If you’ve never experienced the adrenaline rush of paddling down the rapids, you’ve never lived! Many people are scared away by the possibility of being thrown off the raft, but take it from those of us who have embarked on this adventure already — while it does happen, the momentum and physical forces associated with rafting will keep your butt mostly glued in its seat. In fact, the worst part about rafting is the seat itself! Your butt will be sore for the next day and a half.
But that aside, it’s still an adventure we feel compelled to recommend to anyone in halfway decent physical condition. If you want a new experience, put this one at the top of your list. Here are a few good locations where you can go white water rafting in West Virginia.
- Cheat River. Acceptable for beginners.
- Gauley River. For experienced or expert rafters. Nicknamed the “Beast of the East” for a reason. Come in autumn for intense Class V rapids.
- Lower New River. For experienced or expert rafters.
- Upper New River. Acceptable for beginners.
- Potomac River. Acceptable for beginners.
- Tygart River. Acceptable for beginners.
Each of these options have a number of outfitters who will gear you up with paddles and helmets. Most won’t send you off on a rafting trip without an experienced guide or instructor, who will start off each excursion by teaching you all about rafting safety. You won’t go anywhere until you’re ready!
Check out Adventures on the Gorge at New River Gorge Bridge if you would like professional advice on which excursions might make the most sense based on your age, experience, and overall fitness levels. We recommend taking it easy on a shorter trip during your first outing. If you enjoyed rafting, then come back in a week or two for a longer adventure!