Family Fun River Trips

School Is Almost Out….Time To Go Rafting in Ohiopyle!

School is almost out, and it’s time to celebrate summer break by planning a rafting trip with Wilderness Voyageurs!!   With temperatures in the 90’s this week, going on a trip down the Lower Yough here in Ohiopyle is the best way to cool off.  Come on out and enjoy the fun times waiting to be had.

The Lower Yough offers excitement and adventure for folks starting at age 12 and up, so bring the entire family!  You’ll get  some sun and cool off in the river, while enjoying the natural beauty of the Laurel Highlands, all on your rafting adventure!  So pack up the kids and head to Ohiopyle, PA.  Hope to see you soon!

Categories: Family Fun River Trips, Ohiopyle, Ohiopyle Family Fun, Ohiopyle rafting, Whitewater Rafting | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Kayak Gear

It’s creeking season now and the full on kayaking season is upon us.  One of the best parts about getting ready for the season is breaking out and going through gear and finding reasons to replace that old gear. A lot of kayaking gear is made very well, durable and can last many seasons.  However any rescue equipment or gear that I directly related to your safety such as PFD shouldn’t be pushed to the limits of years of abuse because when you really need it to work it might not.   The best thing to do is get out your safety gear and check all of it thoroughly.

We all at some point have used our throw bag for extracurricular activities: as clothes line to dry out gear, tying boats down on the roof, to extend the reach to the tree for hammock, using as a slack line, tow strap for stuck car etc… If your throw rope has been used for double duty it’s probably time to retire it and get a new throw rope for dedicated rescue use only.

The next piece of gear to consider and probably most important is your PFD. There are many ways a PFD can lose functionality through regular wear and tear which is why you should take the time to inspect it often instead of just throwing it in gear bag or boat and waiting till the next use.  UV damage can weaken the fabric, repeated use and loosen and cause threads to tear.  Even having your PFD compressed can cause it to lose buoyancy over the years.

From the US Coast Guard standards concerning PFD selection, use and care.

Serviceable condition – A PFD is considered to be in serviceable condition only if the following conditions are met:

1. No PFD may exhibit deterioration that could diminish the performance of the PFD including:

  • Metal or plastic hardware used to secure the PFD on the wearer that is broken, deformed, or   weakened by corrosion;
  • Webbings or straps used to secure the PFD on the wearer that are ripped, torn, or which have become separated from an attachment point on the PFD; or
  • Any other rotted or deteriorated structural component that fails when tugged.

2. In addition to meeting the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section, no inherently buoyant PFD, including the inherently buoyant components of a hybrid inflatable PFD, may exhibit:

  • Rips, tears, or open seams in fabric or coatings that are large enough to allow the loss of buoyant material;
  • Buoyant material that has become hardened, non-resilient, permanently compressed, waterlogged, oil-soaked, or which shows evidence of fungus or mildew; or loss of buoyant material or buoyant material that is not securely held in position

Most of us don’t follow the USCG rules completely and some don’t apply unless in a power/moto boating situation but they are a good guideline when inspecting your pfd.

Check your PFD if you notice:


-Tears, holes stitching coming loose

-Straps/attachments/hardware damaged in anyway


-shrinkage or change of shape to buoyant materials

-doesn’t fit properly*

Then it’s probably time to start shopping for a new PFD!

* A proper fitting life jacket should not ride up on you and when floating should keep chin above water.  To test stand straight up in a deep pool of water and check how much floatation you have.

If you are shopping for that new vest check back here for the Stohlquist and Astral review.

Categories: Family Fun River Trips, Kayaking on the Youghiogheny River, Ohiopyle, Ohiopyle rafting, Outdoor Gear, Upper Yough, Whitewater Rafting | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Kayaking is Cool

Over the years I’ve been kayaking I always get questions like “where did you learn to kayak”, “how did you get into the sport”,” how can I get into kayaking” etc…  My first experience was memorable but not at all the right way to get into the sport. 

 I asked a friend who was fairly new to kayaking to teach me how to kayak.  We lived near the Slippery Rock Creek but my friend said we should go to the lower yough.  So one day we drove to the lower yough took our boats to the put in and geared up.  Up to this point I still had never even held a paddle nor did I know how to get into a kayak or whether I was supposed to kneel or sit inside the boat.  Once we got that figured out it was on to trying to wrap my head around the mechanics of a roll.  We never talked about a wet exit or a bow rescue instead it was straight to ok try to roll.  Needless to say my first roll attempt was a disaster but we were burning daylight and needed to get going.  My teachers words were “eh lets go maybe you’ll figure it out down the river” and with that we went.  I swam every ripple and rapid on the lower yough.

 I wasn’t turned off from the sport completely but I didn’t try again until I was in my 20’s.  Luckily the college I was at offered a whitewater kayak class and I learned the right way the second time around. Personally I think taking a formally class is the best way to learn kayaking.

 You don’t need to enroll in a college just to take a 1 credit kayak class.  All you need to do is come to Ohiopyle and enroll in a Kayak Clinic at Wilderness Voyageurs.

Whether your just starting out or looking to step your game up and run some more difficult rivers there is a group or private clinic for your skill level.

Before Wilderness Voyageurs Kayak Instruction and After

Categories: Family Fun River Trips, Kayaking on the Youghiogheny River, Ohiopyle, PA, Uncategorized, Upper Yough | Leave a comment

Cheat Narrows – Albright, WV

 Family Rafting Trip  -  Class I-II  - Wilderness Voyageurs

Wilderness Voyagerus Guided Cheat Narrows Trip

This Unforgetable Family Vacation is located just 45 minutes from Ohiopyle State Parkand is to the perfect introduction to the sport of White Water Rafting.  With Family Freindly, Class I and II rappids, Ducks are the #1 choice at summer level. Come out to Wilderness Voyageurs this Summer and Beat the Heat on the Cheat!

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Categories: Cheat River West Virginia, Family Fun River Trips, Uncategorized, West virginia rafting | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Summers Heating Up,Cool Off on the Lower Youghiogheny

Guided Lower Yough

Guided Lower Yough Trip

Located in the Middle of Ohiopyle State Park, The Lower Yough is the Perfect Vacation for anyone looking to Spice Up their summer. Offering Guided Raft Trips and Unguided Raft Rentals, Wilderness Voyageurs is the On-The-Water SPECIALISTS. Complete with a Catered Lunch , spend the day in Ohiopyle and Float the Lower Yough for an Unforgeable Family Vacation.

Wilderness Voyageurs

Summer Fun!

Categories: Family Fun River Trips, Kayaking on the Youghiogheny River, Ohiopyle, Whitewater Rafting | Leave a comment

Kayaking in Ohiopyle State Park

Learn to Kayak 2

Private Instruction

If your looking to Step Up your White Water Game, look no further than Wilderness  Voyagers located in Ohiopyle, PA! Our Learn to Kayak instruction takes place on the Middle Yough, Class I and II whitewater and is perfect for anyone getting into the sport. Want to push it further?! Try our Advanced Classes and battle the Upper Yough.

Categories: Family Fun River Trips, Kayaking on the Youghiogheny River, Ohiopyle, Upper Yough | Leave a comment

Raft the Upper!

Upper Yough

Big Hit on the Upper Yough!

Only 30 minutes from Ohiopyle State Park and 15 minutes from Deep Creek, MD, your World Class White Water Trip is just minutes away! Wilderness Voyageurs Guided Raft Trips are in a League of Their Own with our Experienced Crew. Take a trip down the Upper Yough on any Monday, Friday, and Saturday This Month!

Categories: Family Fun River Trips, Ohiopyle, Upper Yough, Whitewater Rafting | Leave a comment

Ohiopyle Rafting Vacations

Guided Lower Yough 2

Family Fun on the Lower Yough

Upper Yough 2

National Falls- Upper Youghiogheny

Looking for rafting near Pittsburgh or a DC weekend trip? Ohiopyle State Park is a Top Family Vacation Spot! Wilderness Voyageurs offers Rafting Guided Trips from Class I to Class 5. Rafting on the Lower Yough, Middle Yough, and Upper Yough. Ohiopyle is one of the greatest outdoor adventurer spots on the East Coast, come out to Southwestern Pennsylvania for your guided family raft trip!

Categories: Family Fun River Trips, Kayaking on the Youghiogheny River, Ohiopyle, Upper Yough, Whitewater Rafting | Leave a comment

Buy a Kayak, Get a Lesson – all thru June

This month, when you buy a new Kayak from Wilderness Voyageurs, we will give you a free spot in a Learn to Kayak Weekend!

June Kayak Specials with Wilderness Voyageurs, Ohiopyle, PA

A new month means a new Monthly Kayak Special. Come and get a new boat, and we'll give you the skills to use it!

The first weekend of each month is a Beginner Weekend, and the second weekend is for Intermediates. Each class is two full days of instruction plus breakfast and lunch each day. This class typically costs $185 per person, but if you buy a new Kayak from us, you can join in for free!

To check out our kayaks, surf on over to our online store, Or give us a call at 800 272 4141. Better still, come on down to our shop in Ohiopyle, where our expert staff can match you to the perfect kayak to meet your goals and paddling style.

Categories: Family Fun River Trips, Kayaking on the Youghiogheny River, Ohiopyle, Outdoor Gear | Leave a comment

Summer Thrills: Alive and Thriving

Wilderness Voyageurs Bike Tour

Great Allegheny Passage Tour from Pittsburgh to Washington DC

Bike Tour Season is finally here! Our first trip of the year set out on Sunday completing day 1 of 6 in our Great Alleghany Passage tour from Pittsburgh to Washington DC. With tornado warnings to the north and flood watches to the south, the fleet managed to reach the first checkpoint in Ohiopyle without seeing a drop! For the rest of the trip, lets hope our “Gearheads” are able to out pedal  the storm.

Wilderness Voyageurs Cheat Canyon

"The Beast of the East" - Cheat Canyon

Sundays rain did however affect our Upper Yough trip planned Monday afternoon when river  flow exceeded the raftable level at 3.5+ ft, but the day was not lost to our  adrenalin junkies who booked, they were sent  down to West Virginia to  battle class IV and V rapids of  legendary Cheat Canyon!

Wilderness Voyageurs- Lower YoughWith the water on the rise,  this weeks Lower Yough trips could also  expect some extra flow. Our guide assisted  trips can accommodate groups up to 80 people making it the perfect summer outing  for any local club or adventure group.  Head out to Ohiopyle this summer and beat the heat!
Categories: Biking Vacations, Family Fun River Trips, Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Bike Tour, Ohiopyle, Upper Yough, Whitewater Rafting | Leave a comment

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