In western Pennsylvania, there are few better ways to beat the heat than aboard a whitewater raft along the state’s numerous rivers. In fact, the region offers some of the best white water rafting near Pittsburgh. The convenience, versatility and accessibility of its nearby locations in Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland only add to the thrills and spills of the region’s rafting adventures. No matter your age or ability-level, there’s a whitewater challenge awaiting you. Get wet and wild at these best white water rafting options located in and around the Pittsburgh area.
Laurel Highlands River Tours
4 Sherman St.
Ohiopyle, PA 15470
Locals recognize Ohiopyle as a leading contender of the region’s best whitewater rafting locations, and for good reason. Laurel Highlands River Tours provide incredible thrills through a series of rapids along the diverse Youghiogheny River and roaring, ever-changing Cheat River that rolls through Cheat Canyon. Rafting newbies will likely feel more comfortable paddling along the Middle Yough and Lower Yough sections, whereas true adrenaline junkies and experienced whitewater rafters will appreciate the thrills and spills of the magnificent and powerful Cheat Canyon waters or black diamond-style Upper Yough rapids. Ohiopyle is located just under a two-hour drive away from downtown Pittsburgh in the beautiful Laurel Highlands.
303 Central Ave.
Johnstown, PA 15902
Johnstown’s Stonycreek River welcomes you to Coal Tubin’, the area’s best whitewater rafting experience. Pile inside a massive raft with your own whitewater guide and race along the awesome Stony Canyon Run that provides both relaxing and rushing rapids areas. Favorite rapid sections include the river’s Pipeline, Beast, Surf Lab and Showers rapids. Several whitewater rafting packages are available to tailor your Coal Tubin’ trip to your family’s individual needs. A two-hour drive west will take you to Coal Tubin’, making it ideal for a daytrip.
ACE Adventure Resort
1 Concho Road
Minden, WV 25879
From mild to wild, you’ll find the best rafting rapids at West Virginia’s ACE Adventure Resort. Class II-II through Class V+ rapids will leave you feeling exhilarated and refreshed as you tackle the beautiful New River Gorge. For those that like a challenge, you can’t beat its lower New River Gorge area which offers thundering rapids that deliver heart-pounding excitement. For those who’d rather take it easy, the resort’s upper New River is a better fit with its gentler rapids, flat pools and scenic views. Check out its overnight rafting trips or popular all-day adventures. ACE Adventure Resort is located approximately four hours south of downtown Pittsburgh in Minden, West Virginia.
State Route 3 South
Loudonville, OH 44842
For a truly memorable family vacation, you can’t beat Mohican Adventure’s rafting experience. This river rafting trip is ideal for all ages and abilities as it offers a more serene and scenic river ride, rather than the traditional adrenaline-rushing whitewater adventure. Enjoy seven miles of Mohican River sights and sounds as you float or paddle at your leisure toward the region’s Frye’s Landing. Mohican Adventures also offers canoeing, camping, kayaking, tubing, an aerial park, go-Karting and golf for continued fun. An easy three-hour drive will take you to Raft Mohican’s Loudonville, Ohio location.
Wisp Resort’s Adventure Sports Center International
296 Marsh Hill Road
McHenry, MD 21541
If you’re a first-time whitewater rafter, Wisp Resort’s Adventure Sports Center International is the ideal place to learn the ropes of western Maryland’s waters. With the world’s only re-circulating man-made mountaintop whitewater course, you’ll learn from the best with guided rafting geared toward families and beginners. Choose from its classic guided rafting or high adventure experience or splurge on a private guided rafting trip in a controlled environment where you’ll develop the skills and confidence to tackle the nearby Youghiogheny River on your own. Wisp Resort’s Adventure Sports Center International is situated in northwest Maryland, roughly a two-hour drive from downtown Pittsburgh.
Jessica Wasik is a graduate of Robert Morris University with a degree in English Studies. She is also a contributing writer for AXS.com and Examiner.com. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.