My brother, my mom and I spent Sunday rafting down the Lower New River Gorge. It was great! We went with a very good company called Class VI. I believe the trip we took was the Family Lower New River – Rafting Only package.
There was about 5 boats in our party and we did the 9 mile route in about 4 hours, with a stop for lunch. The route includes a Class V rapid and several Class IV rapids. While this may seem somewhat intense for first time rafters, our guide was very experienced running the river and made sure to choose lines that we could handle. Also, it was cool because his last name was Word.
Something I didn’t know is that it is proper etiquette to tip the guides, since they generally make minimum wage. The majority of your fee goes towards paying for insurance for you. (Even though you sign an indemnity waiver, they still have to carry huge insurance policies to operate as a rafting company) Our guide was very knowledgeable about the region and was able to answer every question I asked without a stutter. So tip whatever you feel comfortable with, but 10% seemed reasonable.
This would be a great family trip, but the minimum age is 12. Overall, I would highly recommend it.