In 2005, West Virginia's white water industry celebrates 39 years of providing the best rafting and kayaking experiences in America. From spring into fall, thousands of people, young and old, will suit up and step into rafts that will take them for the outdoor adventures of their lives.
Many are returning - once is not enough for avid whitewater rafters. Others -- first-time visitors -- will learn why running the spectacular rivers of the Mountain State becomes a lifelong passion.
More than 25 professional West Virginia outfitters give their guests more fun on the river than they could hope for. Many of those outfitters can tell you about rafting from the early days to the present. Most of the state's rafting companies are owned by men and women who came to the area in the late 1960s and early 1970s to raft for fun or guide for the summer -- and they loved it so much, they never left. Today, a new generation has joined them and helped make West Virginia a travel destination for white water one of the East's greatest recreation adventures.