A Day of Fun... A Lifetime of Memories


The Black River  Rafting, 1000 Islands Region, Watertown NY


Adventure Class Whitewater; All Summer Long!

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Summer sunshine, warm water, and exciting Class IV rapids; the combination was unknown in New York State until A.R.O. pioneered rafting trips in the Black River Gorge, located in the 1000 Islands region of NY.

A reliable flow of water released from dams high in the Adirondack Mountains surges into the Black River Gorge, plunging over ledges and boulders. The narrow gorge constricts the water increasing its velocity and thereby magnifying the excitement!

The result; the best stretch of summer whitewater in New York. You would have to travel to Maine or West Virginia to find anything comparable.

You will be challenged by 14 major sets of class II-IV rapids including Hole Brothers, Knifes' Edge, Zig- Zag, and of course the Cruncher.

You may choose to jump out of the boat for a more individual experience in the fast moving but safe water of the "swimming rapids."

As you paddle through the beautiful Black River Gorge, waterfalls flow from the cliffs between the clinging trees and hanging vines.  You may think you're in a rain forest or even Jurassic Park (keep your eyes open for fossils they're everywhere).  Is this really Northern New York?  It's so green, it's so wild- it's SO cool!

After the whitewater section the river calms down and the rafts are hooked together and towed by our powerboat. Complimentary Labatt Blue is provided to toast a successful day meeting the Gorge's challenge.

River Tow

 We now can relax and watch the Lower Gorge slip past. But don't get caught napping, you might miss the river stories and jokes that are almost as plentiful as the Great Blue Herons and Ospreys. After a short bus ride back to the outpost, a full homemade Barbecue including complimentary Labatt Blue and photo/ video show awaits you.

Trip Leader Reward Program

Organize a group of eight or more and earn a free trip as a reward. Twenty or more and leader earns two trips.

WHY ARO! All trips are NOT created equal!

ARO runs ALL available rapids between Watertown and Dexter. Some companies start below the first two rapids.

ARO provides a mid trip snack AND post trip BBQ, some companies have one or the other.

ARO has a powerboat tow the you through the scenic lower gorge, some other companies miss the lower gorge and  require you to carry the rafts up a steep bank and across a field to the road.

ARO provides complimentary Labatts on the tow and at BBQ, NO ONE ELSE DOES!

ARO is the most experienced company in NY and was the original outfitter on the Black with 33 years of great trips.

Our Guests Opinions Say It Best (Click here)

Schedule and Rates


May: Friday, Saturday & Sunday

June: Friday, Saturday & Sunday

July: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday

August: Daily except Tuesdays

September: Friday, Saturday & Sunday

October: Saturday & Sunday



Minimum Age
April and May - 16       After Memorial Day - 14



Group Rate

Youth Rate
(Min. Age 14)

Larger Group
Rate (24+)

Friday (No BBQ)








Sunday Price

Sunday No BBQ

(2pm July & Aug)






Regular Price




Wetsuit Rental
(when needed)




ARO has longest trip on the Black River

Most experienced guides (in every raft)

Post Trip BBQ including beverages


*All rates are subject to $2/person insurance fee.



Use the link below for accommodations and activities in the nearby 1000 Islands/Eastern lake Ontario Area:

Thousand Islands Camping



Black River "Big Water" Spring Season

Challenging Spring WhitewaterLate spring in Northern New York is the time for "Big Water" on the Black River! A.R.O. pioneered the Black and has shared the challenge with adventure minded people for over thirty years.  While the spring run off that fuels other New York adventure class rivers is winding down, the Black River is just getting cranked up.

The Black River Gorge is the last section of a 189 mile journey from it's headwaters in the Adirondacks to Lake Ontario.  This gives New York's second longest river a drainage area of almost 2000 sq. miles, so when it rains- it ROARS.

Big water is not for everyone, but if you crave excitement in the form of whitewater then here it is.  The Black River frothed into a whitewater adventure of waves, drops and adrenaline.  This 3-4 hour trip provides you with 8 miles of class III- IV ledge drops and standing waves.  There is very little flat water in the first half of the trip, and virtually none in The Gorge.



140 Newell St. Watertown NY

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Gift Certificates! Give a lifelong memory.

Earn a Free Trip: Organize a group of eight or more and you earn a trip.

adk best of 18

ARO is the highest rated rafting company in two categories of the "'Adirondacks Best of 2018."

Guest Reviews

  • My very first rafting experience
    and it was beyond anything I could have asked for!! We were lucky to have great weather and warm waters…
  • Black River Riot
    My husband and I were visiting the Thousand Islands for a quick getaway. I wanted to do something exciting and…
  • Professionals
    We had such a great time. I felt so safe as this was our first rafting trip. The staff are…

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