The official start of summer is now just one week away and as the thermometer starts to rise you may find yourself looking for a way to cool off in the sun. A fool proof idea that's bound to leave you shivering is white water rafting.
The Hudson River in the Adirondacks is one of only a few of places in the northeast where you can take a guided white water rafting trip. This trip begins on the Indian River, three miles north of the Hudson.
After a quick crash course on how to paddle, the fun begins. Within minutes the raft is barreling through class three -- even class four rapids.
And the rapids are a guarantee all summer long because water levels are controlled by a dam release just up river. "What that means is no matter what time of year -- you're going to get wet," said Guy Middleton, a guide with Adirondack Rafting Company. "I've had people who are scared at the beginning of the trip and by the end they're saying bigger water! Bigger water! Bring it on."
The 17 mile long trip takes four to five hours and travels through the heart of the 6.2 million acre Adirondack Park. "This is one of the most scenic wild rivers in the Northeast," Middleton said.
At most times, you're three to six miles away from the nearest road. "Beautiful, breathtaking, a screen saver. That's what it is," said Rebecca Shellhamer, a client on the trip visiting from New Jersey.
There are several stretches where you can sit back and relax and enjoy the scenery. And then there are the rapids. "It's a rush. You're talking about rapids flowing, everybody excited, screaming," said Mark Anthony Ferrer, from New Jersey. "The winds blowing through your hair, people are spitting everywhere. It's the best."
With names like Harris rift, the Blue Ledges and Big Nasty, little needs to be said about the power of the river's rapids. And if instinct doesn't naturally kick in. We'll you'd be wise to remember to hold on tight to avoid falling in. "It happens on occasion, and in big water we've even flipped rafts," Middleton said. That typically only happens in the spring when the water is at the highest. But even during the dog days of summer you're guaranteed to get wet and have fun.
A white water ride that's hard to beat in Northern New York. If you'd like to raft the river yourself, there are more than a dozen river guides that operate on the upper Hudson River. A trip with Adirondack Rafting company is $80 a person -- slightly less if with a group of six or more and that does include lunch on the river.
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