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When snow is on the ground the white water trips start with sliding down the slope and into the river, where the rafts launch into the air and land in the water with a big splash. (Photo/Pete Klein)

A group of ARO rafters carefully walk themselves and their raft down the slope to the launch site on the Indian River. (Photo/Pete Klein)

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Rafters receive their final instructions and get some practice in the calm eddy at the launch site before they head around the bend (at left) and down the Indian River to connect with the Hudson River. (Photo/Pete Klein)

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Rafters gather on Chain Lakes Road in Indian Lake to get some critical information before heading down to the Indian River to start their trip. (Photo/Pete Klein)

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Rollin' on the river: White water rafting season starts

Sunday, April 07, 2013 - Updated: 11:04 AM

PETE KLEIN

Express News Staff

INDIAN LAKE - Saturday saw the start of the white water rafting season here, with three rafting companies and their rafters challenging the mighty Hudson River.

It was a cold start with the temperature in the mid-twenties under a cloudless blue sky and still over a foot of snow in the woods surrounding the Indian River put-in off Chain Lakes Road.

Adirondack River Outfitters, Whitewater Challengers and Beaver Brook Outfitters were all taking customers downriver.

Dean Moulton opens the dam on Abanakee Lake to create a "bubble" of water to add excitement to the ride. Other rafting companies told him they were going to hold off until this coming weekend, which might not have been a bad idea considering there were some problems getting the gate open to allow the rush of water over the dam and down the river.

Moulton told the white water guides that were present to spread the word that he wouldn't be releasing any water Sunday, and would try this week to fix the gears that raise and lower the gates.

The rafting season starts in April and carries through to mid-October, with over 10 rafting companies offering the 17-mile trip Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

The wild ride starts on the Indian River, which runs 2.5 miles before merging with the Hudson River, and ends at the take-out at the bottom of North River Hill just before the county line and near the railroad tracks on State Route 28.

The launch site off Chain Lakes Road is owned by the State of New York.

A Beaver Brook Outfitters raft hits the water of the eddy. (Photo/Pete Klein)

     

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