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Hudson River Spring Rafting 101

Posted in General, Rafting


Welcome to class! Today’s topic is the biggest, the baddest and yes, the coldest, time of year for whitewater rafting– springtime. Hudson River whitewater rafting was born in the spring of the late 1970’s and continues to be a way for the most daring adventurers to test their metal. Many of our customers in the spring are the same groups that come year after year in search of the highest water possible. They are the proof that once you get a taste of a high water Hudson, you’ve gotta come back for more. While the spring is the granddaddy of all seasons for whitewater rafting in NY, it does require a pretty good understanding of what you’re getting yourself into. Read on to learn more about what to expect from a springtime Hudson River whitewater rafting trip. We promise there won’t be a pop quiz.

It can get BIG

We’re talking Class IV+, waves as big as the bus you rode to the river on. It’s not uncommon to hear a guide giving their crew a pep talk before the biggest rapids. The hoots and hollers are typically so loud (especially in The Narrows) that all the boats downstream can hear everyone laughing. High water adrenaline is totally contagious. There is nothing else quite like finishing a huge rapid and cheering with your boat mates.

It can be Cold

The reason the water is so big in the spring is from all the winter snow melting. Snow is cold. So is the water that was once snow. Spring rafting trips require dressing appropriately. Having the right layers can make or break your experience. Even though the water and air are chilly, if you come dressed for success you will be comfortable on the river. Our trips ALWAYS include full wetsuits, splash tops, booties and gloves because we don’t think you should have to pay extra to be warm. Check out our blog post on dressing for spring rafting to learn more about what to wear on a spring rafting trip.

Timing can be Tricky

We get a lot of phone calls asking when the water will be the biggest and honestly, it can be hard to pinpoint. We know when the water spiked in previous years and use that to predict the current year. Mother Nature can be fickle though, and sometimes our snow doesn’t melt when we expect it to. Typically, the middle weeks of April are a good bet for the highest water of the year. The best way to know when the water will peak is to check our social media and the USGS gauge. We will announce when the water starts to rise on Facebook and Instagram. Anything above 6ft is big big water!

It’s Totally Worth it

Cold water and temperamental weather can’t keep the adrenaline junkies among us away. Guides crave high water and groups that are lucky enough to raft in the spring tend to come back year after year to get their high water fix. Our high water Hudson River rafting trips begin 4/13/19– give us a call or book online to hop on a trip and see what it’s all about. Ages 16+ this time of year. For younger families and those not quite ready for high water, join us on trips starting mid to late May through the whole summer!

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Beaver Brook Outfitters

Beaver Brook Outfitters