelon Park provided a great first tubing experience for us as a family and we hope to return next summer for more fun on the river.