Pocono Whitewater offers rafting for adventurous families


JIM THORPE, Pa. (WHTM) — With this summer’s record-breaking heat, you sometimes need to be creative to find ways to cool off. Pocono Whitewater in Jim Thorpe offers biking, paintballing, and of course, whitewater rafting.

Everything you need to know, you’re taught before you hop in at the Lehigh Gorge State Park.

“All of your buckles are adjustable,” said Sierra Fogal, the operations manager at Pocono Whitewater. “We’re going to hold the paddle with one hand on top of the T-grip and the other one three fourths way down the shaft.”

Stretches of rivers for whitewater rafting are rated on a scale from one to six, and Pocono Whitewater on the Lehigh River offers classes two and three.

“We have class three and our dam release section which happens various weekends throughout the summer, and then we have our family style whitewater which is class two, and we do that every single day, all summer long,” said Fogal.

Pocono Whitewater has about 60,000 guests a year. Families can go on 8 to 12 mile rides.

You’re certainly not going to stay dry, but you can’t help but smile when the water surprises you.

Plus, you may even learn some history of the area on your trip.

Stopping for water gun fights when there are breaks in the rapids is actually a popular choice, even among adults.

Staff says masks are required right up until you get in the water, but then you must take them off, because they could pose a drowning risk.

“Right now, we have a four person minimum, so you are in the raft with your own friends, your own family,” said Fogal. “It’s not any strangers, and then also, if you fall in the water, we don’t want you to have anything in front of your face.”

For family style rafting, kids need to be age four or older.

For damn release, they have to be 8 or older.

Pocono Whitewater recommends reservations.

“It was great,” said Olivia Smelas, who lives in Jim Thorpe. “So much fun. I loved being in the water, outside…Getting splashed and just laughing the whole time.”

Many say once they finally reach land, they’re thinking about when they can get back on the water, maybe considering Pocono Whitewater’s Moonlight Rafting, or a Pocono Pirate Rafting trip next time.

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