Diversifying the Adirondacks, one whitewater rafting trip (or hike) at a time

October, 2021

Oct 12, 2021 — Most people who hike and paddle in places like the Adirondack Mountains are white. There are efforts to close that racial gap.

A student program at SUNY Potsdam is diversifying the rivers and trails one outdoor adventure at a time.is aims to close that gap and make the outdoors more welcoming. For their latest trip, the 'Live Now' group went whitewater rafting down through the Hudson River Gorge in the Adirondacks.

The sun is shining on the banks of the Indian River. I’m here with about 30 students from SUNY Potsdam. We’ve got black wet suits and snug-fitting red life jackets.

We’re getting ready to raft from the Indian to the Hudson River. I’m in a boat with four Black women from the Bronx.

Right before we climb into the boat, I check in with Regine Tinsely and ask her how's she's feeling. "I’m pretty excited about it, really excited," says Tinsely. She's a senior at SUNY Potsdam studying early childhood education.

I ask her if there's anything she's worried about. "Falling out of the boat," she says. "Being too far where they can’t reach me. That’s about it."

Listen to the full story on North Country Public Radio