Why Southern West Virginia is the Bar None, Hands Down Best Whitewater Destination in the World

Sorry Northern California.  North Carolina?  Nuh-uh.  Don’t even try, Grand Canyon.  If you’re talking whitewater, southern West Virginia’s got you beat. We’re not bragging (promise).  But it’s true.  And it should be said that those other places offer a lot of fantastic rafting trips.  We give props where they’re due, and America’s got plenty of great whitewater all over.  Except Kansas.

Here’s why our West Virginia whitewater, collectively, is the best in the world…

Rafting the New River


It’s The Most Varied

We have 4 sections of commercially rafted river that are completely different. One is for families and little ones, one is for everyone beginner to expert, one is for families with older kids or people looking to step it up a notch, and one is white knuckle paddle craziness.

It’s All Really Close Together

Those 4 sections of river are all within 45 minutes of each other.  That’s nice, because you get to spend time out on the river instead of driving to and from the river.  It makes a big difference in a vacation.

It’s Close To Your House

We’re guessing.  There might be something closer, but not something this good.  Statistically, we’re within a day’s drive of 50% of the U.S. population.  So that chances are good that you can come right over.  It’s interesting:  we’re up in the mountains and easy to get to.

It’s Not The Scariest

Another reason we’re the best is because we’re not the hardest.  Put another way, there are rivers you can raft that are bigger and steeper, and there are definitely rivers you can raft that are more dangerous.  But you can’t find rivers like this that are more fun.  They don’t exist.

It’s Warm

Ok, it depends on the season.  In the summer, it’s refreshing, but not cool.  In the fall, it’s cool but not cold.  In the Spring, it’s better at waking you up than coffee.  You should never worry about the water being too cold, like on snowmelt rivers.

It’s Unusual

The New River is way, way bigger than other Appalachian whitewater rivers.  It’s more like the Colorado through the Grand Canyon than anything else, except you take all the biggest rapids out of the Canyon and put them in a 15 mile stretch of river.  And it’s not, you know, in the desert.

It’s Heaven For Kayakers

Hardboaters talk about southern West Virginia like pygmies talk about great iron birds in the sky.  There are a seemingly endless number of kayak runs in the Mountain State.  A lot of them are really hard, but, hey, a lot of kayakers that come here are really good.

It’s The Most Fun

Ok, that one’s totally subjective.  The truth is, all whitewater rivers are fun.  Have you ever had fun on ours?  Tell us about it.

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