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.
Whitewater Rafting Vacations
Whitewater Rafting Rivers
- Cheat River Rafting
- Gauley River Rafting
- New River Rafting
- North Branch Rafting
- Potomac River Rafting
- Shenandoah River Rafting
Map showing whitewater rafting areas
Additional Rafting Information
- Whitewater Rafting Safety
- Whitewater Responsibility Act
- International Scale of River Difficulty
- West Virginia Whitewater Regulations
- Coming Soon! West Virginia Rafting Magazine
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 rivers and streams 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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