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Old 02-04-2012   #1
 
whiteknuckles's Avatar
 
Front Royal, Virginia
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 23
East Coast rafting

So im moving from colorado to virginia, and would like some info on rafting in the east. I have a 14' star oarframe set up. Where are the good rivers how far would i have to travel....

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Old 02-05-2012   #2
 
Goshen, New York
Join Date: Aug 2010
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West by God Virginia
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Old 02-05-2012   #3
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
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i'm not as familiar with virginia, but you have the gauley and new river in west virginia. The nantahala, nolichucky, french broad, watauga, and the cheoah are all in North Carolina and are fun rafting rivers. You won't see too many people rowing out east, mostly paddle boats and kayaks. You may come across the occasional cat...but not likely. use the american whitewater website, it has a lot of useful beta about the rivers on the east coast.

another good website is boatingbeta.com it mostly focuses on the asheville, nc scene...but is a great resource.
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Old 02-06-2012   #4
 
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
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Where are you going to be in VA? There are a lot of rafting options in WV (Gauley, New, Cheat, Elk, etc, etc, etc) If you are in the DC area, the upper sections of the Potomac might have some rafting, the James in and above Richmond has whitewater. There is also a good deal of rafting in NC/TN (Nolichucky, Nantahala, Ocoee). Most of the runs there will feel small(narrow) compared to the Colorado classics with the exception of the New and Gauley which are bigger flow. boonekayak is right about the rafting scene. There are not a lot of private rafts on the water, although the numbers are growing. Most of the rafts you do see are paddle boats. Lots of commercial rubber out there on the big name runs.
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Old 02-06-2012   #5
 
Bryson City, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 1972
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Not sure where in Virginia you will be coming from, but the rivers in NC and GA may not be too bad of a drive. My favorites are the French Broad (high water in spring is best), Chattooga (also high water in spring and early summer) and Cheoah (limited releases, but super tough/super fun). The Noli in TN is also fun and beautiful. I know you have your own boat and don't need guided trips, but the links listed here give you more info on the rivers, just for your own edification. Hope you have fun!
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Old 02-06-2012   #6
 
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Reston, Virginia
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jan 2012
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I live in Virginia, and here's what I've got that's worth the drive:

Potomac, Cheat, New, Bluestone, Gauley, Youghiogheny, Lehigh, Savage, and a number of others. Most of these are under 5hr drives.

Hit me up when you make the move.
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Old 02-06-2012   #7
 
Goshen, New York
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In a raft the Lehigh is only worth a drive when you are trying to entertain young uns or it is VERY high. And even then it's not worth a drive from VA.
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Old 02-06-2012   #8
 
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Front Royal, Virginia
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Jun 2010
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Thanks for all the info everyone, Im gonna look it all up on the map, and check out those websites. Im headed to Front Royal, Va., in northern Va., Catman I will look ya up sometime in June. Im gonna miss the shit outta Winter Park!
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Old 02-07-2012   #9
 
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Silverthorne, Colorado
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You can also drive north into New York, Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine to raft. Maine has guaranteed water on 2 of their major rivers (Kennebec West Branch of the Penobscot) If you time your trip right you can hit the Kennebec, Dead, West Branch of the Penobscot, Canada Falls and Seeboomook all in one trip.
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Old 02-07-2012   #10
 
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Golden, CO
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You will be very close to the Shenandoah and Potomac which both have some easy whitewater sections plus good flatwater fishing float trips. I would think that the Potomac would have some multiday camping float trip too. If you can drive 2 to 6 hrs you pretty much have it made for whitewater and you never run out of water (unlike Colorado).
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