The mrs. and the kids (ok, me as well) would like to find a great place to whitewater raft. We are going to the poconos already but would like to know of any other areas that offers rafting. Any suggestions?
One of the most challenging rivers is the Gauley in WV. Charleston is the nearest big airport. The actual rafting site is near Summerville, WV. The New River is also a good ride and is in the same area. Google it.
I used to go every year, but almost drowned on the last trip and have not returned.
Where in the Poconos are you staying? We are thinking of white water rafting there next year and are looking for a good resort with other things to do as well. (p. s. area outside Gatlinburg, Tenn. is very good for rafting. We went there last summer).
A few years ago, we went white water rafting on the French Broad River in Asheville, NC. It was our first trip and it was a nice mix of rapids. They are mostly Class I, II, and III rapids, but we were lucky and had some class four also. I have heard that the best rafting (and highest class rapids) are in West Virginia.
How old are your kids? West Virginia (New & Gauley Rivers) and Maine (Kennebec & Penobscot Rivers) have exciting class IV and V rapids but if your kids are young, you'll need to stick to with river stretches that only have class II and III. The river scenery can be striking and these areas are popular with outdoor enthusiasts, though there's not much in the way of commercial tourism for families with kids. If you're an outdoors, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, swimming kind of family, you'll love it. If you're mainly going for the rafting and with kids who like other vacation activities, you may enjoy more of a weekend visit than a whole timeshare week in these secluded areas. Timeshare resort options are somewhat limited and so, may be tough trades in the summertime.
Western NC and eastern TN have some pretty good rafting rivers (Ocoee, Nantahala & Pigeon Rivers), mostly class II, III and IV, very popular with familes and large groups. The Blue Ridge and Smoky Mtn (NC/TN) areas have many timeshares so more options for trading in. Besides the obvious mountain activities, there are lots of sightseeing and exploring options in the Blue Ridge Mtns and Smoky Mtns areas, depending on where you stay - Cherokee, Asheville, Gatlinburg - national park, caverns, amusement parks, local points of interest and all the kitsch in Pigeon Forge.
IMO, the Delaware River in the Poconos is more for canoeing and tubing, not for rafting. If you want to travel out west, there's also terrific rafting in AZ, CO, OR and other places. Google "whitewater rafting family" and you'll find tons of info.