If you're looking for one-stop shopping when it comes to river adventures that range from mild to wild, simply contact Adventure Gateway. This consortium of high-quality companies located throughout the United States makes it easy to book a complete paddling getaway ranging from a half-day to more than a week.
Organized in 2002 and made up of 11 companies, Adventure Gateway provides a perfect portal to a wide range of paddling offerings on more than 30 rivers. They strive for quality and only accept new members to the group by unanimous vote. Collectively, they've been in business for more than 300 years and several companies started in the 1960s, when white-water rafting was in its infancy.
Whether it's a first-timer trip down a pretty river with riffles or the white-water trip of a lifetime through the rugged Grand Canyon, Adventure Gateway's members have the perfect river (and trip). Many of them also feature other paddling adventures including kayaking and canoeing, instruction, dining, varied accommodations and more. Families are welcome on many trips, and safety for all participants is as big a priority as quality.
RIDING BETWEEN THE ROCKS - An Adventure Gateway-sponsored white-water rafting expedition at the Rogue River in Oregon. Photo by Lynn Seldon.
ROLLING DOWN THE RIVER - Adventure Gateway is currently made up of 11 companies, some of which started white-water rafting in the 1960s. CNS photo by Lynn Seldon.
GETTING READY FOR THE RAPIDS - Unloading boats for white-water rafting at the Chattooga River in Longcreek, South Carolina. CNS photo by Lynn Seldon.
ADRENALIN PUMPING - White-water rafting with Class VI River Runners on the Gaulery River, West Virginia. CNS photo by Lynn Seldon.
Here's a summary of the possibilities with Adventure Gateway's members:
- Adventures Unlimited ( www.adventuresunlimited.com): Located right on Coldwater Creek in the Panhandle region of Florida, Adventures Unlimited offers canoeing through the Blackwater River State Forest, as well as tent camping, cabins and an inn.
- Buffalo Outdoor Center ( www.buffaloriver.com): Founded in 1976, BOC has grown from a small canoe-rental business into a first-class wilderness retreat with hand-crafted log cabins, a mountaintop lodge and a wide range of canoeing on the Buffalo National River.
- Class VI River Runners ( www.class-vi.com): With a base camp facility right on the New River Gorge, West Virginia's Class VI River Runners runs trips on the New and Gauley rivers. They also have new, upscale cabins, gourmet dining at Smokey's on the Gorge and a wide range of activities off the rivers in wild and wonderful West Virginia.
- Echo Canyon River Expeditions ( www.raftecho.com): Colorado's Arkansas River is Echo Canyon's specialty, with half-day trips ideal for first-timers and families, and multiday adventures available for extended white-water wonders.
- Echo River Trips ( www.echotrips.com): With wilderness white-water trips since 1972, Echo runs on two of the finest rivers in the American West: the Middle Fork of the Salmon in Idaho and the Rogue River in southwest Oregon. Their varied multiday trips are a specialty.
- Far Flung Outdoor Center ( www.farflungoutdoorcenter.com): Big Bend National Park is one of the most remote parks in the lower 48, and Far Flung focuses on canoe and raft adventures along the mighty Rio Grande. Jeep and ATV tours are popular add-ons after a day (or several days) on the river.
- Gunflint Lodge & Northwoods Outfitters ( www.gunflint.com): From a wilderness canoe trip in northeast Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area to a cabin vacation with every amenity, this long-time, family-run destination (75 plus years) is a canoeing mecca and much more.
- Holiday Expeditions ( www.holidayexpeditions.com): With many multiactivity offerings, Holiday features white-water rafting in Utah, Colorado and Idaho, on the Colorado, Green, Yampa, San Juan, Salmon and Snake rivers. They also offer renowned mountain biking trips.
- New England Outdoor Center ( www.neoc.com): Based in northern Maine, NEOC features white-water rafting on the Kennebec, Penobscot and Dead rivers, as well as their own lodging and dining options, moose tours and snowmobiling in winter.
- Outdoors Unlimited ( www.outdoorsunlimited.com): Specializing in Grand Canyon river trips on the Colorado, Outdoors Unlimited brings more than 30 years of experience to trips that can run from five to 15 days (and almost 300 miles).
- Wildwater Ltd. ( www.wildwaterrafting.com): With varied locations, including lodging, in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, Wildwater features adventures on the Chattooga, Ocoee, Nantahala, Cheoah and Pigeon rivers. Their North Carolina location has "yurt" lodging, making for a unique base for rafting, biking, dining and more.
This laundry list of varied adventures on and off America's top rivers makes it easy to see why Adventure Gateway's one-stop shopping option has been so popular. Get set to get wet!
IF YOU GO
Adventure Gateway is a consortium of 11 top rafting and canoeing companies. Their Web site makes for one-stop shopping when you're looking for mild to wild paddling adventures on more than 30 rivers. The Web site also features river overviews, tips on choosing an appropriate trip and links to each member's unique Web site.
Lynn Seldon ( www.lynnseldon.com) is a veteran freelance travel journalist, with more than 750 publication credits.