3. Chattooga River, South Carolina and Georgia
The Chattooga River is the main tributary of the Tugaloo River. It stretches 57 miles from its headwaters in Cashiers, North Carolina to its crossing with Tallulah River.
Cashiers is too diminutive a stream to drop in, so rafters typically start at Green Creek and head to the Class II-IV rapids in Section III before coming across the Bull Sluice rapid in Section III.
Section IV has Class II-V rapids, including the famous Five Falls (five class III-V rapids in about a quarter mile). If you’ve seen “Deliverance”, you’ve seen some of the rapids mentioned here.
Late spring is when the pink and white mountain laurels bloom on the river banks and the water reaches ideal levels and temperatures. This is a drop-pool style river where rapids are followed by calm pools that attract swimmers.
2. Deerfield River, Massachusetts
The Deerfield River is a 76 mile run from southern Vermont through northwestern Massachusetts to the Connecticut River. The Fife Brook section is for Class II and III rafters, and the “Dryway” for Class IV rafters. If you like fly fishing, pause between the Fife Brook dam and the Route 2 bridge for some satisfying catch and release action.
But that’s not all because there are creek runs at Deerfield, too. They include the Class IV-V West Branch of the Deerfield in Readsboro; the Class V Dunbar Brook in Monroe; the Class V Pelham Brook in Rowe; the Class IV Cold River in Florida; and the class III Chickley River in Hawley, Massachusetts.
The Deerfield River is a popular spot for kayaking, canoeing, tubing, fishing, swimming, and camping. Plus, there is a spot at Stillwater Bridge where swimmers are known to jump from the steep cliffs.
1. Kennebec River and Dead River, Maine
The Kennebec River is a 230-mile-long river that is entirely within the U.S. state of Maine. It rises in Moosehead Lake in west-central Maine. It offers consistent class II-IV whitewater rafting all summer and fall. Rafters navigate their way through the rock-walled Kennebec River Gorge before pausing for lunch in the forest-lined lower section, home to eagles, moose, osprey to name a few.
The Dead River (or West Branch), is a 42.6-mile-long river in central Maine in the U.S., its main source being Flagstaff Lake. It is a popular river with whitewater rafting because the damming at Flagstaff Lake has made the run more predictable, although it ranges in difficulty from Class II to Class VI+. The total run is 15 miles from Spencer Stream to West Forks, with rare access points to the road in between those points.
Get Your Paddles and Go!
White water rafting has not stopped growing in popularity since the 70s, because it is an excellent way to enjoy an area’s natural beauty while exercising and going on an adventure.
No matter the level of difficulty, white water rafting allows you a unique vantage point for some gorgeous natural scenery and an intimate connection with the forces moving you along: the wind, water and your own body.
If you’re looking for a new way to experience excitement and beauty at the same time, any one of the above rivers has to make it onto your bucket list.