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Group on a great fall rafting trip approaching a rock dam
Group on a great fall rafting trip paddling down a calm river

Great Falls Rafting

Ages

7+

Duration

Whole Day

Season

May–June

Location

7 Main Street, Charlemont MA

Intensity

Moderate

Price

Starts at $51 for youth, $71 for adults

Mild

Chill – These trips offer a mellow outdoor experience with a minimal (but not non-existent) chance of falling out of the boat. They require a basic level of fitness.

Moderate

Looking to Explore – These trips have some exciting parts and some more laid back parts. They require a moderate level of fitness.

Wild

Epic – These are our most exciting trips.
They require a higher level of fitness and carry a higher chance of falling out of the boat in challenging rapids.

Try your hand at rafting with our scenic Great Falls Rafting trip – the perfect introduction to whitewater. You’ll paddle a beautiful three mile stretch of the Connecticut River filled with wildlife as you cruise through some flat water sections, a few class II rapids, and one class III. Lunch on the river gives everyone a chance to enjoy the river, swim, and play, before heading back out on the water to wrap up the trip.

A Typical Day

The Great Fall Rafting trip meets at our base in Charlemont, Massachusetts at 10:30 a.m. Please try to be on time, since we must work within the schedule of water releases decided on by the power company. You will be required to read and sign a release of liability at this time. All guests will be required to wear a Zoar Outdoor issued PFD (Personal Floatation Device) and helmet. You will also be provided with a paddle. We raft a three-mile section of class II and III whitewater on the Connecticut River in Northwestern Massachusetts. We put in by the Great Falls Discovery Center in Montague, Massachusetts and finish the trip three miles downriver. The trip usually takes 6 hours, including registration, transportation to the river, swimming stops, a complimentary picnic-style lunch break halfway through the trip, which includes cold cuts, rolls, vegetables and condiments, pasta salad, chips and salsa, drinks, and desserts, transportation back to Zoar Outdoor, and a slide show of your run through the biggest rapids.

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Expect everything you bring with you on the raft to get wet! In warm summer weather, some guests are comfortable in bathing suits/swim trunks or light layers. However, we ask you to not wear cotton, as it will keep you cold and wet throughout the trip. Wool and synthetic materials such as polypropylene, nylon, and fleece, are appropriate for cooler weather and water temperatures.

Wetsuits, splash jackets, and neoprene river booties are available for rental if you need them. You are required to wear sneakers or other shoes that can be secured to your feet. No flip-flops or Crocs! Bring any required medications as well as extra money for souvenirs, coin-operated showers, etc. Before the trip, please leave any and all valuables including money as well as your dry clothes and towels for after the trip in your locked vehicle. Keep your car keys with you during registration, as we will collect those and put them in a lock box before gearing up, then return them to you when you return to Zoar.

For all of our whitewater trips, guests must be able/willing to do the following: Wear a helmet and our personal flotation device (PFD), respond to and follow verbal or visual instruction, roll from front to back in water while wearing a PFD, demonstrate dynamic sitting position (sitting upright), and float with feet up in water. Specifically for our beginner Great Falls trip, guests should be able to paddle in the rapids, but with frequent rests. Remain calm, lay flat, and orient their body so their feet are aiming downstream if they find themselves unexpectedly in the water. Our PFDs fit a maximum chest size of 56 inches.

Don’t forget to read your confirmation letter (there is a lot of useful information in there!). Call our office if you have any additional questions. We’re always happy to help!

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See All Dates & Prices

We used Zoar for a group trip for our scout group. They were very very easy to deal with for booking the trip. Prompt responses to emails and phone calls. The price was very reasonable. They were very accommodating with answering the many varied questions that came their way from allergy issues for lunch to what's the largest wet suit you have as well as a last minute addition to our headcount. Everyone in the group had a blast, including the adults.

scoutdad

FAQs & More

How much experience do I need for this trip?

With a minimum age of 7, these Class II whitewater rapids with one Class III rapid are ideal for beginner rafters. More experienced paddlers will find a scenic view of the Connecticut river valley relaxing, while enjoying the fish, animal, and bird life hiding out in the valley.

Is it safe?

While we have an excellent record, the sports of whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking, zip lining, rock climbing, skiing, snow shoeing and biking have inherent risks. It should be recognized that accidents can and do occur. For this reason, we cannot assume responsibility for injury or loss of property. Participants in all activities will be required to sign a waiver stating they are aware of the risks involved and are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Those with health problems limiting their normal activities may be prohibited from participation at Zoar Outdoor’s discretion. Pregnant women will be prohibited from participating in Zoar Outdoor Activities.

What if I have food allergies?

We do not use nuts in our food, but cannot guarantee that the ingredients in our meals do not contain nuts or other food allergens. If you have food allergies or other special dietary needs, we strongly suggest you bring your own bag lunch in non-glass containers and we will pack it with the other lunches on your trip. You’re also welcome to call our office at 1-800-532-7483 with any questions about the menu. If you intend to bring your own meal, please let us know ahead of time, since we take all of the food for the day out on the river with us, and would need to plan on including your food.

Do you have group rates?

Yes! We have special pricing for youth groups, corporate groups, bachelor/bachelorette parties and family groups of 12 or more. Check out our group booking page for more details.

How many people fit in a boat?

We generally put 5 to 7 people in a boat, but this doesn’t mean that you need to have a group of 5 to 7 to go rafting. For example, if you’re reserving two people, you may be paired with a party of 4 or 5. If you have a group of 10 people, we would just divide you into two boats that travel together on the water. We also have two 8-9 person boats that are sometimes available for this trip.

Can we rent wetsuits?

Yes, we have westuits available to rent at Zoar Outdoor. On our Zoar Gap trip, wetsuit packages are included in your trip up until May 15th. After that, you can rent the wetsuit packages or the pieces themselves at the additional cost. Online or over the phone, you can pre-rent wetsuits for $15 plus tax; this package includes the wetsuit, a pair of river booties, and a splash jacket. Pre-rentals online or over the phone are non-refundable if you choose not to use them. You can also rent them here at Zoar before you trip for $15 for the wetsuit, and $7.50 each for the booties and the jacket or $25 for the whole package.

Are wetsuits required?

Wetsuits are not required, but we have them should you want them! Wetsuits are ideal for those wishing to layer up for colder weather or those who tend to get chilly easily. The extra wetsuit layer helps to keep you warm, so it depends on personal preference!

What happens if the forecast calls for rain or storms?

We run our trips rain or shine, so you should come prepared for the weather. If we do have to cancel the trip, that decision would be made on the morning of the trip. However, it’s rare that weather forces us to cancel our rafting trips. If you are concerned about the forecast for your trip, you’re welcome to give our office a call at 1-800-532-7483.

What do we do with our car keys?

Keep your car keys with you during registration, as we will collect those and put them in a lock box just before gearing up, then return them to you when you get back to our base.

Should I tip my guide?

This is completely at your discretion. If you feel the service you receive from your guide is exceptional, and you want to say “thank you” with a tip, although it is not expected, it is always appreciated.

Can I request a guide?

If you have had a guide you especially liked and would like to have them guide your next trip, we will do our best to match their schedule to yours. Simply request your guide when you make your reservation. Please be aware that we are not always able to match request, but we will do our best!

Alcohol and Drug Policy

The use of recreational drugs or alcohol is prohibited on all programs. If you arrive here under the influence, you will be prohibited from participating in the day’s activity and you will not receive a refund.