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If you’re looking for one-stop shopping when it comes to river adventures that range from mild to wild, simply contact Adventure Gateway. This consortium of high-quality companies located throughout the U.S. makes it easy to book a complete paddling getaway ranging from a half-day to more than a week.

Organized in 2002 and made up of 11 companies, Adventure Gateway provides a perfect portal to a wide range of paddling offerings on more than 30 rivers. They strive for quality and only accept new members to the group by unanimous vote. Collectively, they’ve been in business for more than 300 years and several companies started in the 1960s--when whitewater rafting was in its infancy.

Whether it’s a first-timer trip down a pretty river with riffles or the whitewater trip of a lifetime through the rugged Grand Canyon, Adventure Gateway’s members have the perfect river (and trip). Many of them also feature other paddling adventures including kayaking and canoeing, instruction, dining, varied accommodations, and more. Families are welcome on many trips--and safety for all participants is as big a priority as quality.

Here’s a summary of the possibilities with Adventure Gateway‘s members:

*Adventures Unlimited (www.adventuresunlimited.com): Located right on Coldwater Creek in the Panhandle region of Florida, Adventures Unlimited offers canoeing through the Blackwater River State Forest, as well as tent camping, cabins, and an inn.

*Buffalo Outdoor Center (www.buffaloriver.com): Founded in 1976, BOC has grown from a small canoe rental business into a first-class wilderness retreat with hand-crafted log cabins, a mountain-top lodge, and a wide range of canoeing on the Buffalo National River.

*Class VI River Runners (www.class-vi.com): With a base camp facility right on the New River Gorge, West Virginia’s Class VI River Runners runs trips on the New and Gauley Rivers. They also have new upscale cabins, gourmet dining at Smokey’s on the Gorge, and a wide range of activities off the rivers in wild and wonderful West Virginia.

*Echo Canyon River Expeditions (www.raftecho.com): Colorado’s Arkansas River is Echo Canyon’s specialty, with half-day trips ideal for first-timers and families--and multi-day adventures available for extended whitewater wonders.

*Echo River Trips (www.echotrips.com): With wilderness whitewater trips since 1972, Echo runs on two of the finest rivers in the American west--the Middle Fork of the Salmon in Idaho and the Rogue River in southwest Oregon. Their varied multi-day trips are a specialty.

*Far Flung Outdoor Center (www.farflungoutdoorcenter.com): Big Bend National Park is one of the most remote parks in the lower 48 and Far Flung focuses on canoe and raft adventures along the mighty Rio Grande. Jeep and ATV tours are popular add-ons after a day (or several days) on the river.

*Gunflint Lodge & Northwoods Outfitters (www.gunflint.com): From a wilderness canoe trip in northeast Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area to a cabin vacation with every amenity, this long-time family-run destination (75+ years) is a canoeing Mecca and much more.

*Holiday Expeditions (www.holidayexpeditions.com): With many multi-activity offerings, Holiday features whitewater rafting in Utah, Colorado, and Idaho, on the Colorado, Green, Yampa, San Juan, Salmon, and Snake rivers. They also offer renowned mountain biking trips.

*New England Outdoor Center (www.neoc.com): Based in northern Maine, NEOC features whitewater rafting on the Kennebec, Penobscot, and Dead rivers, as well as their own lodging and dining options, moose tours, and snowmobiling in winter.

*Outdoors Unlimited (www.outdoorsunlimited.com): Specializing in Grand Canyon river trips on the Colorado, Outdoors Unlimited brings more than 30 years of experience to trips that can run from five to 15 days (and almost 300 miles).

*Wildwater Ltd. (www.wildwaterrafting.com): With varied locations, including lodging, in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, Wildwater features adventures on the Chattooga, Ocoee, Nantahala, Cheoah, and Pigeon rivers. Their North Carolina location has “yurt” lodging, making for a unique base for rafting, biking, dining, and more.

This laundry list of varied adventures on and off America’s top rivers makes it easy to see why Adventure Gateway’s one-stop shopping option has been so popular. Get set to get wet!


Adventure Gateway is a consortium of 11 top rafting and canoeing companies. Their website makes for one-stop shopping when you’re looking for mild to wild paddling adventures on more than 30 rivers. The website also features river overviews, tips on choosing an appropriate trip, and links to each member’s unique website.

Adventure Gateway

124 South Lumina Avenue

Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480


Lynn Seldon (www.lynnseldon.com) is a veteran freelance travel journalist, with more than 750 publication credits.

(c)Copley News Service