There is one outdoor sport that is a true adventure and works for everyone – amateur or pro. Whether you wish to take a long, calm trip, or a roller-coaster ride full of thrills and chills, the sport of kayaking/whitewater rafting can provide both.
Now is the time when the sun begins to shine far more and the adrenaline is pumping; people want nothing more than to get back into the great outdoors without having to slog through a snowdrift. This may seem odd, when considering one of the number one places people flock to in order to kayak is located in the very cool state of Alaska.
The Alsek and Tatshenshini rivers offer amazing scenes of glaciers and icebergs, as the two rivers allow the kayaker to travel through the northern wilderness. This is what a whitewater rafting trip is all about; even more talked about than the well-known rapids in Colorado. In addition, almost every type of photograph can be taken here; from a grizzly catching a salmon as it leaps into the cool air to the moose staring back at you wondering why you’re crazy enough to be sitting in a little boat staring back at them.
The true adrenaline junkie will talk about the ‘Class IV’ rapids that exist on the exciting trip down Middle Fork, Salmon River, Idaho. The scenery is stunning, completely unhindered by Man. But although the sites are unforgettable, you have barely enough time between bumps and turns to catch them!
If Class IV is good…what about Class V? Well, you have to travel a bit farther for that one – all the way to the Futaleufú River in Chile. There you will seriously take the plunge as you find yourself shot through the glacier-fed lakes of the Andes. Oddly enough, there are also miles of leisurely beauty that can provide for the newbie when it comes to whitewater rafting, so there is room at this location for one and all.
Slow down a bit and take your time enjoying the scenery and having a relaxing day by kayaking through the gentle Niobrara River in Nebraska. Or, head to New England where there are all kinds of leisurely paces that can be set along the many rivers.
For a person wanting both to choose from; in Maine, the Penobscot River; in Vermont, the Green River; and in Pennsylvania, the Lehigh River await – and each one has everything you can imagine for the amateur kayaker or whitewater rafting expert in the United States.
No, there will never be a way to forget the Grand Canyon in this tale; that Colorado River where basically every movie involving whitewater rafting has been shot over the years. Maybe not the biggest or the boldest, the Colorado River is still the most honored, still very high in popularity, and those reds and browns of a Western landscape are breathtaking.
For the environmentalist, or simply the one who wishes to see Mother Nature at it’s most amazing, there are a ton of choices from the Deep South to the Florida rivers that offer vegetation, flora and fauna that is overly amazing at any time of year.
To feel small in a great big world, the huge wilderness of Wisconsin is your place to shine. The Namekagon River is a literal path through pine forests and fir trees that will make you feel like a solitary hunter living the peaceful life.
Again, first-timers will love this beauty and majesty as they learn the thrills of whitewater rafting. And with guides and trips available, the entire family can enjoy this sport and wave hello to everything from the antelope to the buffalo standing on the banks with a bit of a smile on their faces. No. Really. Look closely if you can. The smiles are there because unlike you, the wildlife knows in less than one minute you’ll be dropping that cell phone you’re using to take their picture, as the rapids take over…and the screams begin!