Parking: Registration for the Concord River rafting trips take place at the UMASS Lowell Inn and Conference Center located at 50 Warren St. in Lowell, MA. Parking is available at the Lower Locks Garage next to the hotel.
The Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust partners every year with the professional guiding company, Zoar Outdoor to provide one of the only urban white water rafting experiences in the country that includes rafting through a state and national park.
Come join us in April and May, water levels permitting. Proceeds help our land and wildlife conservation work.
“Squeeze into a wet suit, hop into a raft, and hang on! Whitewater rafting on the Concord River in Lowell happens only on weekends in April and May, when rain and snowmelt swell the river, producing Class III and IV rapids. This urban river run, a mere 1.7 miles long, is a high-octane ride over three sets of rippling rapids, including Twisted Sister, a massive bronco-busting wave. Trips include professional guides from Zoar Outdoor; the proceeds support the Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust.” – Boston Globe Magazine, March 19, 2017
“An exhilarating trip through a beautiful stretch of river – the best whitewater outside of northern Maine or western MA. See the river like few do, and support a local non-profit protecting open space and creating trails along the river.” – J. Bollen
Experience the amazing rapids, then take a journey through “living history” with our lock tenders as you pass through historic locks at the end of your trip.
Do you want to play a role in history, and help the rafts through Lowell each spring? It’s fun and we’ll provide all the necessary training. Try it out side-by-side with one of our veteran lock tenders. Volunteer “Lock Tenders” are needed each spring to operate canal locks for this program. Contact us if you are interested in volunteering.
Make reservations on-line today or call 1 (800)532-7483.
Answers to all your questions can be found below the photo gallery.
The same rapids and waterfalls that brought the textile industry to Lowell, now power one of the most thrilling and interesting raft trips in the United States. You’ll raft on class III and IV whitewater through the green heart of Lowell. Your trip concludes with passage through an 1850s lock chamber, which is a National Historic Landmark and a featured attraction at the Lowell National and State Parks.
How’s the water?
The Concord River is rated Class B, fishable and swimable. That means it’s safe for water contact sports like whitewater rafting.
What you’ll see & learn
You’ll see Lowell and learn its history from a unique perspective: great blue herons and swallows will pass overhead, ancient rock outcropping line the rapids, and you’ll pass beneath elegant stone arched bridges. Our trips pass former mill sites and the oldest power canal in the city. You’ll find out why we call this reach of the Concord “Thoreau’s Portage.”
What you’ll experience
Your trip includes two trips through three sets of rapids – Twisted Sister, Three Beauties, and Middlesex Dam, lead by expert guides from Zoar Outdoor. Whitewater on the Concord River is rated class III/IV on the International Scale of Difficulty.
When do the trips run?
Trips generally begin the first week of April and run every weekend through the end of May (Monday or Friday group reservations are also available. Please call to inquire.). Trip times are 9am and 1pm.
Unlike other rafting rivers in New England, trips on the Concord River depend entirely on natural river flow. There are no dams upriver to turn the water on and off. We schedule our trips based on the average annual river flow. After May, there is typically not enough water to raft. If your trip is canceled for lack of water, your fee is completely refunded. We keep a close eye on the Concord River Stream Gage for current conditions.
What is provided?
We give you everything you need to raft: wetsuits, helmets, paddles, personal flotation devices, and waterproof shoes.
What should I bring?
You’ll need to bring a bathing suit (to wear under your wetsuit), a towel, and change of clothes. Wool socks will help keep your feet warm. Your confirmation letter will provide further details.
What does it cost?
Trips cost: $85.00 per person
One person rafts FREE for every eleven paying guests.
Gift certificates available
Advanced reservations are required. For Reservations call 1-800-532-7483.
Children must be 14 years old.
All equipment is provided (wetsuit, helmet, booties, paddle, etc.) complimentary.