Categories: Life & Arts
Tubing and rafting in the Adirondacks is one of those rare activities that offers you the chance to address all of your moods.
Are you up for a full-on family activity, traveling together down the river as a pack, splashing around, sharing in the joy of those closest to you enjoying the great outdoors, away from their cell phones and other 21st century distractions?
Are you in the mood to hang out with friends, enjoying an icy-cold beverage or two along the way, telling stories, admiring the scenery, and planning out the rest of your awesome day?
Maybe you’re in the mood to just lie with your head way back and your feet dangling in the water, closing your eyes or just staring up at the magnificent sky and the tall trees as you’re carried down the river on a cloud of serenity.
Are you up for a natural thrill ride, flying down the rapids in a raft, digging the paddle in, then pulling back, bouncing off the rocks and logs as you and a group of your new best friends tests the boundaries of your strength, stamina and courage — complemented by a refreshing swimming break and followed by a nice lunch?
Maybe you’re in the mood to do all of that, none of that, or something else.
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Either way, tubing and rafting in the Adirondacks is one of those summer activities that lends itself to whatever kind of experience you’re after.
And if you’re lucky, you get to ride in a school bus painted like the Partridge Family’s. (Explain that reference to your kids.)
You don’t even have to know how to swim.
This might be the most fun you can have with a wet butt.
The region offers numerous opportunities to do any and all of that, either in a morning or afternoon or an entire day.
So pack a swimsuit, water shoes, sunscreen, towels, sunglasses, a cooler and your sense of adventure, and get ready to have a blast.
Go online or visit a local Adirondack visitors center for brochures, pricing, hours and other information. And don’t forget to peruse county tourism books and Groupon for coupons. Reservations are usually required, or at least recommended, so call ahead.
Here are some of the most popular companies offering trips on the Hudson and Sacandaga rivers.
Sacandaga Outdoor Center (SOC): Hadley, 518-696-RAFT (7238), 4soc.com
This is a one-stop shopping experience for those who want to go rafting, tubing or kayaking or canoeing down the Sacandaga River right where it meets the Hudson River. SOC offers tubing and rafting on Class II and III whitewater. You can rent tubes and inflatable kayaks and travel down the river with a group led by experienced guides. SOC also has a picnic and barbecue area.
Tubby Tubes Co.: Lake Luzerne, 518-696-7222, tubbytubes.com.
Tubby Tubes offers lazy-river tubing on the Lower Hudson River for ages 1 and up. (Yes, 1.) The 2-hour easy float down the river includes guides, a tube, life jacket and transportation to and from the drop-off and pickup sites. Tubby Tubes also offers downhill tubing down its hillside slide; those giant inflatable hamster balls that you can bounce along in through wooded trails; and a tubing and treetop package that includes tubing and climbing on its treetop obstacle course.
Adirondack Adventure Center: Lake Luzerne, 518-696-6133, adktubing.com.
Adirondack Adventure Center offers a 2.5- to 3-hour Lazy Lynx Float in a tube or raft, as well as a 2-hour Adirondack Treetop Adventure that includes jumping, climbing and a zip line. It also offers and adventure combo so you can enjoy all the activities on-site.
Wild Waters Outdoor Center: Lake Luzerne and Warrensburg, (800-867-2335), wildwaters.net.
Up for some serious whitewater rafting? Choose between a 2-hour, 3.5-mile guided trip down the Sacandaga River on class II-III rapids or a full-day, 17-mile guided trip down the Hudson River Gorge on class III-V rapids. The Sacandaga trip is available to those ages 5 and up, while the Hudson River Gorge trip has a minimum age of 9. Sacandaga trips are available several times daily.
Beaverbrook Outfitters: Wevertown, 1-888-454-8433, beaverbrook.net
Beaverbrook offers a variety of adventures, from whitewater rafting down the Hudson to 2- to 3-hour lazy-water kayaking and canoeing on the smooth portion of the Hudson River. For those up for the full Adirondack adventure, Beaverbrook overs an overnight camping and rafting experience in the Hudson River Gorge for groups of four and six or more, as well as individuals.
Adirondack Rafting: Lake Placid, 518-523-1635, lakeplacidrafting.com.
Enjoy a 16-mile thrill ride on a raft through the rapids of the Hudson River Gorge, complete with a stop for a cool swim in the river, to relax on the rocks and a enjoy a hearty lunch.