"Rafting in West Virginia" Top 5 Page for this destination West Virginia by Fullmoonfever

West Virginia Travel Guide: 1,066 reviews and 2,794 photos

Great River!

My Rafting Page!

This is my West Virginia page, but I call it my "Rafting Page" because almost all of my tips have to do with rafting.

One thing I started doing about 15 years ago is rafting. My first trip was on the Youghiogheny River in PA. My in-laws use to live about 25 miles away.

Over the years I have also gone rafting on the Cheat River in northern West Virginia. About 7 years ago I took my first trip on the Gauley, and that's the only place I go now. It's a world famous river in rafting circles. The best time to go is in early September, this time of year is called "Gauley season" due to the draw down of Summersville Lake for the winter rains and snows. The water is at its wildest and highest with lots of class 4 and 5 rapids. I will upload some pics later, so check back soon.

The outfitter I use is Appalachian WildWaters. I have found they offer excellent service and the guides are first class.

One detail I want to mention is that this is considered an advanced river experience not meant for novice and there is a minimum age requirement and previous rafting is recommended.

There are many accommodations in the area, but we usually camp. There are 2 state parks within a 20 miles radius of the river and from my experience they are never crowded in September.

It can be cool, especially early in the morning, so I suggest scheduling a later trip time, say 10 or 11 am, instead of the 7 or 8 am trips. They schedule trips an 1/2 hour apart, so the river does not fell crowded.

Another river in the same area is the New River which is just north of the Gauley, and offers a great trip and also is a milder ride. This is a good river for families that want to take younger children along.

So if your thinking about rafting I definitely recommend going to one of the West Virginia rivers, established rafting outfitters, experienced guides, and what's better than being in those green mountains floating down a wild natural river!!!!!!!!

Jump Rock!!

About half way down there's a rock that everyone (that wants to) can get out of the raft and jump off. These are a few people in our party jumping.

The cost includes transportation to and from the river, lunch and all required safety gear. When its too cool you can rent wet suits, which cost 10 Dollars.

Sweets Falls

This is a 10 foot water fall at the half way point on the trip. If you enlarge the pic you will see a raft at the bottom of the falls. This pic doesn't really show the falls drop-off that well because I took it upstream. Rafts carry 7 to 9 people

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Great white water rafting!!
  • Cons:None!!!!!!!
  • In a nutshell:West Virgina has a lot to offer the outdoorsman
  • Last visit to West Virginia: Sep 2004
  • Intro Updated Dec 14, 2008
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Reviews (8)

Comments (41)

  • marvelous_girl's Profile Photo
    Mar 10, 2010 at 10:03 AM

    i liked ur tip about night life.... hahaha

  • Faiza-Ifrah's Profile Photo
    Oct 23, 2009 at 6:22 PM

    while coming back from Boone, NC, we stayed for a full day in WW. my husband and son were bent upon a whitewater short trip. it took us much argumenting to prevent that happening. there is always a next time they said :-)

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Dec 10, 2008 at 3:35 PM

    My visit was too short and brief a few years back but it was lovely and almost exciting to be in West Virginia mountain mama country!

  • barbskie's Profile Photo
    Jun 4, 2008 at 3:01 PM

    Great area! just heard about this from a friend in Virginia. your general tips are very helpful to new visitors. about the nightlife thing, i think it's alright. i must be very exhausted from the day's activities especially paddling ;D cheers!

  • agapotravel's Profile Photo
    Dec 27, 2007 at 6:53 PM

    Did you visit Blackwater Falls while in WV? Some VTers are telling me I must go there since I am a waterfall lover! :-)

  • nicolaitan's Profile Photo
    Dec 3, 2007 at 1:21 PM

    appreciate the birthday greetings - 65 and counting. Slowly. Thanks. N.

  • nickandchris's Profile Photo
    Nov 19, 2007 at 9:07 AM

    Looks a stimulating ride.....

  • janetanne's Profile Photo
    Sep 30, 2007 at 8:15 AM

    Yes, but when you really know what's going on , you may not be able to go on!:):)

  • Hexepatty's Profile Photo
    Apr 12, 2007 at 4:41 PM

    Holy crap - folks that don't give a rats ass sure give a hoot about saying how much they don't give a rats ass! Can't believe it's still going on!

  • keida84's Profile Photo
    Mar 11, 2007 at 9:12 AM

    nice page on West Virginia, I am hoping you will do a page on Chicoteague. Kat

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