Ronald  E. Smith

Ronald E. Smith

Ronald E. "Ron" Smith

The rain this May has created fantastic rafting levels on the Black River. As summer approaches we have our favorite combination High Water and warm weather. Our reservation staff also can offfer you a 20% discount on select days. Call to make a reservation today.

Friday, 09 March 2018 00:00

March Madness!

This Spring ARO is again offering a March Madness Special! We are offering a $10/person discount on Sunday raft trips in April and May through the the Hudson River Gorge. In addition we are now including wetsuits on these exciting Spring trips, at no additional charge. That's a total savings of $30/person

If you make your reservation before the end of March your trip is only $74 (can not be combined with other discounts)

The High Peaks of the Adirondacks are still snow covered, which to us looks like future whitewater. We expect great "Adventure Class" rafting  on the Hudson this April and May. With our March Madness special, ARO is offering the lowest price of the year for a Hudson River trip every Sunday through the end of May.

Our Moose River trip, which runs only during Spring runoff,  would be considered by some as April Madness. Read more about the ultimate river trip in the Northeast. 


ARO is the most highly rated outfitter in New York State (TripAdvisor) and has been running trips on the Hudson River Gorge for 34 years. Call or book online to reserve your trip now.

Tuesday, 05 July 2016 00:00

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 and I would put everything I have on our experienced guide, Matt. Strong, intuitive and innately humorous, he put us all at ease while making sure we were always safe working together in tandem.

The instructions starting out were communicated well and we were drilled with the basics to get an idea before we started out. What was special about ARO was the way they always had a safety spotter ahead of us and made sure being safe was paramount while still having a great time. All the guides were very approachable. We even had a small snack break (insanely yummy rolls, water and juice) mid way through the ride and free swim time in the river for those interested. At the end of the trip, we were treated to delicious food and came out with great pictures too!!

The whole trip was professional, neatly planned and clean. I would definitely suggest doing a trip with these guys (especially with Matt. He's awesome!) We will definitely be back!

Thank you guys, once again!

Q - What is more fun than going on a whitewater rafting trip with ARO? 

A- Guiding the raft.

Q- Do I have to pay extra to be the guide?

A - Believe it or not if you are the guide not only don't you have to pay, but you get paid for having all that extra fun.

Q - So how do I get in on the fun?

A - Contact ARO and see if you are qualified to enter our Guide Training Program.

Q - What are the necessary qualifications?

A - Along with the guiding skills which we will help develop, the most important aspect of being a river guide is being a ‘people person’. You have to enjoy being with people, and be sensitive to their concerns and fears, while inpiring them to meet the challenge.  The quality of our staff and their ability to relate to our rafting guests is what makes people choose ARO and refer us to their friends.

It’s also important to be a team player. Working at ARO is a group effort, you will be assessed on your willingness to lend a helping hand, and your ability to be maintain a positive atitude and support your team mates. 

Please note that completion of our guide training does not guarantee employment. trainees are assessed on their rafting skills and personality. Be genuine, be friendly and be caring.

Q - How much does the training cost?

A - The only cost is your time and efforts. On days when you are joining us for training trips, you will be expected to arrive with the guides and assist in the trip preparations, inflating and transporting rafts, etc.

Q - What are the employment prospects?

A -  ARO will be hiring additional guides for the the 2017 season for both our Black River and Hudson River operations.

For most guides it is a labor of love with the added benefit of being paid to guide when needed, plus tips from appreciative guests.

On the Black, the majority of the newly licensed guides that are hired, will work part time. Weekends being the most likely days for work, with some weekday possibilities. Top candidates may be offered additional non-guiding work, to help increase their work days. People with great cooking and BBQ skills, or a CDL to drive a  bus,  in particular, may have additional opportunities.

On the Hudson, trips are Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday (when the dam releases occur). New guides often get three or four days of guiding per week in July and August.  New this year we have an Aerial Ropes and ZiplineCourse and  and a Paintball area which will provide additional employment opportunities. We are also developing additional Adirondack activities that may provide.

 Q - How long will it take me to become a guide?

After you have passed your state written exam, got certified in first aid, CPR and water safety, and completed your five documented training runs on a river, you can obtain your license. However, that is only the minimum required by New York State. ARO has much more stringent requirements, depending on your background experience, and aptitude for guiding, you will need anywhere from the state mandated six training trips on a river, to twenty or more. Our traners and staff will determine if and when a trainee is ready to guide a group of ARO guests.  Many trainees  that started with little or no river experience and took longer to develop their skills went on to be outstanding guides.  

We are looking for people who love outdoor adventures and enjoy sharing this passion with others. Employment opportunities exist for part time guides from April to October. It is a great summer job for teachers, college students, and people working in the ski industry.

If you are interested and would like to be considered for our training program, contact us by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Include a brief summary of your background including both formal and informal educational and outdoor experiences.

The Central Adirondacks including Old Forge, Inlet, Indian Lake, and North Creek, offer mountain biking opportunities for all skill levels.

The following descriptions come from Pedals and Petals, a great mountain biking shop in Inlet NY. They are a nationally rated as one of America's best bike shops and offer sales, service and rentals. A great place to get advice on area trails as well as help in learning what bike is best for you.

Fern Park Trails (Inlet NY) These trails are for adventurous bikers. Double and single-track trails loop up,
down and around Fern Mountain with lots of elevation change.

The Old Forge Mountain bike trail system are mostly easy trails, flat and some small rolling hills with a few Steep Climbs. There is easy access directly from Old Forge or Eagle Bay. You can also get on the train in Thendara and they will take you to Carter Station in the middle of the trail system. There are a few single-track trails that shoot off the main trail system. These trails are a great family fun trail system.

Here is a link to Pedals and Petals trail descriptions for more information. Mountain Bike Trails





ARO has again won the TripAdvisor Certificate of excellence.


Tuesday, 02 August 2016 00:00

Great Water and Summer Weather!

The rains have come and gone leaving great water levels on the Black River and summer weather. There is still time to make a reservation for this weekend  on the Black  River. The rivers is back up to adventure class levels and the weather should be in the 80s. 



Girl Smiling crunch

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ARO Holiday Gift Guide

Looking for a memorable gift for an adventurous friend or family member? 

Happiness and memories have been shown to be more strongly connected to "doing" something than to "having" something.
A whitewater rafting trip will produce a lifelong memory.
  • Buy a gift certificate between now and Christmas and  get up to  30% discount.
  • You may purchas  a whitewater raft trip on the Black or Hudson River
  • The recicipient can pick the date of their trip when they are ready to make a reservation. 
  • Dollar value gift certificates that may be applied to any ARO trips or products are also available at a 20% discount.



  • Save 30% Hudson River Gorge $60  (an $86 value)

 May be redeemed for a trip on any day except Saturdays in July and August


  • Save 20% Hudson River Gorge $69  (an $86 value)

 No Black Out dates!


  • Save 30% Black  River Gorge $54  (an $86 value)

 May be redeemed for a trip on any day except Saturdays in July and August


  • Save 20% Black River Gorge   $61 (a $76 value)

 No Black Out dates!


or  a gift certificate of ARO Dollars.

  • $50 Holiday Gift Certificate for $40
  • $100 Holiday Gift Certificate for $80

Certificates can be applied to any ARO activities or merchandise.



If you want to combine sunny beaches, spectacular mountain scenery, a stunning diversity of wildlife, with a whitewater adventure, I know just the place. Our friends at Rios Tropicales pioneered rafting in Costa Rica almost thirty years ago and have been running some of the best trips in the world ever since. I have traveled extensively in Costa Rica and Panama and will be posting a series of articles throughout the winter to help you plan some warm weather adventures.

Contact me by email for more information or advice on planning your trip. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.






Fall rafting on the Hudson is spectacular! Combine Adirondack fall colors, considered by many to be the best in the world, with a 17 mile whitewater rafting trip through the Adirondack wilderness. In addition Adirondack River Outfitters has a Fall Sunday Special for only $69 from September 14 October 12.

The water is still warm, the scenery is breath taking, and the crowds are gone. Fall rafting is a great way to extend your outdoor season.

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