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Adventure Sports Center International, MD

Mary Reed

If you’re a whitewater boater waiting for that elusive dam release, wait no more: Adventure Sports Center International has one going on six days a week (Wed-Mon). The Ohio River region’s only artificial whitewater course opened in 2007 to the tune of $15 million. The mountaintop engineering marvel was completed after three years in the making and you don’t have to be a class V paddler to play on its 1,700 feet of continuous whitewater.

“We can control a lot of the variables that you can’t on a wild river and thus have one course be in one place that can accommodate both an outright beginner up to an Olympic-level canoer or kayaker,” says Matt Taylor, director of operations for ASCI. Remarkably, ASCI accommodates both groups every day. Most days from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the flow is class II with a few class III drops and then – in a process that takes about a half hour – the flow is adjusted to “Deep Creek Rapids,” which are class III and class IV levels.

In addition to the 17-acre mountaintop whitewater facility, ASCI manages 550 acres of land about a mile from the main campus called Fork Run Recreation Area. You can check out rappelling and rock climbing – on natural rock – as well as several miles of trails open to mountain biking and hiking with more trails in the works.

Where it’s at: Two hours from Pittsburgh, in that little panhandle between PA and WV. From I-68, turn south on US 219 and travel about 13 miles to McHenry. Follow signs to ASCI.

Contact: www.adventuresportscenter.com or 877-300-ASCI

Grub: The Pumphouse Café, www.wispresort.com

Digs: Swallow Falls State Park ($25-$35/night), www.dnr.state.md.us or 888-432-2267; The Oak & Apple Bed & Breakfast ($100-$130/night), www.oakandappleinn.com or (301) 334-9265

Gear and Support: ASCI has a pro shop on site. Nearby is High Mountain Sports, www.highmountainsports.com or (301) 387-4199

Cost: $25 and up, rates depend on whether it's BYOB (bring your own boat) and length of session; season passes are also available