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Zoar Gap Rafting FAQs


Full-day or half-day trip?

Full day trips start at Fife Brook Dam and finish at our base camp in Charlemont, MA. The trip usually takes 6 hours, including registration, transportation to the river, swimming stops, a picnic lunch served on the river, and a slide show of your run through the biggest rapid. This trip comes with a picnic-style lunch which includes chips, salsa, hummus or black bean dip, sandwich fixings with choices of cold cuts and cheeses, as well as lettuce, tomato, condiments, and dessert and a drink. From April 1st to May 15th and September 15th to October 15th, this trip comes with a side dish of vegetarian soup or chili. In the warmer season from May 16th to September 14th, the side dish is usually coleslaw, or a pasta or bean salad. Lunch on this trip may sometimes be served later in the day due to water release times, weather, or other factors beyond our control.

If booking the Half-Day Gap trip, eat lunch in town before your arrival, or enjoy a picnic your way by making use of the picnic tables on our lovely campus. The half day trip meets at 12:30 and rafts the beautiful upper Fife Brook section, ending with the class III Zoar Gap. Both the full day trip and the half day trip end at approximately 4:30, leaving your late afternoon and evening free to explore the local hiking trails, sight see surrounding towns, or relax in our campground.

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 Deerfield river valley relaxing while still facing a typically technical Northeast rafting day.

Is it safe?

While we have an excellent record, the sports of whitewater rafting, kayaking, canoeing, stand up paddle boarding, and zip lining, 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, that they assume those risks, and are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Those with health conditions 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 is a non-guaranteed day?

Since Fife Brook Dam generates hydro-electricity, there is typically raftable whitewater on non-guaranteed release days. However, it is possible that the water release will be too late in the evening or too low of a flow for recreational usage. By booking a non-guaranteed day you understand that we may need to alter the day’s itinerary based upon the water release. If we are unable to run the trip or if the scheduled start time changes, we would call you by 7PM the evening before your trip. If you do not receive a call, the trip will be running as scheduled and you should plan to arrive for your trip at the start time indicated on your guest confirmation.

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.

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 the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend. 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!

Will there be photos of my trip?

Yes! Our photographer will be stationed at the class III rapid taking high quality pictures of each raft. Back at base you’ll be able to view your photos in the rafting pavilion. If you’d like, you can purchase the photos of your raft.

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.

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 off the boats.

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!

How many people usually go 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.

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.


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