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Reasons to Paddle the Poudre River in 2017


Why we all need to spend more time being active in the outdoors this year.

by Ben Costello, January 2017

Scenic shot of the Poudre River looking upstream from Hewlett GullchOne of the most popular resolutions people set each year is to be more active, or to take it a step further, to be more active in the outdoors. For many of us who live in Colorado, outdoor activity is a lifestyle. One that we either grew-up with or moved here for. Either way, it is hard to imagine life without our favorite outdoor pursuits, so we don’t need reasons to paddle. For others, including many Coloradans, outdoor activities are not a part of life. Many outdoor activities can be intimidating to beginners, can be expensive to get into or are just not accessible due to where you live. Rafting is a great way to get outside and be active because it is beginner friendly, affordable and available to anyone who lives in or visits Colorado.

Here are 6 reasons to paddle the Poudre River this year:

1) Paddling is a healthy way to maintain fitness

  • Paddling is a great cardio exercise and a whole body workout. If you need reasons to paddle, this is a great one. You will use your arms, shoulders, back and abdominals to paddle and your legs and abs to hold yourself into the raft. But don’t worry, there is some down time to rest between rapids.

2) Paddling is a great way to spend time with loved ones

  • Paddle rafting is a team sport. It requires working together and communicating with your friends and family to navigate the river successfully. Plus, phones don’t work in the river, so you get time to enjoy being active without distractions from technology.

3) Paddling helps to overcome the your fears

  • Rushing whitewater and huge splashes to the face are not something most people face regularly. With help from professionally trained river guides, most anyone can conquer class III and IV rapids they would not have otherwise. These experiences of conquering fears by being taken out of our comfort zone can give us the confidence to branch out in other parts of our lives.

4) Paddling is a great way to experience nature

  • Along with being healthy, connecting or re-connecting with our natural environment is a big part of many resolutions. There is no better way to experience flora and fauna and to feel like a part of nature than paddling a river. There is just something about going with the flow of a river that connects us to nature. After all, rivers are regarded as the lifeblood of our natural ecosystems.

5) Paddling both relaxes and excites

  • The river provides a wonderful juxtaposition of elation and refreshment. Rapids provide for the rush of adrenaline and the excitement of anticipating what is next. Calm sections in between the rapids allow for a moment of relaxation and time to appreciate your surroundings.

6) Paddling creates unique and memorable experiences

  • One of the best reasons to paddle this year is very simple, it is FUN! One of my favorite parts of being a raft guide is people telling me, “That was the most fun thing we have done all summer.” Paddle rafting creates memories that will last a lifetime. Be careful, you may just find your new passion in life.

Happy rafters make it through Flip Rock Rapid on the Poudre River near Fort CollinsRafting through Guide Hole Rapid on the Cache La Poudre River