Reviewed by: Pat Byington
Today, The Bama Buzz team had more than your average day at the office. We spent our day at the highly anticipated grand opening of Montgomery Whitewater, a 120-acre state-of-the-art outdoor adventure center, and it was a rush to say the least. Read on to see what to expect. Heads up… we got a firsthand raft experience.
What a rush
Today, Friday July 7, Montgomery Whitewater officially opened for business. This comes after years of hard work to bring a premiere outdoor adventure destination for Montgomery residents and tourists alike.
“Last year, we could only imagine the Montgomery Whitewater experience through pictures and videos of other whitewater parks. Today, the sights, sounds and experiences are our own. It was a passing idea 5-10 years ago and now, just listen to the rushing water, outdoor recreation and social opportunities—that vision of a place for all is coming true today.”Leslie Sanders, Vice President, Alabama Power Southern Division
At the ribbon cutting, several prominent public leaders and partners who had a hand in bringing the park to life spoke about the exciting new development.
Developed by Southern Whitewater Development Group, known for some of the most successful whitewater projects in the world, this facility is something to behold.
“To be here today and to see this amazing project come to fruition is truly an exciting moment. I know I don’t have to tell all of you the impact Montgomery Whitewater park will have not just for Montgomery, but the entire river region.”Rep. Terri Sewell
From true beginners to Olympic-level athletes, this is an outdoor adventure center for all. With gorgeous sidewalks and ample greenspace and chairs for lounging, it’s a wonderful place to hear rushing water and spend time outdoors.
No need to come prepared—classes are available for all skill levels. Don’t believe us? Two rookies from our team got to try the rapids themselves. Here’s what went down.
How it went
When you walk in this facility, you can’t help but think about how cool it is. Personally, I’ve never seen anything like it.
Montgomery Whitewater features a huge recirculating river system divided into two channels that include class II-IV whitewater activities. These channels mimic a natural river, so you get the full whitewater thrill ride in a controlled environment.
Both channels intersect in a lower pond where you can either exit or take the conveyor belt up for another run.
Directly following the ribbon cutting ceremony, our team members Trey and Julia-Rae suited up to hit the rapids. After signing a waiver at the entrance, we strolled through the lush greenspaces and sidewalks to get to the “raft barn”. This is where most of the kayaks and inflatables live.
We all gathered for a helpful and quick rules run-down from one of the expert teachers. Don’t worry—they cover everything from how to properly wear your flotation device to how you get back in the boat if you happen to fall out.
Then, it was time to ride. Julia Rae and Trey couldn’t be more excited. It was both of their first times whitewater rafting.
“Before we rode I was scared we were going to flip over, but the guides made it super easy to relax. Because of them, we knew what we were going to expect, had a guide for the course and it made it a lot more comfortable. After the first ride through, the fears subside, you get the hang of things and I was ready to do it over and over again.”Trey Huie, Account Executive, Bham Now
It’s safe to say that even if you’re a little nervous as a total beginner, Montgomery Whitewater is a super fun time.
“It was my first time rafting and after running through the safety talk with our guide Adam, the nerves were setting in. But so was the excitement. As we were going up the conveyor belt, it felt a little like going up the hill of a roller coaster. I was in what they called the “ejector seat” but made it through just fine. Once we got going on the river it was a lot of fun. It was an unforgettable experience.”Julia Rae Hanson, Social Media Coordinator, Bham Now
More to come
Want to try it for yourself? Now’s the perfect time to get in on the fun. All weekend long, July 7-9, Montgomery Whitewater is celebrating with a festival of events, with food and beer, a 5k and fun run, live music and good times. You can even catch a whitewater kayak or raft race. Here are the details.
This is just the beginning for Montgomery Whitewater. At the ribbon cutting, Sanders mentioned all of the exciting things on the horizon, including bike trials, a zipline, a huge deepwater climbing wall and more.
“Hang on because this place is going to change every few months. This is a place of fun, world class competition, healthy outdoor living, great dining and the largest classroom in this area for our students. There is something for everyone.”Leslie Sanders, Vice President, Alabama Power Southern Division
While entry to the site is free, whitewater activities must be purchased online or in person. A $10 parking fee will be in effect from 3:30PM on Friday until 6PM on Sunday.
We posted more about our time today on Instagram—check it out here and make sure to follow us for more.
Will you be making waves at Montgomery Whitewater this summer? Tag us in your best rafting action pics @thebamabuzz.