- $79.95 for a rafting trip on the Lower Gauley River with camping ($133 value)
This Groupon is valid for a rafting trip on a Friday in September. “Gauley Season” is in place for several weekends after Labor Day, when natural rapids are supplemented by controlled dam releases for rapids ranging from Class III to Class V. The Lower Gauley features less frequent but more dramatic rapids than the upper portion of the river. Participants (aged 14 or older) will be supplied with a helmet, paddle, and life jacket, as well as a riverside deli-style lunch during the trip. A shuttle will transport rafters between the campsite and river sites.
Customers also receive two nights of tent camping (either Thursday and Friday or Friday and Saturday). The 10-acre campground features hot showers in the clean bathhouse, coin-operated laundry, free wireless Internet, and complimentary hot coffee every morning. On Saturday nights, there’s live entertainment at the Cantrell Grill & Pub, which is within walking distance of the campsite.
Cantrell Ultimate Rafting
Cantrell Ultimate Rafting is a true local operation. The Cantrell family has grown up on West Virginia's rivers and has served as recreational outfitters here for more than 30 years. Their tour company, which is perhaps the only one in the area that's family owned and operated, strives to offer exciting trips on the New and Gauley Rivers with experienced guides who exude country charm. Even visiting the company's campground feels like a homecoming. Near the cabins, RVs, and tent sites, the scents of coffee and hot breakfast waft from the Kitchen deck in the morning and bands strike up lively tunes at the Cantrell Grill & Pub on Saturday nights.
Of course, the primary attraction are the rivers, their thrilling rapids, and gorgeous valley sights. The rivers are divided up into alternate courses so rafters can choose the trip that best suits their skill level. For instance, the Gauley River's rapids are transformed in early fall by controlled dam releases, making those six successive weekends a premier whitewater-rafting event. The upper portion of the river has more rapids, while the lower portion's rapids are big and dramatic. Meanwhile, the Upper New River provides Class I through III rapids, gentle descents, and hilly scenery, making it ideal for for beginners. The Lower New River, though, boasts the unofficial title of Grand Canyon of the East, offering a beastly array of Class V rapids sure to get adrenaline flowing and transform wet blankets into even wetter blankets.