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  /  Outdoors   /  Whitewater rafting season begins April 1

Whitewater rafting season begins April 1

Whitewater rafting starts Friday, April 1, on Southern West Virginia’s New River.

The state’s leading rafting outfitter, Adventures on the Gorge (AOTG) will take its first guests down the “Lower New” to kick off what promises to be a stellar season.

“We have seen renewed interest in outdoor adventures the past two years, and many of our guests have said they want to make rafting and other activities a regular occurrence,” said Roger Wilson, CEO of AOTG. “We are ready for them, and we look forward to our classic rafting experiences and more.”

Most spring rafting occurs on the New River with Gauley River rafting viewed as more opportunistic as flows are dependent upon water releases from Summersville Lake.

Here’s a summary:

Rafting the New River

The intensity of the whitewater depends on the time of the year, and early-season rafters are attracted by the big waves, big holes and fast-running waters that mark spring on the New River.

The New River includes Lower and Upper sections. On the Lower New River, there is typically big whitewater in the spring and early summer with intermittent long, calm pools for swimming and floating. Rafting on the Upper New River begins in mid-May and is much calmer throughout the season, making this section a good choice for families with children as young as six.

Rafting the Gauley River

Adventures on the Gorge also offers Gauley River rafting trips beginning in mid-May. The frequency of Gauley River releases depends largely on rainfall as well as the amount of water that accumulates in wetlands – or glades – 3,000 to 4,000 feet above the rivers. During a particularly wet year, paddlers can count on intense, technically challenging whitewater during the spring. As summer approaches, there are typical trends in the amount of flow resulting in tighter channels of water, steeper drops and the use of a variety of boats includes duckies and smaller rafts.

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