3 canoes on lake cole

New River blues

Even cloudy, rainy weather couldn’t get the West Virginia Whitewater paddlers down. They have spent the last few days on some amazing activities. Thursday and Friday were their 2 days on the New River, one of the best rivers in the east. Their ducky day was a big hit as the crew paddled their own inflatable kayaks down the class I-III rapids of the upper New River. Besides paddling, they also took time for some games including building their very own ducky tower.

The next day was time for bigger water on the lower New River. Class III-V rapids awaited the crews as they cruised down the river on their 14-foot rafts. It was another great day full of paddling, swimming, and surfing West Virginia style.

Saturday everyone was back on land for a mountain bike tour down into the historic New River Gorge. After a brief talk on safety procedures, the group hit the trail and headed down to the town of Thurmond, once one of the most prosperous towns in West Virginia. After the coal and railroad industries moved out, the town suffered but has become a quaint tourist attraction with its National Park visitors’ center and great views of the river. The guides Jeff and Scott spiced things up with a “sneak attack” on the trip leaders. Todd and Amanda discovered their bike seats had disappeared during a break and just couldn’t figure out what had happened. Once that was sorted out, they finished up their tour and headed back up to Mountain Top campground for dinner and some hang out time.

Caving was on the agenda for Sunday and from what I’ve heard, it was amazing. Some of the campers were a little nervous but the group helped them through and everyone made it through the experience with a smile on their face. Monday is their final day in Oak Hill as they hit the 2nd best (next to the Colorado River) river in North America — the Gauley. Depending on water levels, they’ll be duckying (low water) or rafting (high water) the lower Gauley River before they head back to Pennsylvania on Tuesday for Wednesday rock climbing. We’ll check back with them then!


Zach eigenbrodt

Born and raised in Wisconsin, Zach couldn't keep himself out of the woods when growing up. He started working at a Northern Wisconsin YMCA Camp as a wilderness trip leader while in college and fell in love with getting kids into nature. The smiles on kids faces after returning from a once in a life time wilderness experience is why he is here today. Zach brought his talents to Frost Valley YMCA, in 2014, when he started as the Trips Coordinator and soon was promoted to Adventure Director. Zach loves all forms of Wilderness exploration, though some would say his heart lies most with canoeing.

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