The West Virginia. Cyclopedia

Category:New River Gorge Rapids

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The rapids of New River attract thousands of whitewater paddlers annually -- commercial rafters as well as kayakers and other private boaters. Most rapids take their popular names from the lore of early whitewater paddlers, who sometimes used descriptive titles, such as "Surprise" or "Undercut Rock," to alert other paddlers to the rapid's particulars. Most rapids on the New River result from rock debris that's been moved into the river from tributary streams and the surrounding canyon walls, though several rapids result from bedrock rising just beneath the surface. In a few places, house-sized boulders have tumbled into the river from the cliffs along the rim of the gorge. Generally, the most-difficult rapids in the New River Gorge are located on the "Lower New River," as it has come to be known among paddlers. The easiest and most widely spaced are located on the "Upper New River." (See also: Whitewater Rafting.)