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Hico, WV – Outdoor enthusiasts will begin experiencing another season of whitewater rafting in West Virginia as one of the state’s outfitters, Songer Whitewater, is set to take rafting trips on the New River this Saturday, March 25. This year’s normal amount of snowfall in the mountains will translate into excellent spring river levels on the second oldest river in the world.

The snow melt provides the type of water flow that creates high adventure rafting experiences.  “It looks like the river will be rolling this weekend, due to the recent precipitation,” says Len Hanger, Songer Whitewater’s Vice President.  “We are expecting over 60 rafters to join us for the first day of the season.”  This is Songer Whitewater’s 29th year of operation and will be providing New River trips through the end of August.  September and October the whitewater emphasis switches to the Gauley River which is feed for 22 days by water released from the Summersville Lake.

The whitewater industry is one of West Virginia ’s leading tourism attractions, contributing over $50 million to the state’s economy on a yearly basis.  Last season, over 140,000 rafters challenged the New River and over 46,000 rafters experienced the Gauley River , the two leading commercial rafting rivers in the mountain state.

Spring river flows are usually are some of the highest of the season, creating roller coaster type of rapids along the state’s busiest river for whitewater rafting.  “Visitors to the state’s ski resorts have had fun all winter on the snow, now we’ll take that snow and create our own fun,” says Hanger, a 30-year veteran in guiding people on West Virginia rivers.  Flowing from the mountains of western North Carolina, the New River flows at a slow meandering pace until it reaches the "Grand Canyon of the East", the New River Gorge.

For the latest information on whitewater rafting or online reservations, outdoor enthusiasts can go online at www.songerwhitewater.com.

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