Where is the best place to go white water rafting for a day along the east coast? Of course the answer to that is subjective, but maybe we can help you decide what kind of experience you are looking for - or maybe just find the nearest white water trip to your location. In the east coast, white water rafting trips are limited to just half-day, full-day, or maybe an overnight adventure. Learn more about how the geology of the region limits the length of white water trips to no more than a full day trip, or possibly stretched into an overnight camping adventure. An overnight is something worth trying out some time. Just sleeping near a river, in a canyon or gorge is an experience all its own. Learn more about overnight and multi-day rafting trips here.
East coast white water rafting trips are organized (for convenience in planning) into northeastern states and southeastern states.
White water rafting trips near the east coast of the United States are numerous and plentiful, thanks to a confluence of mountain ranges and glacial mounds for rivers to tumble between. Geologically speaking, river drainage through the various regions of the Appalachian Mountains follow torturous paths to the ocean. That path? Not so torturous for whitewater rafting fans! East coast white water rafting is a playground with the geologic confluence of mountain ranges from the Berkshires and Poconos to the Blue Ridge and Great Smokies converging more or less from the four directions on the New River Gorge in West Virginia. While West Virginia may be the "mountain mama", she has plenty of rowdy children ready to raise a whitewater ruckus. However, the mountains in the east coast states are only a few thousand feet above sea level, making east coast white water rafting trips only about a day long, or so. Once these rivers tumble and cascade in all their white water glory, they become docile and domesticated in river valleys before meeting with either the Atlantic Ocean, or Gulf of Mexico.
Perhaps best known for raising a ruckus in the east is The Gauley River, also known as the "Beast of the East" with class V runs in September releases. Learn more about that here. The New River is also a very popular river for those looking for adventures on the Gorge.
Maybe it's the best way to beat the heat in the south, but whitewater rafting is extremely popular in the southeast. But the place is blessed with plenty of whitewater rivers for loads of summer diversion. The Nantahala River in North Carolina is perhaps the most popular center, near beautiful Asheville, N.C. Then the Pigeon and Ocoee rivers in Tennessee, at the feet of the Great Smoky Mountains is highly popular as well. Further south, sharing the border between South Carolina and Georgia, and a large population center in Atlanta, is the Chatooga River. All of these rivers are within the same general region, giving you a lot of options. Best part is many outfitters in the region know you've come to play and provide lodging options on premises, and zip line canopy tours through the southwest's diverse forest land.
Near New York City, the Delaware River makes a milder whitewater run great for a simple splash down the river in tubes, canoes, or a guided tour.
Further north, near Boston, you'll find rafting options also abound from the Zoar Gap, the Deerfield in the Berkshires, and the Miller and Concord Rivers. Don't forget Vermont's West River. It's a fun challenge. Many of these locations include resort and zip line canopy add-ons for great weekend getaways.
Further north, in Maine, you'll find similar natural playgrounds and package trips on the Penobscot River.