Hudson River Gorge, NY: 7/10/10

After my zip line experience this summer, I can cross another bullet off my outdoor sports to-do list: whitewater rafting.

rafting on the Indian River

In the Central Adirondacks, there are several rafting outfitters that take advantage of scheduled dam releases from Indian Lake to run river trips from April to October: a six-month season. North Creek Rafting Company (NCRC), a very short walk from Main Street, outfitted us with equipment, gave our group a quick orientation, drove us to the put-in site, and within a minute or two, we were careening through our first series of Class 3 rapids.

Whitewater in the Gorge

Our guide Brian Conway did a great job directing our group of beginner and lower-intermediate rafters — telling us when to stop, change direction, or “HIT THE DECK!!” when we were about to blast down a drop-off.

Crazy Helmet Day

Several times throughout the 4.5-hour trip, we were able to jump in and laze around in the warm water flowing down from the High Peaks.

rafting guide Brian Conway

Around 1 pm, we pulled up to a small clearing and the guides broke out a delicious homemade lunch: vegetarian mango burritos, mint chocolate cookies, and fresh fruit served with iced tea.

Lunch Break

By the time we pulled into North Creek around 3 pm, I was sold on whitewater rafting, and looking forward to coming back in the autumn with the wife.

North Creek Rafting Company

I had a great time with the NCRC crew, which runs trips on the Hudson, Moose, Boreas, Sacandaga, and Salmon Rivers. They were highly professional and a lot of fun.

For more on the North Creek Rafting Company call (800) 989-RAFT.

9 comments on “Hudson River Gorge, NY: 7/10/10

  1. Nate and Becky owners of North Creek Rafting are great people. Nate also promotes live music in the northcountry.

    I also know Brian Conway from my kayaking days. He’s a whitewater kayaker and has paddled much of the class V whitewater in the Adks and beyond. The last place I saw him was in the woods at Gore mountain last winter.

    The Hudson Gorge is a beautiful run and offers a nice relief from the summer heat. James, if you want a more exciting ride, book a raft trip in early April when the water is high. Ski at Gore one day and raft the other.

  2. That second photo is a cool shot. Did you guys run the Otter Slide rapid, or is the put-in just below that? I’m always complaining about how hard it is to get good photos of skiing and climbing – whitewater action pics must be just about impossible to get unless you’re on shore. Fumbling with a camera is exactly NOT the thing to be doing midway through a Class 5 rapid. Sounds like you had a great trip.

  3. Put-in was below Otter Slide. For a never-ever like me, the Class 3s on this ride were exciting. Can’t wait to try something more difficult next spring. My only regret was not getting involved with rafting years earlier. What was I thinking?

  4. James came back so jazzed from the NCRC trip that it’s got me rethinking my (mild) whitewater phobia. But unlike James, I’ll probably opt for a summer or fall trip to try out a relatively mellow ride.

  5. The ride through the Gorge is more scenic than scary. If you need a training run take a trip to White Haven, PA and go on a trip down the Lehigh. You’ll be really wanting more action and the Hudson is the next step up from that. You’ll likely be guided by a Gore skier. In fact nearly all of the guides are Gore skiers. Or, ask EDeO if he’ll take you down. If you get your own group and have your own guide you can rent a raft from an outfitter. Maybe we can get Harvey, James, Jason, Pam, Roch Mark together in Sept for a run of the gorge in a raft…that could be a hoot.

    One year Jeff Palka, Bubba and a bunch of friends rented a raft for a day in the Gorge. They brought their own refreshments and had an excellent day. I think you can only do this if you have an experienced raft guide in your group and they know the outfitter. Off-duty raft guides bring their friends down the river like this. EDeO qualifies.

  6. PDQ is right; man up and do it. 2/3 of it is flat water — very scenic, lots of opportunities for swimming or hanging out with friends on the raft. I loved the rapids we did and can’t wait to do something a bit more challenging next time.

  7. James – I will be up there this coming week. No problem taking my wife and teen son along, but how about my 5 yr old daughter? Not a good idea?

  8. They won’t allow a five year old on the Hudson Gorge. But you should check out the Sacandaga. I believe they allow children on that river.

  9. Per PDQ, kids that young can’t go in the gorge. As I mentioned earlier, most of it is flat water, but the Class 3 rapids would definitely send a small child flying into the river.

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