Looking for something different this spring break? Look no further. The secret is out on the excitement of whitewater rafting in the Great Smoky Mountains on the Pigeon River. It’s Spring Break 2015 Smoky Mountains Style!
Every year thousands descend on the Pigeon River for whitewater fun and adventure. The American Outdoor Association recently rated the Pigeon River as the third most popular whitewater rafting river in the country!
Also known as the “Big Pigeon,” the river boasts two sections for rafting with each offering a great experience on the river. The Upper Whitewater Section challenges boaters with Class I through Class IV rapids. The Lower Section is a slower paced, float trip the entire family will enjoy! The Lower run has Class I through Class II rapids with a Class III thrown in at the end for good measure.
Almost a dozen professional rafting outfitters provide everything you need from gear and safety training to bus transportation from the river outpost to the put-in at the Tennessee / North Carolina state line. Don’t worry if it’s a bit chilly, the outfitters offer dry suits to keep your warm! Be sure to bring a change of clothes and wear shoes that are strapped to your feet; no flip flops are allowed.
The Pigeon River is the closest whitewater rafting to Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Knoxville. The outfitters are conveniently located in Hartford TN just off Interstate 40 at exit 447. The Pigeon River rafting season opened March 1 and will run through mid-October.
Two other awesome rivers nearby also won accolades:
Most Popular Whitewater Rafting Rivers ranked by America Outdoors Association:
1) Ocoee River, near Cleveland/Chattanooga TN
2) Arkansas River, CO
3) Pigeon River, Hartford TN
4) Nantahala River, near Bryson City NC
5) Lehigh River, PA