Top Ten All-Time Classic Whitewater Rafting Trips

New River, West Virginia

Difficulty: Class III to V

Season: April through October

Trip Length: One to two days

The New River starts high in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. It then heads straight north to meet the Gauley. In so doing it manages to transect every ridge in the Alleghenies. Its name is actually a misnomer in that, geologically, it is one of the world's oldest rivers. Where it cuts across the place called the Narrows in Virginia, near the state line, some of the oldest rocks in the East have been exposed.

The New is usually divided into three sections. The uppermost, from Sandstone to McCreery, is the most remote. It offers some interesting Class II combined with flatwater—good for canoes. The section from Prince to Thurmond has a little more sass, with runs landing at Class III. But the river goes from good to great in the Little River Gorge, where the whitewater escalates to a rousing Class IV or even Class V.

Published: 30 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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