New and Gauley River Rafting
This area’s original claim to fame is having “America’s Best Whitewater”. With the New and Gauley Rivers to work with, it is the truth!
New River Rafting
The New River earns its moniker “The Grand Canyon of the East” during spring high water. We’re talking huge waves and hydraulics. Summertime levels are more sedate, providing a great time to expose kids to whitewater. The scenery is always great, and if you’ve never been, you’ll find that rafting is a curious mix of exhilaration and relaxation. Rafts are the ultimate lounge crafts. The Upper New is great for younger kids–small rapids and lots of pools for swimming. Many companies offer ducky (inflatable kayak) trips on this section.
Gauley River Rafting
The Gauley River is smaller, steeper, more pristine and more serious. It earned its legendary status (top 10 commercially rafted rivers in the world) because of the fall drawdown season. For 23 days spread over six weeks, the army Corps of Engineers lets an optimum amount of water out of Summersville Dam. Rafting enthusiasts and kayakers come from around the world to get a piece of the action. The 2001 World Rafting Championship was held here and the carnage (flips and mishaps) was severe! The Upper Gauley is the ultimate. Steep, technical, undercut, and very exciting. Famous rapids such as Lost Paddle, Pillow Rock and Sweet’s Falls deserve all the fanfare they get. The Lower Gauley is a step up from the New but a step down from the Upper. Lots of long wave trains make this section a blast. Very scenic and exciting but not as serious.
You have many outfitters to choose from. Some are huge, some small; some are cheaper than others. They all offer a large selection of trips of varying lengths. Ask a lot of questions and shop around.
Opossum Creek Retreat is located one mile from the closest outfitter and 15 from the farthest.