Whitewater rafters on New River can enjoy gentle options, outfitter says

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A duo paddles a gentle rapid on the New River in an inflatable kayak. Photo courtesy River Expeditions.

A whitewater-rafting trip on the New River may be the most exciting adventure many people experience, but one outfitter is ensuring guests have the opportunity to enjoy its lighter aspect.

Entry-level float trips can provide beginners and families with children as young as six an ideal introduction to the river — affordable excursions that don’t require technical know-how or confrontations with big waves, says Heather Johnson of River Expeditions.

These low impact or “soft” adventures for multi-generational families allow guests to explore the wonders of the national parkland of the New River Gorge in West Virginia without the stress, she says.

Fireside at River Expeditions

“We’re not about pushing people into anxiety-provoking situations on technical rapids,” Johnson says.

“We don’t send guests out on the big water without considering that they may not want that kind of adventure.”

Kids raft for half price every day at River Expeditions regardless of the level of adventure, Johnson said, which is another reason low-impact trips are so popular.

Far from churning waves on the lower river, beginners also have the option to use “duckies,” small inflatable kayaks that allow them to commune more intimately with nature as they glide along miles of gentle river.

In addition to rafting, guests of River Expedition also are provided access to zipline tours, rock climbing, mountain biking, and a paintball field on a 100-acre resort and basecamp at Fayetteville near the rim of the New River Gorge.

The basecamp center also includes a dining hall, outfitters shop, meeting facilities, and an outdoor pool and hot tub as well as the saloon and grill, and students are welcome to stay in their choice of campgrounds as well as dozens of basecamp rustic and deluxe cabins.

For more information on introductory rafting packages or for general information on River Expeditions, call 800-463-9873 or visit their .

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