The excitement of travelling down a river, the beauty of the outdoors and the thrill of an action sport, rolled into one – we’re talking about white water rafting Virginia! Virginia and outdoor adventure are good friends, and both locals and visitors will confirm that. Hiking, trail running, fishing and hunting are popular activities, but none of them deliver the rush that white water rafting does. The Shenandoah River and James River alike feature great white water rafting spots. We’ve put together the following list to help you find the best white water rafting Virginia has to offer. Read up, and then get going!
White Water Rafting in Richmond
The capital of Virginia is home to more than a goldmine of history and a great downtown – some of the best white water rafting Virginia has can be found here on the James River! These Richmond-based white water rafting companies will get you out on the water.
Rapids rookies and seasoned pros alike will find the adventure they’re looking for at RVA Paddlesports. Tackle the Class III rapids of the Lower James River for only $59, which includes a guide, all necessary gear, and snacks. Those less adventurous should consider a raft tour of the Upper James, a slower-paced trip that takes passengers by the James River Park. Locations, prices and tour times and more can be found on RVA Paddlesports’ website.
Riverside Outfitters offers three different guided raft tours of the James, including the thrilling Falls of the James tour. According to their website, Richmond is the only major U.S. city home to Class II-IV rapids, and Falls of the James is the best way to experience them. Enjoy great views of the city and local wildlife from the water, as your guide takes you down the river. Raft tours of the Upper and Lowers James are also available. Riverside Outfitters also offers standup paddleboarding (SUP), guided kayak tours and more – find out more by visiting their website.
White Water Rafting in the Shenandoah Valley
If you want to experience white water rafting Virginia with stunning scenery, then the head to the Shenandoah Valley.
Start in Elkton, VA, and enjoy a trip down the Shenandoah River with Massanutten Adventures, rafting Class I rapids. This tour is a great option if you’re looking for budget-friendly trip and mild rapids. More information (including details about their canoe, kayak and tubing trips) can be found on Massanutten Adventures’ website.
If you already own a raft and prefer to do things your way, the Shenandoah River is home to plenty of great spots to get out on the water! The Natural Bridge is one of those places (a large natural land formation that looks like a bridge, off of I-81), and the section of the Shenandoah River that runs by it features Class I-II rapids.
White Water Rafting the Maury River
Located near Lexington, the Maury River features some of the state’s more challenging rapids. You can find a decent amount of easier rides here, but if you want tackle Class III and IV rapids, head to the section of the river between Goshen Pass and Rockbridge Baths. This 5 miles stretch a is a great option for more experienced rafters.
Reward A Long Day on the Rapids With A Stay at By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages
Located in downtown Harrisonburg, VA, By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages offers the best lodging you’ll find in the Shenandoah Valley. Beautiful accommodations, perfect for couples seeking a romantic getaway, paired with modern amenities make By the Side of the Road an option you don’t want to pass on. Our convenient location is only minutes from some of the best things to do in the Shenandoah Valley, whether that’s Shenandoah National Park, the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail, excellent East Coast fishing, the Skyline Drive Scenic Highway, and so much more. We’d love to host you – contact us today online or at (540) 801-0430 and make your reservations. Make you sure you download our free Shenandoah Valley vacation guide, too!