West Virginia, the mountain state of the USA, keeps the rustic brightness of natural exuberance. Tourists escape to West Virginia to endure exquisite adventures, including rafting to some wild and thrilling rivers.
West Virginia Rafting is a world-class river rafting experience with some of the country’s intrepid water sources. It is known for the high density of white water, perhaps the highest in the country. The rafting gives you the roller coaster experience in the perpetual currents.
Let’s explore some best West Virginia Rafting experiences in this article.
The Immense Popularity of West Virginia Rafting
West Virginia is a self-reliant state that depends on local trade and tourism for its economy. It is quite rustic, untouched by the urban revelry. Nature nurtures the land with some finest white water rivers, forests, mountains, and animals.
The popularity of river rafting lies in the aquatic diversity of this place. It inhabits more than 40 rivers, exclusive of the tributaries. Since ancient times they have been a great source of transportation and now are used for adventure-related activities, including rafting.
Tourists find West Virginia a great escape to caress natural beauties and incredible road trips. Its crisp winters and hot and humid but soothing summer create an ideal atmosphere for traveling. When the snow begins to melt, tourists gather near the river areas to explore rafting.
The mountain forests shelter wild animals like raccoons, skunks, deer, foxes, squirrels, opossums, and several other species. The state lies in the tree-covered Appalachian Mountainssquirrels and keeps several geographical conservation entities like the Babcock state park, Blackwater falls state park, Bluestone state park, and others.
Tourism is an essential component of its economy besides the chemical and steel industries. It is constantly developing its tourism sector to offer world-class facilities. The rafting experience is truly a world-class experience that demonstrates the state’s efforts in the tourism sector. You can also enjoy hiking, biking, horseback riding, hunting, and shooting along with river rafting.
Also, read Top 10 West Virginia Golf Resorts.
Best 8 West Virginia Rafting That Will Escalate Your Adrenaline
1. New River, West Virginia Rafting
New River Rafting offers one of the best white water rafting experiences around the cliffs. It lies in the East’s Grand Canyon, now known as the New River Gorge National Park & Preserve. It offers two types of experience: the rafting trip, which is quite adventurous, and the adrenaline escalator type; another is the family-oriented float-trip, suitable for easy rafting.
In the case of rafts options, the adventure provides two distinct boats according to the level of difficulty:
(i) The Lower New boasts Class V rapids for adventurous rafting.
(ii) Upper New tackles Class I-III rapids for easy, family-oriented rafting.
Rafting trips are available daily from May to October every year. It also offers camping facilities if you extend your venture for two or three days. For professional rafters, it has two options, Wildside and Extreme Wildside, if you are above 18 years and have a previous Class V+ rafting experience.
2. New River Gorge, West Virginia Rafting
It lies in the lower section of New River when the stream becomes narrow and the elevation drops. It offers two different West Virginia rafting adventures. One is the Upper New River, which is rafting over calm currents. The other is the Lower New River over more rapid currents.
New River is one of the oldest rivers of North America. This white water river has seen New River Gorge National Park and Reserve’s development, which offers an African American Heritage Driving Tour to explore the area’s rich historical culture. You can also enjoy biking, hiking, fishing, and hunting with the scenic views of wild animals and thick forests.
3. Gauley River, West Virginia Rafting
Another exciting rafting experience is offered by the white water Gauley River. The 105-mile long Gauley river caresses the New River to become the Kanawha River, a major tributary to the Ohio River. The river exhibits several recreational white water areas, including the Gauley River National Recreation Area.
The Gauley mountain helps the river create some exquisite whitewater rapids that are suitable for rafting. You can enjoy the Lower and Upper Gauley rafting experience here on whitewater rapids. Some rafting trip organizers offer year-round rafting experiences on Gauley River whitewater rapids. You can also enjoy various other activities here, including hiking, biking, and visiting the state parks.
4. Upper Gauley River, West Virginia Rafting
Upper Gauley rafting is one of the best West Virginia rafting that is meant for experienced paddlers. It is one of the commercially rafting experiences that is designed for class V rafters. It exhibits some remote and technical white water rafting challenges, suitable for people looking for excitement and thrill. People wait for the Gauley season in September and October when the dam at Summerville lake is released.
September and October are the best months for Upper Gauley River rafting over the whitewater rapids. The rafter must be above 15 years and have prior rafting experience. Iron Ring and Sweet Falls are two challenging spots where the whirling water escalates your adrenaline to a high-level. This is the most famous and challenging West Virginia rafting.
5. Harpers Ferry, West Virginia Rafting
Spring is the best season to enjoy Harpers Ferry rafting near the Harpers Ferry National Park. Harpers Ferry is a small town in Jefferson County, located in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. This small town has significant historical importance for its participation in the Civil War.
Situated at the confluence of two rivers, Potomac and Shenandoah, it offers one of the most attractive West Virginia Rafting experiences. The hot but soothing climate attracts a high number of tourists to visit the National Park. The two rivers offer an exciting rafting experience for beginners and intermediate paddlers. This place is also geographically important as the three states, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, meet here. The park also exhibits zip-lining, tubing, and several outdoor adventures.
Check out more about: Beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway: 7 Things to do Here!
6. Savage River, West Virginia Rafting
Savage River presents a 5-mile long continuous class III and class IV whitewater rafting experience for you with scenic views of the forests. Savage River State Forest keeps the Savage River under the shadow of dense forests and natural beauty. This river prestigiously organizes several Whitewater competitions, including Olympic Whitewater Trails and Whitewater Championships.
You can enjoy whitewater rafting three times a year in June, July, and September when the dam releases the water. The rapids make it a fast trip and a very exciting experience. Guided tours are available for rafting.
7. Fayetteville, West Virginia Rafting
The Appalachian mountains in West Virginia create some of the exciting spots for whitewater rafting. One such spot is Fayetteville which is quelled between New River and Gauley River. This place offers a short-time rafting experience when the Summerville dam is opened during fall for 22 days.
The elevation and the density of rapids make it an adrenaline escalating experience. The Fayetteville community also offers rock climbing and hiking activities. Class IV and V rapids provide enough exciting rafting experience. The New River Gorge Bridge is another tourist attraction.
8. Cheat River, West Virginia Rafting
Cheat River is located in North Central West Virginia. The Cheat Canyon of the Cheat River is known for class V whitewater rapids. The Canyon offers a nearly 13-mile long whitewater adventure with jaw-dropping views of the wilderness. It is best suited for experienced paddlers.
Cheat River Outfitters provide rafting for beginners and intermediate paddlers. The Cheat Narrows is comparatively calm and still rapids, which offers class II and class III adventures. It is believed to be the cleanest part of the river, where you can enjoy rock climbing, rock jumping, and riverside picnicking for a memorable river trip.
Top White Water Rafting Resorts In West Virginia
The Appalachian mountains and hosts of rivers collectively create a scenic and memorable West Virginia Rafting experience. You can access Whitewater rafting trips through world-class resorts in the area. Some are listed below:
(i) ACE Adventure Resort
1 Concho road, Oak Hill
WV 25901, United States
The Ace Adventure Resort offers 1500 acres of whitewater rafting fun activities in the New River Gorge, West Virginia. You can plan your trip to explore the fountain lake water park and New river gorge cabins with whitewater rafting. It also provides you an opportunity to visit the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve.
(ii) River Expeditions
900 Broadway Avenue, Oak Hill
West Virginia, United States
You can also enjoy Whitewater rafting with River Expeditions that offers luxury cabins for comfortable lodging. In addition to whitewater rafting, it presents ATV tours, mountain biking, and zip-lining. New River Upper and Lower and Gauley river rafting are two main destinations it covers.
(iii) River Rider Family Adventure Resort
408 Alstadts Hill Rd.
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
To explore Herpes Ferry Rafting and Tubing, you may visit River Rider Family Adventure Resort located at the meeting point of the three states: Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. It also offers RV camping, cabins, and tent sites. You can explore the wilderness through the campground.
West Virginia Rafting excites everyone, from child to teenager and from experienced paddlers to families. The state keeps the aura of rustic countryside life with modern amenities. Whitewater rafting at exciting elevation and thrilling rapids will surely escalate your adrenaline. Visit these scenic spots for a lifetime river adventure experience.