The New River Experience

The New River Experience Overview

This is a 50-mile paddle trek on the New River. You will navigate the upper portion of the river in inflatable kayaks (one or two-man) called “duckies”. This portion of the river includes Class I to III rapids. The final whitewater day in the Lower Canyon is a rafting experience and includes Class III to IV rapids. Crews camp along the river through the New River Gorge. A gear boat (raft) accompanies the group to transport gear and food.

Please note that in exceptionally high water, the entire trip may be conducted in rafts.

Program Details

The New River cuts deep into the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. Its long history spans the hunting and foraging of Native Americans, the fur trapping of early frontiersman, and the raw strength and determination of the coal miners and railroad workers who sought to tame its rugged beauty.

More recently, outdoor enthusiasts have flocked to the New River to enjoy a myriad of outdoor adventures and admire the natural beauty of the New River Gorge. The New River Gorge boasts outstanding whitewater rapids (Class I to IV), extensive world-class climbing opportunities, fishing, hiking, mountain biking and more.

But it is more than just an adventure destination; it is an important ecosystem that contains diverse wildlife habitats, continuous forest systems, and diverse plant life. Visitors experience nature up close.

And of course, the New River Gorge is culturally significant as a reminder of our national Coal Heritage. At one time, the Gorge was dotted with small coal camps and towns. Visit their remnants today and come to understand the strengh and character of the men and women whose hard work and determination helped shape our country.

We invite you to come enjoy a river voyage through the historically, culturally, ecologically significant New River Gorge. Paddle, camp, fish, and enjoy all that it has to offer to the next generation of rugged individuals willing to match their mettle against one of the world’s rugged natural wonders.


Registered Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts and Venturers who are at least 14 years old or 13 and graduated the 8th grade; and their registered leaders.

Skill Level

Participants must successfully complete the BSA Swimmer test. We recommend that participants have completed the Kayaking Merit Badge or have equivalent knowledge and skill.


The following forms are required for participation: BSA Annual Health & Medical Record with SBR Risk Advisory, Risk Acknowledgement, and  Whitewater Waiver.


If you want to fish during your trip, you must purchase a West Virginia fishing license at If you would like to fish on your trek please bring your own equipment. Youth under 15 years of age may fish without a license.