History: Adventures On The Gorge Resort West VirginiaThe history of West Virginia White Water Rafting begins in the late 1960s, when a a few hearty river runners pioneered big-water rafting on the east Coast.
In the 1960’s and 70’s, commercial rafting was very much a novelty with relatively few outfitters operating in the United States. The introduction of whitewater rafting to West Virginia ushered in a new era of economic growth shifting the focus away from the historical income-producing industries such as coal mining and timber toward travel and tourism.
West Virginia rafting participants during the early years were in their twenties and thirties, hungry for adventure and a new thrill. Whitewater rafting on the New and Gauley Rivers delivered exactly what they were looking for and more. Most had never experienced West Virginia as a tourist destination and few had ever come into contact with the wild rivers and scenic beauty of this region. Rafting in the Mountain State was the ultimate in outdoor adventure combining scenic wilderness, wild rivers and a rush excitement.
Today, advances in river-running techniques and equipment makes the less dramatic sections of the New River runnable for kids as young as 6, what began in 1968 as a single outfitter running a few trips has grown into a $20 million industry attracting visitors from around the world. The gauley continues to provide thrill seekers with the highest of high adventure.
Want to learn about the history of our world-class brands, Mountain River Tours, Class VI-Mountain River, the Rivermen and Songer Whitewater?