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Best Whitewater Rafting in New York State

Updated: May 10, 2023

When most people think of New York, they think of skyscrapers and busy streets. However, the state has much more to offer, including some of the best whitewater rafting in the United States. Looking for the best of the best whitewater rafting? Here are the hot spots to hit the river with the most experienced professional outfitter services in New York.

  1. Hudson River Gorge

best whitewater rafting in new york

The Hudson River Gorge is a popular 17 mile stretch of river, ideal for the absolute best whitewater rafting in New York. Your trip will begin in Indian Lake, New York. The river runs through the Adirondack Mountains and provides Class III to Class V rapids. The scenery is breathtaking, with towering cliffs, wildlife, and dense forests surrounding the river. The best time to go rafting on the Hudson River Gorge is during the summer months when the water is warm for swimming, and the rapids are exciting. If you're looking for exclusively Class IV-V rapids, raft the Hudson River in the spring for big waves and maximum thrill. Be sure to raft with Adventure Sports Rafting Company, and experience Hudson River Rafting with a company boasting 40 years of experience.

2. Black River

Whitewater Rafting

The Black River, located in the western Adirondack Mountains, is another popular destination for whitewater rafting in New York. This trip begins in Dexter, New York. The Black River provides Class III-V rapids and is ideal for intermediate to advanced rafters. The scenery is stunning, with frothy whitewater, and luscious mountain landscapes. The best time to go rafting on the Black River is during the spring and summer months. Be sure to raft the Black River with BOB Rafting.


3. Moose River

Beautiful Whitewater Hudson River Gorge

The Moose River, also located in the Adirondack Mountains, provides Class II to Class V rapids along a 13 mile stretch and is a great destination for experienced rafters looking for big hits. The Lower Moose is for advanced rafters looking for big hits and extreme waves. This section of river must be run at certain water levels and includes Class IV-V rapids. The Middle Moose offers Class I-III whitewater, and is appropriate for beginners. Raft the Moose River anytime from May through October.


4. Ausable River

Whitewater rafting in the adirondack mountains

The Ausable River, located in the Ausable Chasm of the Adirondack Mountains, provides a scenic float trip through a deep gorge with towering cliff walls on every side. This is a perfect trip for beginners and families with young children. Be sure to walk/hike through the Ausable Chasm before or after your float trip to experience the full effect of this beautiful landscape.


5. Salmon River

Best Whitewater rafting in New York

The Salmon River, located in western upstate New York, provides Class III rapids and is a great destination for beginner rafters, and begins in Castile, New York. The river runs on a limited dam release schedule, so be sure to check your calendar before making the trek. The Salmon River runs along side through a mildly populated area that is accessible for rafting, fishing, kayaking and many other types of recreation. Visit Adventure Calls Outfitters to learn about rafting schedules and trips.


New York's wide variety of whitewater rafting destinations include a variety of unique characteristics and challenges. Whether you're an experienced rafter or a beginner, there's a destination that's perfect for you. So, gather your gear, book your trip, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime!


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