Whitewater Rafting near NYC
July 31, 2006 7:31 AM   Subscribe

Looking for awesome class III (or II) whitewater rafting in New York State or PA (within a few hours of NYC / North Jersey). Any recommendations? Also, we don't want a guide, we just want to rent everything and go on our own - will most companies agree to that?
posted by exhilaration to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total)
It's been a few years, but IIRC the Delware River has class II/III depending on water levels. The big outfit is Kittatinny Canoes. Never gone to them but their ads are everywhere in the region. Silver Canoe in Port Jervis, NY (~2 hours from Manhattan) was pretty low-key, they had no problem renting us a raft and kayak and sending us on our way.
posted by djb at 7:47 AM on July 31, 2006

class (easy) III: Lehigh River, look for Dam releases dates (been with this company, our group fit in one boat - there were 2 guides in kayaks for about 10 rafts)
posted by MzB at 8:04 AM on July 31, 2006

Unless you have experience in whitewater rafting you might want to reconsider. I have seen the consequences of those who underestimate the power of flowing water or overestimate their abilities and it isn't pretty. Even flat water can be dangerous with invisible snags, logjams and undercut rocks. It would be better if you go with someone who has experience. If you decide to go anyway, absolutely no alcohol, no small children, and never remove your helmet or lifejacket, even in flatwater. There have already been 20 deaths so far this summer in my area because people have made mistakes. I have seen the misery of raft parties that have to spend the rest of the day looking for the dead body of their friend.
posted by JackFlash at 8:44 AM on July 31, 2006 [1 favorite]

I have rafted on the Lehigh River - the outfit we rented from was without a tour guide in our boat but I think there were some guides in the river - I don't remember. It was, according to those in our party in the know, a very easy ride although one of us got dunked (with some knee scraping), we got stuck on rocks a few times and it was not easy learning how to steer the raft. It was a fun day and the Lehigh gorge is very beautiful.
posted by bluesky43 at 9:47 AM on July 31, 2006

Unless you have experience in whitewater rafting you might want to reconsider.

Definitely -- class III is not safe if you don't have experience/training. My parents whitewater kayaked for years, and by far the largest class of stories they have are about encounters with people who didn't know what they were doing and got in trouble. One important skill you won't have is scouting the river -- it may not be obvious to you, for instance, that the river is running high from flooding, and suddenly verging on class IV.
posted by advil at 12:03 PM on July 31, 2006

Perhaps too far is the Youghiogheny River in southcentral Pennsylvania. I rafted the lower Yough (III-IV) with friends back in 1998 without a guide, and we did just fine.
posted by billtron at 6:50 PM on July 31, 2006

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