Tuesday, March 14, 2006

California Rafters Salute West Virginia Rafting!

Rafting has begun in California. W.E.T. River Trips encourages paddlers to visit whitewater rivers throughout the USA. Here's info on West Virginia Whitewater Rafting: From the early spring till the leaves drop in the fall, West Virginia offers exciting fun on many rivers. Whitewater rafting enthusiasts from all over are drawn to the Mountain State to find the natural adventures they crave and to enjoy the peace of the beautiful hill country. And the range of rivers offers something for everyone from first-time families to thrashing extremists.

In the spring the New River and the Gauley River benefit from the early season rain. The New River at times flows at over 30,000 cfs during this time of year. Lucky whitewater addicts will also find bigger water in the spring on the Gauley River then during the famed fall dam releases.

Memorial Day weekend brings the unofficial start of summer and the most popular time to enjoy a day on the river. Between the end of May and the beginning of September the New River Gorge attracts both vacationers and those just looking for a cool weekend getaway from the cities. The New River treats visitors to West Virginia with varied faces throughout the summer. From a quick express trip to an overnight trip with riverside camping, trips on the New River can be tailored to the traveler’s needs. Families with younger children can bring little ones as young as 6 on the upper section of the new. And for more excitement, outfitters like Appalachian Wildwaters move the New River to a World-Class rafting trip with their “Double Run” which runs paths through the rapids which “go-for-it”.

The New River is not the only option for West Virginia whitewater rafting in the summertime. The nearby Gauley continues to run and depending on the water levels provide a thrilling trip in small rafts or ducks. Ducks are single-person inflatable boats which are open like a canoe but are paddled like a kayak. During typical summer water levels ducks are the craft of choice for others West Virginia Rivers like the Cheat and the Shenandoah.

While whitewater rafting is the most popular summertime activity the New River area of West Virginia offers many recreational opportunities such as horseback riding, mountain biking, rock climbing and fishing. And near by are other attractions from a Civil War Battlefield, an Exhibition Coal Mine and the Hatfield-McCoy Trail which offers a chance to try out off-road ATV riding.

After Labor Day weekend the season in West Virginia is called “Gauley Season”. Over six weekends the Army Corp of Engineers starts to draw down the water level of Summersville Lake with the result being some of the best whitewater rafting anywhere. Whitewater rafting fans from around the world come to the Upper Gauley to be challenged with the Big V. The Upper Gauley boasts five Class V rapids in a 9 mile stretch of beautiful river gorge. Of course the whitewater rafting fun continues on the Middle and Lower sections with popular rapids like “Enders”, “Heaven Help You” and “Pure Screaming Hell”. The Fall Gauley offers everything from express trips to a full 26 mile marathon. Riverside camping is also available for an unforgettable overnight experience.

The New River continues to offer whitewater rafting fun through the Fall. But of all the New River Fall trips only on the third Saturday of October can you watch BASE Jumpers parachute off of the New River Gorge Bridge. The annual Bridge Day celebrates the 886 foot span and being in a raft on the river beneath is a truly unique way to experience the festivities.

No matter the time of year you want to go whitewater rafting, if you just want to come for a quick getaway or a full vacation, West Virginia promises you lots of river excitement.
Thanks to West Virginia Whitewater Rafting for this post!

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