Hudson River Whitewater Rafting
17 miles of stunning natural beauty
- On the water approximately 5 Hours 30 Minutes
- Arrive by 9:00am, trip lasts until early afternoon (3-4pm)
From Lake Tear of the Clouds high in the Adirondack Mountains, to the busy harbors of New York City, the Hudson River courses through New York State, defining the landscape and attracting whitewater rafters from around the world. The Hudson River Gorge, located in upstate New York's Adirondacks region, is where the power of the river flowing off the mountains has carved out 500-foot granite cliffs. Adding to its natural power, periodic dam releases from Lake Abanakee make conditions ideal for 17+ miles of whitewater rafting.
During the springtime thaw, the Hudson River becomes a swirling torrent of Class III, IV, and V rapids. Prepare for some for the most intense rapids you will experience along the Hudson River Gorge! Don a wetsuit, practice your paddling rhythm and join our experience and licensed guides for a thrilling ride down the mighty Hudson. Adventure Sports Rafting offers ""Big Water"" trips and wetsuit rentals so you can experience the incredible thrill of the Hudson River's powerful whitewater.
Summer is peak season for Hudson River rafting. Spring's rushing rapids have calmed slightly, offering a thrilling ride with warmer temperatures. Families should plan for Class II , III , and IV rapids depending on current river levels. Enjoy the stunning beauty of the Adirondacks in full summer bloom, and delight in the camaraderie of spending an afternoon on the river with rapids, swimming holes, and a scenic lunch.
Fall rafting conditions are similar to those found in the summer months – with the exception of the landscape. Raft along a colorful forest decked out in full fall foliage regalia. Class III and IV rapids are the most common. Later in the whitewater rafting season, keep your eyes peeled for migrating birds and foraging wildlife. Fall is a great time for families with pre-teens to experience a whitewater rafting trip down the Hudson River through the most beautiful foliage on Earth!"
- Transportation to and from the Hudson River
- All necessary safety and paddling equipment (including helmets, life-jackets, paddles, and Avon self-bailing rafts)
- New York State licensed whitewater rafting guide
- Lunch on the river - lunches include a snack, sandwich and beverage. Please let us know ahead of time of any food allergies or other dietary needs.
- Wetsuits are available to rent (We do insist that everyone wear a wetsuit in the Spring months). Add-on Wetsuit - $15 per person.
- A photographer takes action shots of your group while you are out running the rapids. These will be available for purchase at the end of the day, and will be mailed to you.
- A professional photographer takes pictures as you go down the river, but disposable waterproof cameras offer some fun candids during the less demanding stretches.
- There is always some risk of losing things in the river, so leave any valuable items at home.
- There is limited space in the raft, so we ask that you do not bring bulky items such as coolers.
- If you have a pertinent medical condition, please let your guide know, and let someone know where your medication is in case of emergency.
Do we need whitewater experience for a trip on the Hudson?
Our trips are open to everybody. We do, however, recommend summer or fall trips for those who have not had the chance to raft before and spring trips for those who are more experienced and looking for a challenge.
Do we need to know how to swim?
People of all levels of swimming ability are welcome. Everyone will be given a personal flotation device (PFD) at the beginning of the trip and be expected to wear it throughout our time on the river. If you do not feel confident in your swimming abilities, however, it is suggested that you let your guide know. They can then take measures to help you stay in the boat and to get you back in with limited swimming time if you do fall out. It can not be guaranteed that you will not end up in the river at all though, so if you feel really uncomfortable with this, you may wish to check out some of the other activities the area has to offer.
Are there any age restrictions?
For spring rafting, we recommend ages 14+, and in the summer (depending on water levels) we recommend ages 7+. Everyone under 18 must either have a parent present to sign the waiver or come with a pre-signed waiver.
How deep is the water?
The water level depends on the season and recent weather. Higher levels can be expected in the spring and after periods of heavy rainfall during other seasons. Depth varies at different points on the river. In the shallow parts it can be less than 4 feet deep. Regardless of the level and depth, your guide will give you instructions about what to do if you happen to "go for a swim" in it.
How big are the rapids?
The Hudson offers rapids that generally range between Class III and Class V. In the spring you can expect Class IV or V rapids, which are considered to be the most demanding rapids that can be navigated without a significant risk of injury. The summer usually offers a more relaxing trip with rapids that are usually Class II to IV.
When is the best time to come?
It depends on what you're looking for. As we said in previous questions, the water level and the intensity of the trip varies based on season and recent weather. So if you are looking for fairly constant activity and an adrenaline rush, spring is probably the time for you. If you prefer something a little more laid back and relaxing, a summer trip would be better. Warm weather usually doesn't show up until mid- to late June and only stays until the middle of September most years, so that is also something to take into consideration. Also, remember in the summer we only offer trips Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday and in the fall only on the weekends, due to dam releases.
Is whitewater rafting dangerous?
By choosing our company, you have already reduced the risks associated with rafting. It is shown that by choosing a guided service, following the safety instructions given by your guide, and choosing a water level consistent with your ability level, the risks associated with whitewater rafting can be reduced.
What types of injuries can occur and what is done to prevent them?
With 25+ years of experience on The Hudson and an outstanding safety record, our company knows the river and what to do to keep people safe. The majority of the time, minor bumps and bruises will be the most you might suffer from a day on the river. More significant injuries are possible, but can mostly be prevented by listening to the safety instructions given by your guide at the beginning of your trip. These will include everything from how to handle your paddle to how to behave if you do fall in. The most important things to remember are to always look down river and to keep your feet up. You can also count on having a certified and experienced guide who has a guiding license in New York State as well as first aid and water safety training. They carry the necessary first aid and safety supplies with them onboard as well.