When the snow starts to melt, the Hudson River Gorge, Black River and the formidable Moose River begin to churn with class three... four... AND five whitewater, you know it's time to plan a spring whitewater rafting adventure in New York State.
If you want to get your feet wet with a less intimidating adventure, wait a month or two and those rivers calm down to class one, two and three rapids. You can also try the Sacandaga where it meets the Hudson River in Hadley, the Black River near Watertown, rafting on western New York's Cattaraugus Creek through Zoar Valley, or the Genesee River in Letchworth State Park. Kayakers can also take the plunge through whitewater rapids of all levels.
There are multiple licensed and experienced guides available to take you for a thrilling ride you won't soon forget on whatever expedition you choose.
–The outfitters will provide you with wetsuits in the spring (or if you own one, bring it with you), along with helmets, a pfd (personal flotation device) and instruction. Many treks also include a lunch.
–When you are in the raft your guide will direct you to your seat, provide last minute instructions, help you get settled, then you take up your paddle and prepare to have fun. When you come to a calm area, you can jump off the raft and swim or float even when the water is below 60 degrees - with your wetsuit on!
–Sometimes you'll engage in a water war between your rafts or against a competitors group that you meet up with. If you ever fall out of the raft, don't panic! Recall your guides instructions, hold onto the paddle (if you can) to help guide you. Your crew will be along shortly to bring you back into the boat, or you can float to shore in many areas and wait for them to arrive.
For a less bouncy in-the-water experience, nothing beats floating in tubes down a lazy river, with the blue sky above, listening to natures music of birds singing, chipmunks chattering and the sound of water splashing.
Whichever way you choose to play in New York's water, remember to bring your sunscreen, a waterproof camera, and be ready to have fun!
Adirondack Rafting Company
Adirondack River Outfitters
Adventure Sports Rafting
Hudson River Rafting Company
North Creek Rafting Company
Sacandaga Outdoor Center
Wild Waters Outdoor Center