6. What is a “dam release”?

Water Releases happen every single minute of every single day! Water always flows through the Francis Walter Dam that controls the Lehigh River. If the water wasn’t’ flowing all the time aquatic life would suffer – and the trout would complain! That’s why we can confidently say we run raft trips 7 days a week all season long.

The often-used term “Dam Release” refers to water released above and beyond the usual amount. When you hear us say “this is a Dam Release Weekend” that means extra water, and usually just the right amount to run all sections of the Lehigh River, including the BigTime Whitewater of the Lehigh Gorge State Park. The Army Corps of Engineers, the smart folks that protect us and regulate water levels all over these United States, are hard at work behind the scenes making all this rafting fun possible.

As professional river outfitters you can trust that your friends running Jim Thorpe River Adventures watch water levels very closely. We are constantly aware of weather and environmental conditions – especially the Fun Level Conditions! We know that you trust us to make good decisions and to make things as safe as possible. Honoring that trust is important to us.

The Lehigh River enjoys natural flows (what we call Base Flows) to go rafting every single day of the year. Some water levels require us to do the 8 or 10 mile section, and other higher levels allow rafters and kayakers to enjoy the Class 2-3 rapids through the Lehigh Gorge State Park!

So you can be confident we have rafting on weekends that aren’t Dam Release Weekends. And you can be confident that if you want BigTime Whitewater Rafting, a Dam Release Weekend is one you want to choose. We’re here day in, day out, running rafting trips, kayak school classes, and having a great time. We’ll always be honest with you about the water levels you can expect! Please call us in our office if you have any questions at all. We know this can be a new experience but you have our promise that we’ll make it as easy to understand as possible.

Read this article for even more info!