Outing Club
at the Schwartz Outdoor Leadership Center

Rapid River Whitewater Adventure

Story posted October 27, 2011

Last Sunday a group of Whitewater Raft Guides and brave BOC members rose at 5:45am to paddle what they thought would be the Kennebek River. Little did they know that on this day the Rapid River, a secluded, wild stream somewhere between northern New Hampshire and Maine, was also running.

After a short, groggy meeting at the Schwartz the group decided to try to paddle the Rapid River. Mike and Becca led our caravan of vehicles to somewhere near Errol, NH. After this point I lost track of where we actually were, as we proceeded to drive through a maze of logging roads for another hour or so.

After pumping up the rafts, putting on wetsuits, and a couple safety talks we were finally ready to hit the river. The BOC fleet was impressive.  With 7 rafts and a large group of kayakers, I won’t lie we were pretty intimidating. The trip started with paddling across a lake, where we had great views of surrounding mountains and the changing fall foliage. 

The whitewater sections of the river were intense. The first few rapids were “tasters,” allowing everyone to warm up their whitewater guiding and paddling skills. Then we hit several staircase rapids, with big waves and drops. Looking back at the rapids we could see that they had a big gradient. Judging from the constant stream of shrieks coming from the passengers in my boat, I think people enjoyed the staircase rapids.

Then we got to a big wave. It was awesome. Everybody surfed. We surfed in kayaks, rafts, and without anything at all (yes, that means bodysurfing). SJ and Phil even surfed the wave together in a ducky, which was hardcore. We were all having such a good time we forgot what time it was, which was awesome.

After the wave we hit some flatwater, which called for pirating boats and throwing innocent trip participants into the water while they weren’t paying attention. When we got to the take-out, we finally had to head back home after a remarkable day of rafting.

-Ben Richmond (Class of 2013)

Check out the rest of the photos on the BOC Facebook Page (and like us while you're at it)!