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Winning the Pre-Game

Posted on August 12, 2016 by AdirondacRafting

Whitewater Rafting: Winning the Pre-Game

It might seem a little daunting. Most of the guests we bring down the river have never been whitewater rafting before. But imagine whitewater rafting on the Hudson River, the same river that flows past the Statue of Liberty! It sounds like a real Adirondack adventure, so the call is made and the rafting tripped is booked. What’s the best way to plan for the trip?

Preparation isn’t all perspiration, sometimes it’s navigation! Remember that cellphones don’t always work in the Adirondack Park. It’s best to plan the route in advance!

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Adirondac Rafting Company’s river base is located on the western edge of Indian Lake, just outside of town. The physical address is 100 West Main St, Indian Lake, NY but some older GPS maps have us at 6440 NY-30, Indian Lake, NY. If you keep your eye out, you’ll see some rafting buses and paddle signs, that’s where you want to be.

We try our best to curb the chaos of check in. Owner Bob Rafferty and utility-man Dennis greet arriving guests and help with parking. Kerry and Brad Rafferty wait behind the desk with waivers and bright smiles. We try very hard to provide a pleasant, friendly check in experience. Although for those who arrive late, it can feel a little rushed.


Whitewater rafting is generally considered a spring sport. On most rivers, rafts navigate the river as it runs high due to the Spring Thaw. On the Upper Hudson Gorge we benefit from the presence of the Lake Abenakee Dam, which releases water for the summer rafting program from 9:30am – 11:30am on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. This gives us the water we need to run the river all summer long. It also means that we are on a tight schedule if we’re going to ride that water. (Note: that we can run every day in the Spring, and weekends only after Labor Day.)

Adirondac Rafting Company provides the rafts, paddles, helmets and PFD’s (Personal Floatation Devices, commonly called life jackets.) We rent wetsuit jackets and “farmer john” bottoms to help you stay warm on cooler days. Also, we provide a guide who leads teams of rafters down the river as it carves through the Upper Hudson Gorge. Our guides each have an individual style, and they are all fun, knowledgeable and highly trained professionals.

As the sage philosopher Roger Maris said, “You hit home runs not by chance but by preparation.” A good question might be, how should someone prepare for his or her rafting trip? Some of it is pretty simple: Get a good night’s sleep and eat a healthy breakfast. For example, it might not be optimal to stay up carousing around the campfire until the wee hours of the morning.


Dressing for your Summer rafting trip is a little less simple.

It sounds a little bit counterintuitive, but it’s best to dress in layers when you are going rafting. We go rafting in any weather. Our guests have enjoyed scorching hot summer days, misty fog and rain, and the occasional passing storm. A good rule of thumb for any outdoor adventure is don’t wear anything that is made of cotton. When cotton gets wet it doesn’t insulate, it gets pretty uncomfortable and it can chaff. Wear a bathing suit and a quick dry shirt. If it looks chilly, think about wearing some tights or long john top and/or bottoms (polypro.) It might be wise to consider wool socks if the weather looks disagreeable.


Rafters really need to wear shoes with some ankle support. Guests carry rafts, walk around rocky lunch spots and even climb up our famous jump rock. Sandals or a pair of old sneakers are a good choice. In our guides’ experience, Crocs aren’t the best choice. They have an interesting way of floating away and leaving their owner with one shoe for the rest of the day. Flip-flops are a great choice for after the trip, but not on the raft.

Our NYSDEC licensed whitewater guides are happy to carry small items in their dry bags. Just be aware that dry bags keep things dry (obviously) but they might not keep things from being crushed. It’s a good idea to apply sunscreen, and bring some along to reapply while out on the river. Also bring any medications that might be required during the course of the day.


On the morning of the trip, Adirondac Rafting Company guides and other staff will be mingling about, ready to answer any questions and offer advice based on their experiences. Soon the safety speech will begin and the bus engines will rumble. Once the preparations are made, the adventure begins.

Hudson River History – the Dams that Never Were

Posted on July 29, 2016 by AdirondacRafting

Whitewater Rafting on New York’s

Hudson River: Blog

History in the Gorge – the Dams that Never Were

The Hudson River Gorge is brimming with history. Any guide on the river can regale paddling guests with tales of the logging drives of days long past. With names like Carter, Harris and Giveny, some of the venerable logging rivermen have been immortalized by the rapids that bear their names a century hence. It’s a fact that all the rapids on the river were named by those pioneers. Primeval names like Fox Den, Beaver Dams, Osprey’s Nest invoke a history where these labels reflected actual landmarks long since washed away.

Winslow Homer, Hudson River Logging

After traditional river logging drives were usurped by modern logging trucks there was a push to build dams. Lots of dams. New York State wanted to protect the clean water supply for New York City, as well as protect downstate areas from flooding. There were plans to build dams at Higly Mountain, Panther Mountain, Kettle Mountain, Gooley (Cedar Ledges), Rockwell Falls, Millington Brook, the Glen, Gage Mountain, Huckleberry Mountain, North River and other locations. The dam planned for Kettle Mountain would have created a reservoir that would have inundated most of the whitewater section of the Hudson River Gorge. Suffice it to say that any of these dams would have unalterably changed the landscape of the Adirondacks. And while each dam project was prevented for reasons specific to each site, one force that prevented this onslaught of Dam building was a man named Paul Shaefer.


Schaefer ran the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks. Their goal: To end dam construction within the Blue Line (of the Adirondack Park.) Schaefer and his group were successful in preventing the submersion of the wild whitewater sections of the Hudson River, Indian River, Moose River and the general submersion of large tracts of Adirondack forest. Due to Schaefer’s vigilance, the Smith-Lane Bill of 1969 was passed by the New York State Legislature preventing the building of any new dams north of Hadley, NY.


The map on the left pictures the impact the proposed dams at the Gooley site and Kettle Mountain would have had on the Hudson River Gorge

Rafters of the Upper Hudson Gorge are fond of our Lake Abenaki Dam and the Indian Lake Dam that provide us with whitewater releases all Summer long, but we are also grateful to those who protected the rivers downstream from those dams.

Today as we shoot these remote wild rapids, we can imagine the felling of tall trees and floating logs heading to mills downstream. We are rafting with the bygone spirits of loggers and with conservationists who saved the river for a future that is now realized.

What’s in a name?

Posted on July 18, 2016 by AdirondacRafting

Adirondac Rafting Company:  What’s in a name?

Adirondac Rafting Company ball cap

Someone recently remarked that my Adirondac Rafting Company cap had a misspelling. Where was the “k” in Adirondack?  Given owner Bob Rafferty’s keen eye for detail and excellent spelling skills, it’s no surprise that there’s a very good reason for the omission.

When Adirondac Rafting Company was founded in 1996, Bob wanted to choose a name that set his company apart and at the same time identified it as the leader in Adirondack whitewater rafting on the Upper Hudson River in New York State.  He chose the name: Adirondac Rafting Company.

Not far from Indian Lake, NY stands the abandoned and deteriorating old mining town of Adirondac.   Archibald McIntyre and David Henderson built the mine and founded the town in the mid 1800’s.   Interestingly, Adirondac is where Teddy Roosevelt found out that William McKinley was dying and began his wild ride to Buffalo where he would be sworn in as President.Another dilapidated old building

When the mines first began producing Iron in the 1840’s, production was diminished by the presence of “impurities” and by the difficulty of transporting heavy ore through such wild country. The operation shut down in 1858 after a flood and fire, global economic downturn and McIntyre’s death. The little town became a hunting and fishing club with just a few year-round residents.  Then after World War II began, it was discovered that those “impurities” were titanium dioxide, a useful chemical.  Thus, the mining business came back in force, and the town sprang back to life.

A Dilapidated old building

One of the conspicuous reminders of this mining operation is the old railroad trestle that the whitewater rafts travel beneath before entering the Boreas Flats rapid on their way through the Upper Hudson Gorge.

The end of the town came in 1962:  When the deposit was mined out, employees were moved to Newcomb along with some of the buildings.old unused train trestle  Now as a testament to the forgotten history of the Adirondacks, the town of Adirondac lives on with the family-run rafting company that now bears its name.

Summer Whitewater

Posted on June 22, 2016 by AdirondacRafting

Crew 3

The Crew at Adirondac Rafting is ready and running the wild Hudson River Gorge !

The River is warm and the weather is balmy, for all of you waiting for Adirondack tropical rafting, it’s here !

All we are missing are the palm trees, come on out and jump in a raft !

Is Rafting Too Scary ??

Posted on April 26, 2016 by AdirondacRafting

NO, I Can’t go Rafting ! It is too scary.


The Whitewater Wimp Story and Video



Almost Here

Posted on March 25, 2016 by AdirondacRafting

Take a New York Rafting Trip

The 2016 Whitewater Season is fast approaching ! The Big Lake is full of water which means lots O Whitewater from the dam every trip !


Posted on August 12, 2015 by AdirondacRafting



2015 Guide Olympics

Warm Weather

Posted on May 18, 2015 by AdirondacRafting

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Well, it looks like summer is in a hurry to get to the Adirondacks after our great winter ski season. The river trips have been downright balmy !

We’ve been enjoying the beautiful Hudson River Gorge since April 18th and each trip feels more like summer. The water temps have hit 60 Degrees already ! We’re swimming like its August, jumping off elephant rock and lunching at Virgin Falls.  We’re now into our four trips a week plan in the Gorge. Come join us for one of the top rated whitewater trips in the US !

Here Comes Spring

Posted on April 2, 2015 by AdirondacRafting

We’re getting ready for our first trip of the 2015 whitewater season April 18th !

The Adirondack High Peaks have winter like conditions which has delayed the big melt by a few weeks.

Though we are still skiing in deep snow, the next few days look to be quite warm as the river will be breaking up with rising

rising river levels. ( Just what we ordered for spring rafting season )

Brad 4        IMG_2381



2014 End of Season

Posted on December 12, 2014 by AdirondacRafting

2014 Whitewater Season comes to an end. We had a great spring, summer and Fall on the River.

Our last trip of the season was 10/4/14 with the adventurous paddlers from Albany School of Pharmacy.


If our early December snow is any indication of our winter we should be looking at some BIG WATER next Spring !

For now most of the Adirondac Rafting Company Guides will be ripping it up out on the snow.