"There's a feeling of excitement on the Gauley this year, which I assume has a lot to do with the high regard rafters and other paddlers have for this, the golden anniversary of rafting in West Virginia," Heather Johnson, vice-president for the outfitters, said.
Johnson, who's family has been in the whitewater rafting business in West Virginia for two generations, says raft guides and other staff who attend to the needs of resort visitors seem to be in an especially festive spirit as the anniversary dawns.
"It's hard to believe that only 50 years ago the first commercial raft trips put-in not far from here on the New River," she said.
"So much has happened since. Outfitters have come and gone. Some, such as River Expeditions, have grown into full-service resorts with restaurants and luxury cabins and canopy tours."
They also offers a number of rafting packages designed for specific to the upper Gauley run:
- Single-Day Rafting includes continental breakfast, lunch and beverages afterwards. (Weekdays $130, Sundays $150, and Saturdays $180)
- Value-Package Rafting include single-day rafting amenities as well as two nights camping, a deluxe dinner, and a continental breakfast daily. (Weekdays $165, Sundays $185, and Saturdays $215)
- The Double Upper Gauley includes continental breakfast, lunch, and beverages afterwards. Six rafters are required to be eligible for this package. (Weekdays $195, Sundays $215, and Saturdays $290)
- The Full Gauley Marathon includes continental breakfast, lunch and beverages afterwards. Six rafters are required to be eligible for this package. (Weekdays $190, Sundays $210, and Saturdays $245)
They also offer two rafting packages specific to the gentler lower Gauley run:
- Single-Day Rafting includes continental breakfast, lunch and beverages afterwards. (Weekdays $115, Sundays $125, and Saturdays $160)
- Value-Package Rafting include single-day rafting amenities as well as two nights camping, a deluxe dinner, and a continental breakfast daily. (Weekdays $150, Sundays $160, and Saturdays $195)
You'll find more information on River Expeditions travel packages here.
One of several outfitters that host guests in a full-service adventure resort, River Expeditions has, however, been able to maintain a personal touch that has welcomed many customers back over generations, Johnson said.
In addition to rafting and canopy tours, guests of River Expedition also are provided access rock climbing, mountain biking, and a paintball field on a 100-acre resort at Fayetteville near the rim of the New River Gorge.
The resort 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 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 website.