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Family Vacations: River Rafting on the Upper New River

©2007 ACE Adventure Center A variety of guides offer whitewater adventure trips down the Upper New River.

West Virginia's Upper New River white-water rafting adventures are perfect for families. While some of the state's other rivers, such as the Gauley, are a bit too challenging for youngsters, the Upper New River is great for beginners and is safe for children. You'll raft through a magnificent 1,400-foot-deep canyon, splash in gentle rapids, and play in quiet emerald-green pools. You can choose from numerous licensed river rafting outfitters that guide special family trips.

In river rafting language, rapids are separated into six categories. A class one river is the easiest, and a class six river is virtually unrunnable. The Upper New River is filled with long and tranquil class one and two rapids, with an occasional class three stretch of white water thrown in for excitement. Outfitters take families on two- and three-day trips that are appropriate for families with children ages six and older.

Trips offer inflatable rafts piloted by guides as well as individual easy-to-paddle inflatable kayaks called "duckies." Most outfitters have special small-size duckies for children who wish to paddle by themselves. The river guides cook delicious family-friendly meals and help set up camp each night along particularly scenic sections of the river.

River Rafting on the Upper New River

Address: Adventures Mountain River, Sunday Rd., Hico, WV

Phone: 304/658-5266, 800/822-1FUN

Hours of Operation: hours vary by season and weather.

Admission: varies by package

Learn more about family vacations:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • West Virginia State Guide: West Virginia is home to numerous family-friendly attractions. Find out more about West Virginia.
  • Scenic Drives:For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.


Laura Sutherland is a widely acknowledged authority on family travel and has published several books on the topic, including Best Family Ski Vacations In North America and Tropical Family Vacations.