White Water Rafting In New Hampshire


For tourists planning to visit New Hampshire, is white water rafting a good activity?

What kind of experience can you expect when white water rafting NH?

Is it good for families, experienced rafters, or both?

When you’re considering places to go for whitewater rafting, New Hampshire might not be the first that pops into your mind. However, many states in New England have some of the best rafting in the country, and New Hampshire is no different.

There are several excellent places to go rafting in New Hampshire. Depending on the skill level of everyone in your group, some of these rivers may be better than others. However, they can all provide fun and exciting experiences everyone will enjoy.

In the list below, we’ve gathered information about three of the most popular rafting sites in the state. Take your time checking them out and you’ll be able to find the perfect fit for you and every member of your rafting group as well.

Option #1. Androscoggin River

Difficulty: Beginner
Cost: $$
Location: Milan, New Hampshire
Trip durations available: Quarter-Day or Half-Day

This rafting experience is a short and sweet adventure that’s ideal for beginners and families alike. The Androscoggin River is mostly made up of Class II rapids with some Class III experiences here and there as well. Along the way, when the rapids slow down a bit, rafters can often catch glimpses of local wildlife and see beautiful scenery as well. The river provides ample opportunities for newcomers to whitewater rafting to learn how to paddle a raft and move through rapids before progressing to a more challenging river next.


  • Because of the popularity of this river, most companies offer several run options per day, and many will allow tour groups to take two runs of the river in one half-day trip.
  • The river is calm enough in many locations to allow tubing and swimming for those who aren’t as interested in rafting or who want to enjoy multiple activities in the same day.


  • This trip is popular and may book up fast, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead as much as possible.
  • The trip may be very crowded at certain times of the year and can be less enjoyable because of this.

Option #2. Magalloway River

Difficulty: Intermediate
Cost: $$
Location: Errol, New Hampshire
Trip durations available: Quarter-Day or Half-Day

For an exciting adventure suitable for almost any skill level, consider the beautiful Magalloway River! This river is the perfect in-between option for an intermediate rafter. If you’ve had a few beginner runs and want to try something more challenging or if you’re more experienced but want to take an easier trip with a group, this river is the best choice for you. All of the rapids on this river are Class III, so you don’t have to worry about any unforeseen surprises along the way. Perfect for groups and individuals alike, the Magalloway River is a must-see.


  • This is a good, kid-friendly trip that tends to be open to children as young as 8 years for a more family-oriented experience.
  • Most rafting companies that operate on this river include a snack or lunch break to give everyone in the group a chance to rest before continuing on.


  • Since this is a popular destination, it may book up sooner than some of the other rivers in the area and can become overcrowded during the peak season.
  • Although this is not a very dangerous river, it is still possible for some members of the group to fall out of the raft on some of these rapids.

Option #3. Rapid River

Difficulty: Advanced
Cost: $$$$
Location: Errol, New Hampshire
Trip durations available: Half-Day or Full-Day

Consider the Rapid River if you’re looking for something thrilling, intense, and challenging! This river is one of the steepest in Maine and New Hampshire, and it’s one of the most highly recommended rafting locations in New England. The surrounding scenery is breathtaking and the rapids are exciting from start to finish. Many of the rapids along this river are Class IV, but some are Class II or Class III as well. Keep this in mind when planning your trip.


  • Because of the intense nature of this trip, breaks with snacks and meals are often provided during guided tours to give everyone a chance to rest up before continuing to tackle the rapids.
  • The river is located near many lodging options for anyone who wants to spend extra time in the area as part of a longer vacation.


  • The river has an age limit of twelve years, so younger members of the family should not join in for this trip.
  • During the winter, this river may not be accessible, and inclement weather throughout the year may cause trips to be canceled at the last minute.


Did you learn a little bit more about New Hampshire rafting options? What is the best time of year for rafting in New Hampshire, anyway?

The best time to visit for whitewater rafting is during the summer months. Generally speaking, the hotter the weather is outside, the better the rafting will be. However, you may be able to enjoy the rafting experience during spring or fall, too, depending on the weather conditions at the time.

Here are some reasons why you might want to visit during peak season:

  • During peak season, the weather is more likely to remain sunny and warm, so you don’t have to be as concerned about the trip getting canceled due to inclement conditions.
  • During peak season, there are generally more slots available for booking your rafting trip from almost any company, and most bring on enough guides to handle more tours every day than they do during the off-season.
  • In the summer, the water levels are higher and therefore make the trip more exciting, no matter which river you’re going to be rafting on.
    • Keep in mind, though, that some rivers may actually have higher levels in the spring, depending on their location.

And here are a few tips to keep in mind before you go, no matter what type of year you choose to visit:

  • Always dress accordingly for your rafting trip. Ask the company ahead of time to find out what kind of gear and clothing is recommended. Most companies will provide wetsuits if they’re required for more intense rapids.
  • Be sure everyone in the group is comfortable with the skill level required for the rafting excursion. Don’t bring anyone along who isn’t comfortable with rafting, and don’t bring anyone who isn’t old enough to meet the minimum age requirement for a specific river, either.
  • Finally, understand that rivers are unpredictable and that there are always safety risks when rafting. Learn what you can ahead of time and always listen to your guide!

In the end, as long as you aren’t going during the winter when it will likely be too cold in New Hampshire to do any whitewater rafting, you should be able to make the most of your trip at just about any other time of the year. Plan ahead and make sure to book your rafting tours as early as possible to reserve your spot!

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