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How Do I Get Started with River Rafting Near Me? US & UK Edition

River Rafting Near Me?

Here at OTL, we know about shows, events, and other things to do. But, outdoor activities? Not so much. So, we consulted an adventure-seeking expert to put together this guide to “river rafting near me.” You go all-in with friends or keep it tame and float along with your family.

However you decide to pursue it, you’ll be making some memories – and that’s what life’s about, isn’t it?

river rafting adventures, river rafting near me, rafting, whitewater rafting

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

You know that old nursery rhyme “row, row, row your boat?” They were onto something when they said it made life like a dream. There’s nothing quite like floating down a river in a raft to make all of your troubles seem to melt away. The current gently pushing you along; the wind whispering across the banks; the sound of birds chirping. River rafting truly does make life a dream!

Getting into river rafting can be a bit intimidating, especially if you’ve never gone and are unsure of where to go. Places like Eagle, Colorado, Missoula, Montana, and Oak Hill, West Virginia, are some of the best for finding excellent rivers (as well as river outfitters) to help you begin your journey of getting started with river rafting!

But just getting to these places may not answer all of your questions about getting on the river. That’s why we put together this quick guide to help you get started with river rafting this summer. Let’s get started!

young river rafter, river rafting for families

Get Me Started With River Rafting Near Me

The best thing you can do to get started is to find a local outfitter to chat up. These companies should offer guided trips down the river you plan to tackle. They’ll be able to tell you what to expect when getting on the river, what sections to avoid, and even tell you what sort of gear to bring.

Consider booking a trip with the outfitter before you attempt to float the river yourself to get a sense of where to paddle based on how an experienced guide navigates the river you’d like to float.

How Do I Find the Best River Rafting Spots in My Area?

The best thing that you can do to find the best river rafting spots in your area (aside from finding a local outfitter, of course) is to Google the phrase “river rafting near_______” and put the city that you’ll be visiting.

As mentioned in the intro, some of the best places to go rafting are in western states like Colorado and Montana and eastern states like West Virginia. Generally speaking, areas with access to mountains are some of the bes.

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river rafting equipment, supplies for river rafting

What Do I Need?

Some of the primary things that you need to go river rafting include:

  • A comfortable swimsuit
  • Sandals with backstraps (like Chacos) or water shoes
  • A personal flotation device (PFD/life jacket)
  • Helmet
  • Wetsuit

Most outfitters will set you up with a PFD, helmet, and wetsuit when you book a trip with them. But if you’d like to avoid wearing something that someone else has already worn, you’re usually welcome to bring your own.

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River Rafting Resources – US

We’ve put together some handy river rafting resources including tours and supplies to get the ball rolling for you. If you’re looking for London information, keep scrolling as we have those below.

River Rafting ResourcesAreaStateWebsite
City KayakSan FranciscoCAhttps://citykayak.com
Environmental Traveling CompanionsSan FranciscoCAhttps://etctrips.org
Headwaters Adventure CompanySan FranciscoCAhttps://www.headwatersadventure.com
Healing WatersSan FranciscoCAhttp://www.hwaters.org
San Francisco Kayak & AdventuresSan FranciscoCAhttps://www.sfkayak.com
101 Surf SportsSan RafaelCAhttps://www.101surfsports.com
Ava Rafting & ZiplineAvonCOhttps://www.coloradorafting.net
Stand Up Paddle ColoradoAvonCOhttps://standuppaddlecolorado.com/location/avon-vail
Confluence KayaksDenverCOhttps://www.confluencekayaks.com
Denver Outdoor Adventure CompanyDenverCOhttp://www.denveroutdooradventure.com/index.html
Renaissance Adventure GuidesDenverCOhttps://raguides.com
Salmon River Experience RaftingDenverCOhttps://salmonriverexperience.com
Alpine KayakEdwardsCOhttps://alpine-kayak.com
Alpine Quest SportsEdwardsCOhttps://www.alpinequestsports.com
The Inn At RiverwalkEdwardsCOhttps://www.innatriverwalk.com
Lakota GuidesVailCOhttp://lakotaguides.com
Everglades Swamp TourFort LauderdaleFLhttps://www.evergladesswamptours.com
Ride ElementFort LauderdaleFLhttps://www.therideelement.com/contact
Riverwalk ActivitiesFort LauderdaleFLhttps://riverwalkactivities.com
Sunrise PaddleboardsFort LauderdaleFLhttps://sunrisepaddleboards.com
Adventure Kayak FloridaJacksonvilleFLhttps://www.adventurekayakflorida.com/default.asp
Adventures Up The Creek JacksonvilleJacksonvilleFLhttp://jacksonvillekayakcompany.com
All Wet SportsJacksonvilleFLhttp://allwetsports.net
Ccr PowersportJacksonvilleFLhttps://www.ccrpowersport.com
Kayak AmeliaJacksonvilleFLhttps://kayakamelia.com
Mulberry Cove MarinaJacksonvilleFLhttps://www.navymwrjacksonville.com/programs/b2702f91-380f-49de-8026-0c76fa923049
Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State ParkJacksonvilleFLhttps://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/pumpkin-hill-creek-preserve-state-park
Wayne B Stevens Boat RampJacksonvilleFLhttps://www.coj.net/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation-and-community-programming/parks/wayne-b-stevens-boat-ramp
Florida Bay OutfittersMiamiFLhttps://www.paddlefloridakeys.com
Ipaddle MiamiMiamiFLhttps://ipaddlemiami.com
Miami Water Life ToursMiamiFLhttps://miamiwaterlifetours.com
Miami WatersportsMiamiFLhttps://www.miamiwatersports.com
Morningside WatersportsMiamiFLhttps://www.morningsidewatersports.com
South Beach Party BoatsMiamiFLhttps://southbeachpartyboats.com
Wahoo's AdventuresMiamiFLhttps://www.wahoosadventures.com
Shoreside Club - Paddle Board & Clear Kayak RentalsMiami BeachFLhttps://www.shoresideclub.com
South Beach KayakMiami BeachFLhttp://www.southbeachkayak.com
Island Water Sports Surf ShopNorth Miami BeachFLhttps://iwsmiami.com
Adventures In FloridaOrlandoFLhttps://www.adventuresinflorida.com
Orlando Bass Fishing GuideOrlandoFLhttps://bassfishingguideorlando.com
Bay Breeze Paddle AdventuresTampaFLhttps://www.baybreezepaddleadventures.com
Phatfish Kayak ChartersTampaFLhttp://www.phatfishkayakcharters.com
Tampa Bay Sup Stand Up Paddleboarding & KayakingTampaFLhttp://www.tampabaysup.com
Urban KaiTampaFLhttps://www.urbankai.com
Whatsup Paddle SportsTampaFLhttps://whatsuppaddlesports.com
Chattahoochee Outfitters LlcAtlantaGAhttps://shootthehooch.com/contact
Chattahoochee RiverAtlantaGAhttps://home.nps.gov/chat/index.htm
Right-Ontrailer CompanyAtlantaGAhttps://rightontrailer.com
Shoot The Hooch.ComAtlantaGAhttps://shootthehooch.com
Chicago Paddle CompanyChicagoILhttps://www.chicagopaddlecompany.com
Chicago River Canoe & KayakChicagoILhttp://www.chicagoriverpaddle.com
Chicago Water Sport Rentals At 31St Street HarborChicagoILhttp://chicagowatersportrentals.com
Kayak ChicagoChicagoILhttps://kayakchicago.com
Lincoln Park Boat ClubChicagoILhttps://lpboatclub.org
Charles River Canoe & KayakBostonMAhttps://paddleboston.com
Community Boating Inc.BostonMAhttps://www.community-boating.org
10,000 Waves Raft & Kayak AdventuresMissoulaMThttps://10000-waves.com/blackfoot-river-rafting
Adventure LifeMissoulaMThttps://www.adventure-life.com
Last Best Ski And Paddle.MissoulaMThttps://www.lastbestskiandpaddle.com/our-story
Lb SnowMissoulaMThttps://www.lastbestskiandpaddle.com
Lewis & Clark Trail AdventuresMissoulaMThttps://trailadventures.com
Love Boat Paddle Co.MissoulaMThttps://loveboatpaddleco.com
Row AdventuresMissoulaMThttps://www.rowadventures.com
Strong WaterMissoulaMThttp://www.strongwaterkayak.com/index.php
Trail HeadMissoulaMThttps://www.trailheadmontana.net
Zoo Town SurfersMissoulaMThttps://www.zootownsurfers.com
U.S. National Whitewater CenterCharlotteNChttps://whitewater.org
Great Outdoor Provision CoRaleighNChttps://greatoutdoorprovision.com
Alder Creek Kayak & CanoePortlandORhttps://aldercreek.com
Andy & Bax Outdoor StorePortlandORhttps://www.andyandbax.com
Northwest Whitewater Adventures LlcPortlandORhttps://northwestwhitewateradventures.com
Portland Rafting Company Llc.PortlandORhttps://www.pdxraft.com
Portland River CompanyPortlandORhttp://www.portlandrivercompany.com
Caney Fork OutdoorsNashvilleTNhttps://cfoutdoors.com
Cumberland KayakNashvilleTNhttps://www.cumberlandkayakadventure.com
Elk River Canoe Rental LlcNashvilleTNhttps://www.elkrivercanoes.com/contact
Float HorizenNashvilleTNhttps://www.floathorizen.com
Austin Paddle ShackAustinTXhttps://www.austinpaddle.com
Frontera ToursAustinTXhttps://www.fronteratours.com
Glow Paddle Austin Raftingkayaking Center Austin Texas | Facebook 5 PhotosAustinTXhttps://www.paddlesmtx.com
Live Love PaddleAustinTXhttps://www.livelovepaddle.com
Rowing DockAustinTXhttps://www.rowingdock.com
Texas Rowing CenterAustinTXhttps://www.texasrowingcenter.com
Waller Creek BoathouseAustinTXhttps://www.wallercreekboathouse.org/contact.html
Colorado River & Trail ExpeditionsSalt Lake CityUThttps://crateinc.com
Holiday River ExpeditionsSalt Lake CityUThttps://www.bikeraft.com
Western River ExpeditionsSalt Lake CityUThttps://www.westernriver.com
Alki Kayak ToursSeattleWAhttps://www.kayakalki.com
Ballard Kayak ExpeditionsSeattleWAhttps://www.ballardkayak.com
Moss Bay Kayak Paddle Board & Sail CenterSeattleWAhttps://www.mossbay.co
Mountain To Sound OutfittersSeattleWAhttps://www.m2soutfitters.com/summer-beach-rentals.htm
Northwest Outdoor CenterSeattleWAhttps://www.nwoc.com
Seattle Canoe & Kayak ClubSeattleWAhttps://seattlecanoekayak.club/index.php
Seattle Flying DragonsSeattleWAhttps://www.seattleflyingdragons.org
Ace Adventure Resort - Day ToursOak HillWVhttps://aceraft.com
River ExpeditionsOak HillWVhttps://raftinginfo.com

Did we leave your river rafting service off the list? Send us the info and we’ll be sure to add it.

OTL City Guides and Seat Fillers list

London Resources

There aren’t any rolling rapids running next to your favorite pub. But there are some kayaking and rafting services nonetheless.

Rafting and Kayaking Resources in LondonAddressRegionWebsite
Active360 Paddleboarding And Canoeing Brentford LockCommerce RoadLondon Borough of Hounslowhttps://active360.co.uk
B.O.A - Base Outdoor Activities Limited LondonPaparigopoulou 47Londonhttps://baseoutdooractivities.com
Back of Beyond AdventuresRiver LaneLondon Borough of Richmond upon Thameshttps://backofbeyonduk.com
Decathlon Surrey Quays9 Maritime StreetCity of Londonhttp://decathlon.co.uk
Go PaddlingAdbolton LaneCity of Nottinghamhttps://gopaddling.info
Islington Boat ClubGraham StreetLondon Borough of Islingtonhttps://www.islingtonboatclub.com
Kayaking LondonCremorne Riverside CentreLondonhttp://www.kayakinglondon.com
Laburnum Boat ClubLaburnum StreetLondon Borough of Hackneyhttps://www.laburnumboatclub.com
OCUK -- Outrigger Club United Kingdom81 Hartington RoadLondon Borough of Hounslowhttp://ocuk.org
Phoenix Canoe ClubCool Oak LaneLondonhttps://phoenixcanoeclub.co.uk
Regents Canoe ClubGraham StreetLondon Borough of Islingtonhttps://www.regentscanoeclub.co.uk/calendar
Royal Canoe ClubTrowlock WayLondon Borough of Richmond upon Thameshttps://www.royalcanoeclub.com
Secret Adventures6 College CrossLondonhttps://secretadventures.org
Westminster Boating Base136 Grosvenor RoadLondonhttps://www.westminsterboatingbase.co.uk
Windows on the Wild24 Oxford Road NorthLondon Borough of Hounslowhttps://www.windowsonthewild.com
World ExpeditionsOsiers RoadLondon Borough of Wandsworthhttp://worldexpeditions.com

Did we leave your river rafting service off the list? Send us the info and we’ll be sure to add it.

Final Thoughts

Floating down the river in a raft is one of the best ways to pass the time. Being outside while being pushed along by the current renews and invigorates in ways hardly found off the river.

Now that you have a good idea of getting started river rafting near you, it’s time to get your gear, book a trip, and go floating merrily down the stream yourself!

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