Rafters gear up for Gauley season to commence this weekend

WEST VIRGINIA (WOAY) – Whitewater rafters from around the world are about to be making their way in for the ultimate river expedition.

Encompassing 25 miles of world-class whitewater, the Gauley River is about to welcome boaters to its banks once again. It provides over 60 different rapids for a variety of thrill-seekers.

The Marketing Lead at Adventures On The Gorge, Chelsea Bricker sheds light on the variety of experiences people can have.

“The upper Gauley is known for being very dramatic, it’s big whitewater, it’s super technical, so that trip is recommended for people who have some whitewater rafting experience,” says the Marketing Lead at Adventures on the Gorge, Chelsea Bricker. “The lower Gauley, however, is great for first-time rafters, it’s also very exciting as well, so it is a trip we also recommend for people who have some experience rafting.”

Within the mid-1980s, whitewater rafting was introduced to the Gauley River, leaving a permanent mark ever since.

It has become a driving force behind tourism, bringing in over 40,000 visitors from around the world each year. While the establishment of the New River Gorge National Park title has only increased tourism to the area, the Gauley River has been nationally recognized since the late 1980s.

“People are visiting to visit the New River Gorge National Park but the Gauley River is actually a national recreation area and it’s part of the national park system, as well, so visitors who come here to visit the New River Gorge National Park can also check off another place on their bucket list too if they want to,” Bricker says.

On September 9 water from Summersville Dam will be released into the Gauley, officially marking the start of Gauley Season.

Gauley Season will last for 6 weekends, ending the day after Bridge Day on October 16.

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