Original American Canadian Expeditions (ACE) owner Ernie Kincaid began kayaking on the New River as a teenager in 1969, one year after the first rafting company successfully made it down the river, and would follow rafters down on his kayak.
With four rafts, ACE began operation in 1980 out of a rented room at the old Chuckwagon Motel in Oak Hill, West Virginia where the two original owners met up with vacationers before raft trips. A former strip mine surrounded by wooded forest was bought in 1988. ACE also occupies property that was once a favored hunting and fishing retreat of President Harry S. Truman. There were only three buildings on the property when ACE took residence: the house Truman stayed in, an A-frame for the Secret Service detail and a small lodge structure near one of the property's five lakes. The lodge was expanded to a present day dining facility. ACE recently acquired Wildwater Expeditions, the first whitewater rafting outfitter to make a trip down the Gauley river.