The New River begins in North Carolina and measures 320 miles from the North Fork. It flows through North Carolina and Virginia, where it joins the Gauley River to form the Kanawha River at Gauley Bridge, West Virginia.
The Upper New River is the mildest and gentlest. The Upper New is popular for family float trips in rafts or in individual “duckies” (one-person inflatable kayaks). This is also a great section for learning to kayak and for small mouth bass fishing. Excellent scenery on a wide river with few obstructions. The rapids are rated from Class I through Class III.
The Lower New River is often referred to as the New River Gorge. The Lower New River features much larger rapids than the Upper New, with steeper, more complex drops. Obstructions such as large, house-sized boulders make for a more constricted river flow. More maneuvering is required through large waves and hydraulics. The world famous New River Gorge Bridge spans this section of the New River. Beautiful scenery in a 1000-foot deep gorge. The rapids are rated from Class II through Class IV+.
The Gauley River gets its notoriety from the annual Fall Drawdown from Summersville Dam that attracts white water rafting enthusiasts from around the world. Typically, Gauley Season begins the weekend after Labor Day and has scheduled releases for 22 days through October.
The Lower Gauley River provides a continuous ride through many boulder-infested rock gardens, rollercoaster waves and hydraulic-riddled rapids. A very popular stretch of river for kayakers and rafters preparing for the Upper Gauley. Incredible scenery in a stunning, wilderness gorge. The rapids are rated from Class III through Class IV+.
The Upper Gauley River is rated in the Top 10 Rivers of the World for whitewater action. Large, constricted rapids that require teamwork and previous experience on lesser rivers. Steep, technical, demanding and intense! The Upper Gauley is a classic. Incredible scenery in a stunning, wilderness gorge. The rapids are rated from Class III through Class V+.
West Virginia has developed into a vast playground for other outdoor sports such as rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, rappelling, horseback riding, fishing and geocaching.