Wilderness Voyageurs History

Wilderness Voyageurs & our beginnings…


We’re very excited to be have reached and now passed, our 50th anniversary milestone. Lance & Lee Martin started the whitewater rafting industry on the east coast 50 years ago and their children, along with their spouses, continue to operate the company today. Check out our Ohiopyle Events Calendar for this season’s plans!

  • 1959 Lance and Lee Martin start leading Whitewater Rafting trips & Scout Programs in Ohiopyle.
  • 1964 Officially establish Wilderness Voyageurs. The first whitewater rafting company on the Youghiogheny and on the east coast, extending whitewater rafting beyond the Scouts they had been leading down the river for years.
  • 1969 Climbing School established.
  • 1970 Safety Standards – When Ohiopyle State Park developed the guidelines for commercial rafting, it was our internal policies & procedures that became the standard for all outfitters.
  • 1975 River Trip Photos.
  • 1976 Kayak School.
  • 1986 Rental Bikes on the Yough River Trail.
  • 1988 Mountain Bike Instruction.
  • 1993 Historical Float Trips.
  • 1995 Deluxe Trips.
  • 1996 Overnight Trips on the Yough are introduced
  • 1998 Helmets -Wilderness Voyageurs is the first company to make them required on all Lower Yough trips.
  • 1999 First Outfitter to operate Pittsburgh to DC Bike Tours
  • 2000 Falls City Pub opens – the first full service restaurant to operate in Ohiopyle in 30 years. (75 beers available)
  • 2000 Digital Photography for river trips.
  • 2002 Turned Wilderness Voyageurs Outfitter Store into a year round shop, bringing winter life to Ohiopyle!
  • 2003 Opened Rapid Java – the first Gourmet Coffee & Espresso service in Ohiopyle.
  • 2004 First private bathhouse facility for guests
  • 2004 WV enters into Bio Diesel production using grease from our restaurant and others in Uniontown, PA
  • 2005 First hot spot in Ohiopyle And more to come…
  • 2007 Commercially ran the Savage River, MD
  • 2007 Began using biodegradable cups at Falls City Pub
  • 2008 Began Employee gardening program on Garrett St
  • 2009 Colorado Trout fishing trip introduced
  • 2010 Civil War Bike Tour is introduced
  • 2011 Chesapeake Bike & Bay Tour
  • 2012 KATY Trail bike Tour is introduced
  • 2012 Recognized by National Geographic Traveler with the prestigious”50 Trips of a Lifetime” Award for our 9 Day Civil War Bike tour
  • 2014 Celebrating 50 years!!
  • 2015 New bike tours introduced in Shenandoah, Portugal, New York Finger Lakes and New York Erie Canal
  • 2016 Three new bike tours are introduced, in South Dakota Michelson & the Badlands Rail Trail, Kentucky Bourbon & Bluegrass, Colorado Kick Some Pass Advanced tour
Wilderness Voyageurs History