Upper New River Rafting: Our Most Popular Family Trip

When it comes to whitewater rafting the Upper New River in West Virginia, our team, and our tour, are the best!  Our whitewater guides would agree there’s nothing better than time spent in nature whitewater rafting. Get ready for a full day of adventure and appreciation of nature on the Upper New River.

If you are feeling intimidated by the idea of a full-day commitment to the New River Gorge, don’t be! Rafting the Upper New River Gorge is not as difficult as you’d think and our expert guides will make sure you feel like a pro. After this weekend or vacation adventure, you’ll be telling everyone about your trip to the Gorge.

Get ready for refreshing splashes of fresh water and adventure as you whitewater raft your way down the Upper New River

Upper New River Rafting is for Everyone

Our Upper New whitewater rafting trip is not limited to thrill-seekers. This adventure is for everyone. And yes, that means families! We have single and double inflatable kayaks, which means the siblings can team up if they want, and take on the whitewater rapids together.

Our skilled guides can not only help you navigate more efficiently, but can also provide history and context to your surroundings.  After all, why not learn about some of the nature as you raft or paddle through?

Lunch and Leisure

This full-day adventure is certainly going to build up your appetite! But don’t worry, you won’t go hungry on this trip. We provide a full riverside lunch, and some time to relax and enjoy the afternoon, and the amazing view.

You’ll be pleased to learn that this isn’t just any lunch. In addition to lunchtime favorites, we will have salads made by our talented crew of lunch artists, as well as unique desserts that will impress any adventurer. 

Additionally, we know that all of our adventuring guests are not the same, so we have food options for even the pickiest eaters. Have dietary restrictions? No problem! Just make sure to let us know when booking your reservation so that we can make sure to have options on hand for you.

And during this downtime, you can chill out if you want or go for a swim in the calm nearby waters. Family and friends often take this opportunity to snap a few photos. After an adventurous morning and a hearty lunch, the smiles tend to be just a bit bigger, and the memories a bit stronger. 

And the best part is that there is still a second half of the day left.

Choose Your Speed

This trip boasts over 12 rapids, ranging from classes I – III. This means the challenge is not significant. In fact, these rapids are pretty gentle. And though there is no avoiding a whitewater splash, you are in for a pretty comfortable day. 

But even though rafting is the name of the game, there are a few other activities you might want to participate in along the trip. For instance, this is the time to try Jump Rock. Additionally, there are calm swimming pools that your raft or kayak will cruise right by.  Feel free to hop out and take a quick calm dip.

These additional activities help break the day up. Even though there is a break for lunch, sometimes it feels good to stretch those arms and legs in some calm water before taking on another rapid, even if beginner friendly.

Overall, this is an excellent introduction to whitewater rafting thanks to its gentle rapids,  calm waters, and breathtaking scenic views. ! The Upper New River is a great place for a family raft trip, beginners wanting a relaxed river experience, or for scouts and youth groups to get their feet wet in the majestic New River Gorge.

Kids Raft the Upper New River Free!

This adventure is for families, which is why kids raft free! Bring your kids ages 6-11 on Sunday through Friday, and they can enjoy the water with Adventures on the Gorge (one child rafts free per full-paying adult)!

There is nothing like getting a child into outdoor adventures at an early age. Kids need nature and adventure and at the Upper New River, they can get both. And class I-III whitewater rafting is the perfect place for any beginner to get comfortable and where kids can learn easily.

Come check out Upper New River whitewater rafting this spring or summer, and have an adventure you will never forget.

Book your Upper New River Whitewater Rafting Adventure Today!

Talk to a reservation specialist.


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What More Is There to Know About the New River?

Did you know the New River is said to be the second-oldest river in the world? Over millions of years, its white water has carved the New River Gorge and left us with large shelf drops and boulders–a perfect combination of waves and hydraulics that make for world-class rafting. The Lower New River provides adventurous rafting, while the Upper New River is typically more tame.

How Do I Dress for New River Rafting?

What’s Included

Transportation is covered from the resort to the river and back again. We’ll also provide all your rafting equipment (helmet, personal flotation device or PFD, paddle, and boat), plus a riverside lunch served by our guides.

What Do I Bring?

Bring any medication you need throughout the day, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a change of clothes to keep at the resort to change into after your trip. Guides carry small, waterproof bags to stow necessary medications. Depending on the time of year and the weather, you may also want a synthetic layer. If necessary, wetsuits and splash jackets are available for rent. Call us to book those, too.

What Is the Trip Time?

This is a Full Day Trip.
Depending on the day’s water level, you’ll spend between 4-6 hours on the water, plus shuttle time to and from the river. Trip length and intensity vary based on water levels, which change throughout the season.

What Kind of Boat & Where Will the Guide Be?

We typically take inflatable kayaks on the Upper New. They are  one or two-person rafts shaped like kayaks. With an inflatable kayak, you’ll get to experience a more personal whitewater rafting challenge on a craft that’s stable, fun, and easy to maneuver. Our inflatable kayaks are self-bailing, which means water that splashes in will drain out on its own. Our standard, 16-foot rafts are available upon request or when the water is high. These comfortably seat eight rafters and one river guide. River guides will be either in rafts or in inflatable kayaks to lead the pack, and they’re experts at working with beginner rafters and families with small children. Learn more about our guides.

What Are the Requirements and Limits?

The minimum age for this trip is 6 years old. Our PFDs have a maximum chest capacity of 56 inches. All adventurers on the trip should be able to swim.

How Much Are Group Reservations?

Custom quotes are available for groups of over 15. Call us to learn more!

What Safety Precautions Are There?

Our trip leaders and river guides will talk through specific guidelines and requirements on site before you head for the water.

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Please Note...

Due to high traffic volume online booking is currently running slow. For booking help call (855) 379-8738 or see our Trip Planner.