The drawing to the right was not done by me, but by Sandra Matson. It is the main picture on the intro page to the rafting slide show we did, and I figured it fit here so I stole it.
Begining with the summer of 1995, I have spent at least one weekend each summer white water rafting in New England. It started on the Deerfield River in Massachusetts then progressed into Maine and onto the bigger (and better) Kennebec and Dead Rivers. And then lastly to the West River in Southern Vermont.
Rivers (In order of preference)
Kennebec River (Maine) - My favorite of the rivers I've rafted. Its a class III-V river with some huge waves. The only downside is that out of 3-4 hours on the river all of the excitement takes place in the first part of it. But nothing else has compared to that as of yet. I've mostly rafted it in early June when the water is still pretty cold. During the one trip during mid August the water temperature was in the mid to high 70s making it much nicer; especially in the sections where you are allowed to swim (float) in the water.
Gauley River - Upper Section (West Virginia) - Yes, I put this second on my list, despite it being listed among the best white water rafting in the world. I've only done it once and it was a total blast (it was during fall "Gauley Season"). But given the number of times i've been on the Kenebec, and it being one the first big water rivers i've run, it still holds the top spot. Maybe after another trip or two to WV that'll change, they're close, but The Kennecbec wins out.
Dead River (Maine) - I've only rafted the Dead during the spring high water runs. It's a fun class III-V river with some huge holes on it. Its part of our yearly trip up to Maine, so I've run it only slightly less than the Kennebec.
Gauley River - Lower Section (West Virginia) - Unlink the Upper Gauler, which was a debatable first, this is where the lower does fall into my list. It was a fun river entirely, but all in all I like the ones above it much better.2
West River (Vermont) - I did this for the first time the end of this past summer (September 1999). it only runs rafting trips four times a year when they lower the reservoir level for the winter/spring run-offs. Its a technical class III river and I'm glad i did it two days in a row this year, as I enjoyed it alot more the second day than the first (not sure why though).
Deerfield River - Monroe Bridge Section (Massachusetts) - The second river I ever rafted, its a technical river running class III-IV. I've only run it twice, but it just doesn't compare to the bigger water in Maine (although it is alot closer to home than Maine is). The biggest problem I have with it is that you run a rapid, then pull over to the side and wait for all the rest of the rafts to come through before going on. Its a short section of river which only takes alot of time because of the waiting. I prefer to at least be moving downsteam throughout a trip even if its not constantly going through rapids.
Deerfield River - Fife Brook Section (Massachusetts) - The first river I ever did. Its an easy, small-rapid river. The biggest rapid is a class III called Zoar's Gap. Its a good first river to run. Its also good if you have a large group as there are lots of space for water fights.
What i've rafted and when
August 5, 1995 - Deerfield River - Fife Brook Section - Massachusetts
Last modified on March 8 2015 10:00am
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