Call (888) 426-7238
Cell (828) 450-4663
35 Little Pine Rd, Marshall, NC 28753

Trip Types

Full Day Trip

The full day trip is about eight and a half miles. We run the same five mile stretch of river as the half day trip, stop and have a beach side, picnic style lunch, and then instead of stopping after five miles, we keep going on to Hot Springs, NC. This extra three and a half miles takes us on a journey through beautiful and remote Pisgah National Forrest, past the ghost town of Runion, and through the classic class IV Frank Bells Rapid.

Half Day Trip With Lunch

This white water rafting trip travels the same section of the French Broad River as the Half-Day Whitewater Trip. The pace for the lunch trip allows more time on the river and includes a stop along the way for lunch. The lunch is a fresh deli / picnic style and is served riverside. The time frame for this trip is the same as the half day trip with about an hour (depends on trip size) added for lunch and a more leisurely pace. Please let us know if you are under any time constraints.

Afternoon Half Day Trip

The afternoon half day trip runs the same five mile stretch of class I-III whitewater as the morning half day with lunch trip. We just don't have lunch. We do, however, have a little snack waiting for us when we reach the take out.

Calm Water Trip

Morning Half Day Trip, No Lunch

This is the same trip as the afternoon Half Day Trip.

WHAT OUR GUESTS SAY

Great First Time!

The people at Blue Heron are so personable and friendly. This was my first time rafting and they made me feel comfortable before even getting on the bus to travel to the river! My husband and I did a half day down the French Broad and Matt was our guide! He was awesome! Along the journey down the river, he told us history about the river and Asheville. He was good at instructing and making us feel like "experts." We were able to swim through a rapid and jump from a big rock on the trip! I had so much fun! About 30 minutes before our landing point, we stopped for a delicious lunch that included local food from Asheville. Thanks guys for an awesome experience, I hope to be back!!!!

Visited May 2017
“Awesome day on the river!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2015 NEW via mobile

My children (10 and 12) and I did the full day trip and had a blast! The staff are friendly, professional, and knowledgable. Our guide, Sam, kept us all on track (and in the raft)-- she was excellent! Would recommend this outfitter to anyone.

Visited May 2015
“Our visit actually improved the rest of our trip!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2015 NEW

My fiance and I were planning a trip to Asheville and I was in charge of finding some awesome things for us to do. We were both interested in whitewater rafting and after some extensive research browsing many different company's websites, we chose to go with Blue Heron Whitewater on a full day (8 mile) trip. Best choice ever! It looked like we were going to run into rain and the forecast said low 60's for the day. Thankfully, Blue Heron lent us some wet suits and splash jackets (they provide these for free-- not everyone does!) to keep us comfortable for the entire day. The coldest part of the day was taking them off at the end of the trip!

The trip itself was awesome-- the rapids were very fun and the view was gorgeous! My fiance and I actually got to go out by ourselves with our guide, Drew, and our guide-in-training, Dan. Drew was very knowledgeable and told us a lot about the history of the river. He kept us laughing the entire way and kept us busy (and wet!) going through the rapids. We didn't have a lot of specifics planned for the rest of our Asheville trip, so Drew and Dan recommended some AWESOME restaurants as well as hikes. We parked where they told us to park downtown, ate where they told us to eat, and even hiked on specific trails they suggested the next day. We ended with a trip to Hot Springs as per their recommendation as well. My fiance and I felt that they not only gave us a GREAT day on the river, but helped make the rest of our trip fantastic!! In the end we left Blue Heron Whitewater (and Asheville) with huge smiles on our faces. Thank you!!

Visited April 2015
“Our visit actually improved the rest of our trip!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2015 NEW

My fiance and I were planning a trip to Asheville and I was in charge of finding some awesome things for us to do. We were both interested in whitewater rafting and after some extensive research browsing many different company's websites, we chose to go with Blue Heron Whitewater on a full day (8 mile) trip. Best choice ever! It looked like we were going to run into rain and the forecast said low 60's for the day. Thankfully, Blue Heron lent us some wet suits and splash jackets (they provide these for free-- not everyone does!) to keep us comfortable for the entire day. The coldest part of the day was taking them off at the end of the trip!

The trip itself was awesome-- the rapids were very fun and the view was gorgeous! My fiance and I actually got to go out by ourselves with our guide, Drew, and our guide-in-training, Dan. Drew was very knowledgeable and told us a lot about the history of the river. He kept us laughing the entire way and kept us busy (and wet!) going through the rapids. We didn't have a lot of specifics planned for the rest of our Asheville trip, so Drew and Dan recommended some AWESOME restaurants as well as hikes. We parked where they told us to park downtown, ate where they told us to eat, and even hiked on specific trails they suggested the next day. We ended with a trip to Hot Springs as per their recommendation as well. My fiance and I felt that they not only gave us a GREAT day on the river, but helped make the rest of our trip fantastic!! In the end we left Blue Heron Whitewater (and Asheville) with huge smiles on our faces. Thank you!!

Visited April 2015
“Our visit actually improved the rest of our trip!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2015 NEW

My fiance and I were planning a trip to Asheville and I was in charge of finding some awesome things for us to do. We were both interested in whitewater rafting and after some extensive research browsing many different company's websites, we chose to go with Blue Heron Whitewater on a full day (8 mile) trip. Best choice ever! It looked like we were going to run into rain and the forecast said low 60's for the day. Thankfully, Blue Heron lent us some wet suits and splash jackets (they provide these for free-- not everyone does!) to keep us comfortable for the entire day. The coldest part of the day was taking them off at the end of the trip!

The trip itself was awesome-- the rapids were very fun and the view was gorgeous! My fiance and I actually got to go out by ourselves with our guide, Drew, and our guide-in-training, Dan. Drew was very knowledgeable and told us a lot about the history of the river. He kept us laughing the entire way and kept us busy (and wet!) going through the rapids. We didn't have a lot of specifics planned for the rest of our Asheville trip, so Drew and Dan recommended some AWESOME restaurants as well as hikes. We parked where they told us to park downtown, ate where they told us to eat, and even hiked on specific trails they suggested the next day. We ended with a trip to Hot Springs as per their recommendation as well. My fiance and I felt that they not only gave us a GREAT day on the river, but helped make the rest of our trip fantastic!! In the end we left Blue Heron Whitewater (and Asheville) with huge smiles on our faces. Thank you!!

Visited April 2015
“Our visit actually improved the rest of our trip!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2015 NEW

My fiance and I were planning a trip to Asheville and I was in charge of finding some awesome things for us to do. We were both interested in whitewater rafting and after some extensive research browsing many different company's websites, we chose to go with Blue Heron Whitewater on a full day (8 mile) trip. Best choice ever! It looked like we were going to run into rain and the forecast said low 60's for the day. Thankfully, Blue Heron lent us some wet suits and splash jackets (they provide these for free-- not everyone does!) to keep us comfortable for the entire day. The coldest part of the day was taking them off at the end of the trip!

The trip itself was awesome-- the rapids were very fun and the view was gorgeous! My fiance and I actually got to go out by ourselves with our guide, Drew, and our guide-in-training, Dan. Drew was very knowledgeable and told us a lot about the history of the river. He kept us laughing the entire way and kept us busy (and wet!) going through the rapids. We didn't have a lot of specifics planned for the rest of our Asheville trip, so Drew and Dan recommended some AWESOME restaurants as well as hikes. We parked where they told us to park downtown, ate where they told us to eat, and even hiked on specific trails they suggested the next day. We ended with a trip to Hot Springs as per their recommendation as well. My fiance and I felt that they not only gave us a GREAT day on the river, but helped make the rest of our trip fantastic!! In the end we left Blue Heron Whitewater (and Asheville) with huge smiles on our faces. Thank you!!

Visited April 2015
“Our visit actually improved the rest of our trip!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2015 NEW

My fiance and I were planning a trip to Asheville and I was in charge of finding some awesome things for us to do. We were both interested in whitewater rafting and after some extensive research browsing many different company's websites, we chose to go with Blue Heron Whitewater on a full day (8 mile) trip. Best choice ever! It looked like we were going to run into rain and the forecast said low 60's for the day. Thankfully, Blue Heron lent us some wet suits and splash jackets (they provide these for free-- not everyone does!) to keep us comfortable for the entire day. The coldest part of the day was taking them off at the end of the trip!

The trip itself was awesome-- the rapids were very fun and the view was gorgeous! My fiance and I actually got to go out by ourselves with our guide, Drew, and our guide-in-training, Dan. Drew was very knowledgeable and told us a lot about the history of the river. He kept us laughing the entire way and kept us busy (and wet!) going through the rapids. We didn't have a lot of specifics planned for the rest of our Asheville trip, so Drew and Dan recommended some AWESOME restaurants as well as hikes. We parked where they told us to park downtown, ate where they told us to eat, and even hiked on specific trails they suggested the next day. We ended with a trip to Hot Springs as per their recommendation as well. My fiance and I felt that they not only gave us a GREAT day on the river, but helped make the rest of our trip fantastic!! In the end we left Blue Heron Whitewater (and Asheville) with huge smiles on our faces. Thank you!!

Visited April 2015

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g49326-d1829751-r270601392-Blue_Heron_Whitewater-Marshall_North_Carolina.html#
“Awesome day on the river!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2015 NEW via mobile

My children (10 and 12) and I did the full day trip and had a blast! The staff are friendly, professional, and knowledgable. Our guide, Sam, kept us all on track (and in the raft)-- she was excellent! Would recommend this outfitter to anyone.

Visited May 2015

Local Info

Blue Heron Whitewater is in Madison County, NC, the last county the French Broad River runs through before flowing into Tennessee. The small towns of Hot Springs, Marshall, and Mars Hill offer the intimacy of a slower pace and rural landscapes. Activities focus on the outdoors, with hiking, biking, horse back riding and, of course, rafting. The arts are alive and well here, too.

Only 22 miles away from Blue Heron Whitewater is downtown Asheville, which is a thriving, eclectic, cultural hub.

We share a few of our favorite places, that you can make the most of your visit to our neck of the woods!  

Marshall is the county seat, and is becoming a vibrant community with an emphasis on art and music. The old high school on the island has been renovated into artist studio spaces and appropriately named Marshall High Studios. Also on the island is a ball field and walking path. Marshall is the home of Madison County Arts Council, which highlights the talents of local artists and musicians, across a range of genres, and hosts entertainers from around the globe.

Visit Zumas cafe for good coffee, salads and wraps, open for breakfast and lunch. Open late on Thursdays, they offer a dinner menu and host a Bluegrass Jam. Get there early if you want a table. Renown studio fiddler Bobby Hicks has made Marshall his home, and Zumas on Thursdays his venue.

Penlands Department Store is an authentic small town store, offering any style of Carhart clothing you could want, Redwing boots, an assortment of seasonal produce and like-home canned goodies. Books written by Madison County authors are made available at Penlands. For a sampling of the artistic talent in this county make time to browse the new shop Flow.

Another unique shopping opportunity is Good Stuff, offering healthy snacks, and an assortment of brews. Stop by the Pot Pie Shop and take away a delicious dinner, ready for your oven. A great place to stock up for cooking your own meals while camping or cabin renting is the Madison Natural Foods grocery. They carry the locally made organic Roots hummus that we serve on our lunch trips.

Every second Friday night downtown Marshall hosts French Broad Fridays from 5-9pm, featuring restaurants, shops, open studios and dancing.

Momma's Kitchen is our neighbor, and practically a county landmark! Sherry serves up country-style meals, including beans and corn bread, and fried green tomatoes. She's open Monday-Friday for breakfast and dinner. On the Marshall by-pass is Longnecks, serving 100% Angus beef and a large selection of brews. Open for dinner only, this is a good stop for hungry folks coming off our afternoon Half Day Trips.

Four miles up the road from us is Sandy Bottom Trail Rides. Another riding stable close by is Smoky Mountain Trail Rides and Bison Farm.

Madison County Farmers and Artisans Market is worth a stop for locally produced farmstead cheeses, eggs and veggies, baked goods, etc. Saturday mornings in Mars Hill.

The town of Hot Springs is where our Full Day rafting trips take off the river.
For information about hikes in the area, and to gear up stop in at Bluff Mountain Outfitters.
The Hot Springs Resort and Spa has cabins to rent, campground sites with river frontage, and tubs for soaking in the natural warm mineral waters for which the town is named.
Broadwing Farm, and Spring Brook Cottages also rent cabins near town.
For a pampered experience check in to the Mountain Magnolia Inn.
The Artisun Gallery features creative works of local artists.
Tasty meals are served at The Iron Horse Station and Smoky Mountain Diner.

And then there is Asheville…

In the late 1800's early 1900's two wealthy families, Vanderbilt and Grove, made their marks on Asheville. They attracted skilled artisans, craftsmen and botanists for elaborate undertakings of the Biltmore House and the Grove Arcade. Many of those talented folks stayed, and passed down their traditions to the generations that followed. Asheville is a vibrant, eclectic town, with many fabulous restaurants and a plethora of cultural happenings. The city is surrounded by mountains, and all the fun things to do outside.

For live music venues check out Diana Wortham Theatre, The Orange Peel, and The Ices.

Mostly south of Asheville
The North Carolina Arboretum is a 434 acre public garden located within the Bent Creek Experimental Forest of the Pisgah National Forest. Dupont State Forest is a good place for hiking to scenic waterfalls.

Chimney Rock State Park is about an hour from us. It offers some incredible hikes, and vistas overlooking Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure.

The French Broad River connects four mountain counties in western North Carolina. At the upper end, near Brevard the folks at Headwater Outfitters provide a canoe rental service and well-stocked outdoor gear shop. In the middle at Asheville our friends at Asheville Outdoor Center offer a variety of activities on and by the river, and Blue Heron Whitewater helps you access the whitewater stretch, before the French Broad River flows out of the mountains, on its way to Tennessee and beyond.