FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WVNS) – West Virginia is a top tourist attraction for many outdoor adventurers.

One of the most popular activities in the Mountain State is whitewater rafting. After the recent rafting deaths of two people in Fayette County, experts encourage potential rafters to do research on the rapids before heading out.

The two most active rivers in West Virginia are the New River and the Gauley River. Gauley season recently began and tourists are continuing to rush to the rapids.

Eve West, the Chief of Interpretation, gives insight on what differences rafters should be aware of before even getting in the boat.

“The Gauley, Upper Gauley is considered, more narrow, and more technical. It is actually considered to be one of the top 10 water rivers in the United States.”

Eve West | National Park Service, Chief of Interpretation, Visitor Services, & Cultural Resources

West gave a few tips for how rafters can stay safe. These include knowing the water you are in, always be aware of the rapids and reach out to guided rafting tours if you are unsure of the difficulty.

Even knowing the procedure of how to properly and safely escape a raft can be vital when in an emergency.