The UMW SBDC puts river adventures business on solid ground – Rappahannock Adventures

Woodie Walker always harbored a love for history and the outdoors – especially being physically on the water. Earlier this year the University of Mary Washington (UMW) SBDC helped him turn those two passions into two new businesses: Rappahannock Adventures, a history-themed tour of Virginia’s Rapidan River, and E & L Acres, a plant nursery specializing in growing trees in demand by the federal government.

“I was in the military for ten years and then in conservation,” says Woodie. His conservation and historical pursuits have led him to serve with organizations including Friends of the Rappahannock and the Rappahannock Tribe.

Those pursuits also brought him to Fredericksburg where he began leading history-themed tours of the neighboring Rappahannock River.

“I started with a Civil War Paddle and Native American History Hike,” he notes. “My hook was history, and people loved it.”

As a lifelong learner, Woodie’s passion for the past still drove him to learn more. In 2020, at 58 years old, he earned a master’s in history from University of Mary Washington and became a historian and environmentalist for the Rappahannock Tribe in Tappahannock. From there, he took his passions a step further and launched his own business, doing so with the help of UMW SBDC Director Susan Ball  continue reading…