West Virginia has a new national park, the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve. It’s pretty awesome! I was able to experience whitewater rafting on Class V rapids there during Gauley Season, and I highly recommend it! We filmed for “Travels with Darley” and our “West Virginia Adventures” episode.
Gauley Season holds some of the world’s toughest whitewater rafting that regular travelers can enjoy. From the first weekend after Labor Day for another six weekends, the Gauley River is at its fullest. This is the time when the Army Corps of Engineers provides a series of controlled releases for the express purpose of downriver recreation. What this means is that travelers can get in on the action, taking on rollercoaster waves and class five rapids—intense!!
Even if you’ve never experienced whitewater rafting, you might be prepared and not even know it. For instance, you may have already been training for the army, or enjoyed a really forceful shower at home or at the spa. No matter you’ve received instructions or not, if you hit the Gualey, you’re in for the ride of your life. Watch this:
Pillow Rock is one of the most infamous spot among the class fives on the Gauley. If you weren’t putting all into your paddling before, you will for Pillow Rock. Get yourslef prepared to slap your paddles as you pass by Pillow Rock, in a cool but fun manner.
So I didn’t quite get the high five, but I do get some paddle love later on and enjoy one of the craziest natural roller coasters on the planet.
You can watch the full West Virginia episode with lots of adventures in “Travels with Darley” on Amazon Prime. If you go rafting, stop by Fayetteville! It’s a nearby small town that’s big on adventure and has some tasty, local restaurants.