Recreational activities in the Adirondacks range from hiking to skiing to, well, anything outdoors really! In fact, one of the most popular local and tourist attractions in the area is whitewater rafting – a group activity that involves people on a rubber raft navigating moving water. With one guide and some oars, amateurs and pros alike are tasked with steering the rapids and trying not to fall out of their raft.
What is the history of whitewater rafting?
The first rubber raft was constructed in the 1800s and was mainly used for war purposes. However, it wasn’t until the mid 1900’s that the idea of rafting for fun became open to the public. In the 1950s, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. opened up a resort in the Grand Teton National Park, which offered rafting trips to visitors, who got to experience the river on real, used war rafts. Rockefeller held the title of owning the only whitewater rafting company for almost twenty years until the sport began catching on. Soon, businesses across the country began popping up along rivers and, for the first time ever in 1972, whitewater rafting was included in the summer Olympics in Munich.
What do the experts say?
According to experts, the best time of year to go whitewater rafting is early spring, when the snow and ice begins to melt. This causes the river to rise and makes the whitecaps bigger and more intense. The perfect time to make a reservation falls around mid to late April, when there’s still a chill in the air. Luckily, rafting companies usually provide wetsuits to keep warm from the water, as well as helmets and lifejackets.
How do you prepare for whitewater rafting?
The first and most important thing is to do your own research first. Figure out if this is something that more than interests you. It takes time and money to plan a trip, especially if you don’t live right near a whitewater rafting company. It can cost $80-$150 per person to take a day trip rafting, though most places have group discounts! Make sure you have a comfortable bathing suit to wear under your wetsuit and remember sunscreen and sunglasses! Although the guides are there to help you and snatch you from the water if you fall, it definitely helps to know how to swim, especially since the rapids can be extremely rough in the spring.
Where can you go whitewater rafting?
Living in the Adirondacks means there’s a good chance the Hudson River is somewhere near you. And where the Hudson is, so are whitewater rafting companies. For more information on whitewater rafting in upstate New York and other activities outdoors, visit adirondack.net, visitgoreregion.com, or visitnorthcreek.com. They include the website links to each whitewater rafting company, some of which you can book appointments through!