Fall is Here
When do we close? Well, we live here so if you want to go rafting, we want to go rafting. The weather can be warm (relatively) any time of year and we've got plenty of wetsuits , hot chocolate, and fleece tops to loan out (free of charge). So come see the river and the mountains as few people have seen them. It's spectacular out there!
Give us a call at 888-426-7238.
We're only 22 miles from downtown Asheville, NC. - the closest outfitter for the whitewater rafting stretch of the French Broad River.
French Broad River Rafting Trips
Closest whitewater rafting to Asheville, NC, 22 miles NW, Blue Heron Whitewater offers a variety of trips on the French Broad River. Choose the trip that fits your group and schedule. Half Day Trips enjoy five miles of beautiful mountain scenery, and a series of fun class II-III rapids. Add almost four more miles, and the exhilarating class IV Frank Bell's Rapid for the Full Day Trip. Morning trips stop along the way for a fresh picnic lunch served riverside. Minimum age for the whitewater trips is 8 years old. Families with kids as young as 4 enjoy the scenic calm water Float Trip.
We are a small, locally owned and operated company, so we can be big on the details! From your first phone call or e-mail inquiry, to the information on this site, to the personal attention you receive when you check in for your trip, to the quality gear provided, to the talented, fun-loving professional guides who share their knowledge of the river with you, we want you to have a great experience! We take care of the details so all you have to do is choose the date and which trip, and either reserve your spaces via phone or online.
The river engages you with your surroundings! On the river you are no longer a spectator.
The person who receives your phone call knows the French Broad River and the trips we offer first hand.
We provide cool weather gear at no charge, including splash jackets and pants, fleece tops, and wet suits.
When water levels permit, some folks in your group may like to opt for more adventure by choosing to paddle the inflatable kayaks. No advanced reservation or additional cost is required. You can inquire about the “duck” option when you check in for your trip.
Choosing to be in a guided raft is always an option.
We offer photos for all of our trips. The Photo CD is a great value, and a wonderful way to refresh memories of your day on the river.
Our clean, new facility includes tiled bathrooms and hot showers.
Our commitment to environmental sustainability is reflected in an investment in solar panels that offset our energy usage, Trex decking made of recycled plastic bags. and composite siding.
Our talented staff produced a pre-trip instruction video, relevant to this river and your trip, so everyone gets important information in a focused, educational format.
Our guides love what they do! We are teachers, outdoor educators, paddling enthusiasts, artists, craftsmen, doctors. What we all have in common is the desire to share our love for the French Broad River with you.
The French Broad River is a free flowing river with it's headwaters high in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Rosman and Brevard NC. Flowing from the Devil's Courthouse on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the river flows to Asheville, NC before turning north and west toward Marshall, NC, Hot Springs, NC and Tennessee. Water levels vary throughout the season so we have a variety of boats for you to choose from. This variety of boat sizes helps insure your trip will be fun whatever the river level. At the most common water levels we can offer you the choice of different sizes of raft as well as ducks (inflatable kayaks). Depending on the water level, ducks or self-guided rafts are a great option for folks who are looking to get little more adventure out of their North Carolina rafting trip. You can always choose to go in a raft with a guide.
Enjoy Asheville white water rafting
Located only 20 minutes from Asheville North Carolina on mostly four lane highways, Blue Heron Whitewater is the closest outfitter to Asheville NC. When you arrive at the outpost for your trip we will talk about the day's river level, the boat options available, and will help you choose the boat option that will best suit your group . A variety of boat choices insures we can help everyone in your group have a great North Carolina whitewater rafting or float trip on the French Broad River.
After everybody has checked in, signed whitewater rafting waivers, changed clothes, bought last-minute items from the store (chums, cameras, river shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses, etc), the next step is your trip talk. The "what to do if ..." talk where we'll discuss gear (helmets, pfds, paddles, etc), procedures, and how the logistics of your river trip will work. After all your questions are answered and your gear is checked for proper fit, it's time to load the bus and head off for our whitewater or calm water float trip on the French Broad River in beautiful Western North Carolina, home of some of North Carolina's best family rafting adventure.
Whitewater rafting in North Carolina
The French Broad River is a great NC rafting river. While not too wild for the novice, the river has plenty to offer the experienced rafter, particularly if they choose to paddle a duck. The rapids range from class I to III on the half-day white water rafting trips, and from class I-IV on the full day NC rafting trip. These are small to medium sized rapids on the class I to VI classification scale. The white water rapids on the French Broad River are considered drop-pool type rapids. Typically the rapids consists of a drop with a calmer pool at the bottom of the rapid.
The float trip stretch of the French Broad River has beautiful scenery, a few riffles, and plenty of opportunity for swimming and floating. The float trip is a great way for families with small children (minimum age is 4 for the float trip) to enjoy some time together on a fantastic NC river. Or if you just want to have a relaxing and scenic float, the French Broad River float trip offers fantastic mountain scenery, fascinating history, and lots of splashing fun.
North Carolina rafting is blessed with a long whitewater rafting season. Here in the Southern Appalachians we run white water rafting trips and calm water float trips from mid-March to early November. And unlike the cold water of other rivers in Western North Carolina, the French Broad River is cool and inviting. A NC rafting trip on the French Broad River is a complete river trip. More than a river ride, rafting North Carolina's French Broad River with Blue Heron Whitewater offers a fantastic combination of white water rapids, swimming holes, beautiful scenery, history and wildlife.
Our whitewater rafting experience
Although Blue Heron Whitewater is a new company, we are not new to Asheville, North Carolina rafting, or to the French Broad River. The three owners of Blue Heron Whitewater have a combined 70+ years of NC rafting and river experience from around the world. We are friends with, and work with some of the most experienced and exceptional guides anywhere, guides who love to share their knowledge and experience of North Carolina rafting, and know how to have fun on the river. Check out our image gallery. You'll see lots of smiling faces. Couples, families, and groups all benefit from the dynamics of a whitewater rafting trip on the French Broad River. We see it every day. Actual teenagers smiling, hugging, and enjoying the company of their parents. So please join us as we embark on this new adventure of having our own whitewater rafting company. Please, grow with us and help us become a great whitewater rafting company. When it comes to French Broad River rafting trips, Blue Heron Whitewater is a company of friends, a company you can trust.