It is no surprise with the amount of water that flows out of the Smokies, that whitewater rafting is a hugely popular pastime in the Smokies. Companies occupy almost every major river from the North Carolina side of the Smokies to Tennessee. Find an outfitter in any of the towns or at shops like the Nantahala Outdoor Center that line the roads. Here are some things that all of the whitewater rafting companies have in common:
- Expert Guides – You are not going to be left to your own devices while you are on the river. Each boat gets its own trained expert guide. They are there to make sure that not only do you enjoy the trip in safety but to guide your boat so that you get to experience all that the river has to offer.
- Some of the rivers are controlled by dams – The whitewater rafting companies depend on the water control from those dams to make sure that you have a great trip. These companies send boats down the river have been working with these dams for years, they know the best times to go so that you have an amazing experience.
- Transportation – You park at their office. They load you and your family and friends onto a bus. The boats go on top, you go inside. They drive you to the point that you will start on the river. When you have finished the trip, soaked and out of breath from the fun that you have had, they pick you up again and bring you back to your vehicle that has been parked in security at their office.
- Know what to expect – If this is our first whitewater trip or your first time down a new river, it is nice to know what to expect as you step into the boat. You will know turn by turn, from the discussion you have in the outfitters before you start and from the guide in the boat what is coming next. This knowledge won’t keep you from feeling the adrenaline surge of dropping into the rapids but it is nice to know what to expect.
Each of the rivers has its own nature and terrific qualities. The turns, the rapids the structure of the river change day to day and at times if the water is right, the amount of adventure might be double what it was the last time you were on that river. Find the whitewater company you like and try every river they have at their disposal. Explore the rivers of the Smokies. Get wet and have a blast!