Whitewater Rafting

Rafters plow through a rapid in West Virginia

Whitewater rafting is perhaps the extreme sport most popularly associated with West Virginia, though rafting adventures here need not been extreme and though many rivers in West Virginia outside the mountains are gentle. Many rafting rivers are suited to family-style rafting, and paddlers need little or no experience.  More than a dozen outfitters are licensed to guide rafting trips on West Virginia rivers.

Six whitewater rafting rivers!

West Virginia boasts six rivers that accommodate whitewater rafting. The New and Gauley rivers in southern West Virginia are among the world’s best known as a result of their varied gentle and difficult sections. Rafters need not be experienced to run parts of either river. The Potomac and Shenandoah in eastern West Virginia are popular in part because of their proximity to Washington, D.C. The Cheat and North Branch in northern West Virginia are popular spring.

Whitewater Rafting Vacations

Whitewater Rafting Rivers

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Additional Rafting Information

Whitewater: Rafting v. Kayaking

The terms “rafting” and “paddling” and “whitewater” are sometimes applied inexactly, which can lead to confusion. Rafting and kayaking are both paddling sports enjoyed on whitewater. Rafting, however, is more often a commercial endeavor enjoyed by a group, and though it is a form of recreation, it is not a sport. Though many in West Virginia include whitewater and may be kayaked, only a few are wide enough to support watercraft is large as rafts, which may accommodate up to eight rafters.

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West Virginia Rafting News

Raftload on Gauley River, River Expeditions

Eventful and colorful, October ideal for rafting in West Virginia

October may be the biggest month yet when it comes to whitewater rafting in West Virginia. Autumn color, Halloween fun, and the epic Bridge...
Rafters outfitted with River Expeditions watch raft-load plow through Sweets Falls on the Gauley River.

Indian Summer on Gauley to enhance 50th year of W.Va. rafting

Celebrating the 50th year of whitewater rafting in West Virginia, officials at River Expeditions say a pleasant Indian Summer should enhance Gauley Season 2018,...
Rafters on the Gauley River, Gauley River National Recreation Area

WV Tourism Office announces countdown to Gauley Season

The West Virginia Tourism Office has launched its official countdown to Gauley Season. Only 10 days remain until whitewater-rafting enthusiasts from around the world...
Rafters paddle beneath historic New River railroad trestle

Unplug on a back-to-school raft trip through New River Gorge

Start the school-year off by unplugging with the kids on a whitewater rafting trip through the New River Gorge, a chasm deep enough and...
Duo paddling the New River, River Expeditions

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

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...

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