Class VI River Runners, New River, West Virginia - My Family Travels

Class VI River Runners in West Virginia take the family white-water rafting in style, and is a great place to get your “feet wet” in this exciting sport.

As I watched my two children, then 9 and 11, paddle alone through their first-ever set of rapids in West Virginia, my mother-hen tendencies kicked in and I started to worry. Up until that point I’d been happy to let the river guides take over — besides setting up camp, cooking delicious meals, and doing the dishes, they showed us how to paddle, how to negotiate rocks, and how to read the river.
But this time my kids were on their own, navigating their individual “duckies,” a type of inflatable kayak, through a stretch of easy white water.

And sure enough, they came through just fine and I could shift my worrying to something else, like what to choose for dinner:  chicken, steak, or fish.

Several qualities set this well-run rafting outfitter apart from their competition: they’re just a few hours from a number of major metropolitan areas yet offer a wilderness adventure experience; they are one of the best rafting values for your dollar in the country; and their guides can tell West Virginia-style tall-tales around the campfire for as long as you can stay up to listen.

They have a sense of humor, too — the Groover (no relation to Austin Powers) is the portable potty set up at every camp site.

If you’re not sure if river rafting is for your family, opt for a one-day trip to get your feet wet. And if you’re even more reluctant than that to try it, sign up for their mile-long tree canopy zipline ride — you can stay high above the New River Gorge and just admire the whitewater.

But the real fun is when you get to spend a night or two under the stars. You can paddle your own duckie along the New River like we did, or you can ride a larger raft with a guide aboard. You’ll pass through steep canyons, rolling hills, and pristine meadows, and you can slip into the water (which is comfortably warm) whenever you need a refreshing break.

One-, two- and three-day trips suitable for families are offered weekly during the summer.

Resort Report Card

Name: Class VI River Runners
Address: Lansing
West Virginia
Phone: 800/252-7784
Seasonal Rates: $ – $$$$
Hotel Setting: A
Hotel Staff: A
Choice of Activities: A
Quality of Amenities: A
Bonus: The New River is known as the Grand Canyon of West Virginia.
Note: My kids still laugh when they talk about the "groover."

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