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Beat the Summer Heat
Rafting, swimming and boating in WV

By Cynlos Ruiz


West Virginia's 32,000 miles of streams and waterways offer a perfect opportunity for visitors to the Southern Canyon areas to beat the summer heat! Fortunately there are many different ways to enjoy the refreshing waters as there are lakes, rivers, and swimming areas. What follows is a rundown of some of your best sweat busting options.

Rafting:
Whitewater Rafting leads the pack for beating the heat on the New and Gauley Rivers. West Virginia is the undisputed whitewater capitol of the East and more than 300,000 paddlers will be drawn into the area each year pumping over $60 million into the local economy. Most outfitters run the Upper and Lower New River in the summer and others like Rivers Resort, also run a Upper and Lower New adventure.

Lower New River:
The Lower New River is family friendly in the summer as the river level typically goes down and the water becomes pleasantly warm. The first part of the trip features verdant mountain scenery and friendly warm-up rapids that are interspersed among relaxing blue/green waters. Some outfitters offer an exceptional river side lunch, that's out of this world, then head on down river to surf over 20 adrenaline pumping rapids with roller coaster waves and heart pounding drops. The best thing about the New River is the summer is that with the exception of a natural disaster you will never be disappointed. The New River is the biggest water in the East and even in a draught it is a roller coaster ride bigger and better than the dam released Ocoee or any other Eastern River.

Upper New River:
For beginner friendly rapids, you cant beat the Upper New River. This is the perfect trip of rafting, swimming and relaxing. The water is warm, the scenery is marvelous and the pace is unhurried. People who want to get "up close and personal" with the river will really like this trip, since they can swim and play in the quiet emerald green pools. This is also the perfect trip for families with young children since the minimum age is only five and with most companies there is a professional guide in every raft.

Swimming and Boating
Swimming areas are abundant in throughout the region in lakes, rivers, streams and ponds. Sarge's in Summersville offers dive, swim or snorkel adventures on Summersville Lake and also rent gear, jet ski's and offer lake tours.
Boats can also be rented at the marina at Summerville Lake. The lake described as "The Little Bahamas of the East" offers spectacular views of cliffs and overhangs. Boating and fishing is also popular and Plum Orchard Lake near Oak Hill.

To beat the summer heat and get information about the AAA Adventure Outdoors, call (828) 273-3332, or surf the web at www.aaaAdventureOutdoors.com. You can also get complete outfitter information at www.callwva.com.
For Sarge's call 304-872-1782.