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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

A Top-Notch Rafting Experience, Courtesy of a Top-Notch Outfit"


Yesterday I donned my Blue Heron t-shirt and recalled the delightful rafting experience I enjoyed there with my daughter and (very likely) future son-in-law. It occurred a year ago, almost to the day. I don't usually write reviews like this, but promised myself I would post something this time. It's taken me a year - but they earned it. Although the details aren't as fresh in my memory now as they were then, I recall that we had a rafting expedition that was perfectly suited to our group's level of inexperience. I remember, too, thinking that the price was very reasonable. It was just the right level of excitement: there were plenty of genuine thrills, but we weren't all-out terrified. There were opportunities for pictures, and we were provided with snacks. At one point, we stopped along the shore and were given the opportunity to leap into the river from a bluff - that was a hoot! If I recall, Laura was our guide. She was very knowledgeable, and during the less rollicking moments of our trip, she shared all kinds of information and lore about the river, the folks who lived along it, and various interesting rafting expeditions over the years. That was fascinating. When I asked her about the history of the company, and about the other companies in the area, she displayed a level of class that is, sadly, not so common these days: while singing the praises of her Blue Heron colleagues, she had only nice things to say about her competitors. I had a preview of that kind of classy attitude before the trip got started: we could buy some dive slippers or water shoes - but they also had dozens of pairs of used shoes - sneakers and such - that previous patrons had left, which we could pick from at no charge. I opted to buy some new slippers, which I have since used repeatedly, but giving customers that option, even though it might mean reduced profits, really resonated with me. It kind of reminded me of that scene in "Miracle at 34th Street" - where the department store Santa... well, you'd have to see the movie. In sum, the trip was thrilling and fascinating, led by a seasoned, classy guide, with a company that keeps costs reasonable. I will return to Asheville soon, and I wouldn't raft with anyone else.

“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

Boat Options

The French Broad River

The French Broad River is a free-flowing river. The amount of water in the river bed is determined not by a dam, but by the amount of rain the region recieves. Water table level also has an effect onHistoric Stackhouse the river flows, as does the season of the year, in that the fully leafed out trees of summer absorb more rain water then the dormant trees of winter, early spring and fall.

What all this means for rafting is that the level of the river can vary. A lot. The French Broad is a big river (by Appalachian Mountain standards anyway) and can hold a lot of water. The river also chanelizes really well. What this means is that even when the level is on the low side we can still go rafting and it is still a great trip.

What it means for us as a professional outfitter is that we want to have a variety of boat options to fit the different water levels. And the different desires of our guests.

Rafts

A raft with a guide is always available and is actually the way most people go down the river with us.rafting on the french broad river Since the water level can vary we have several different raft sizes available. Basically, the higher the water the bigger the raft we want to use. The type, size, and number of rafts we take on the river is determined after everyone has arrived at Blue Heron for their trip.

On rare occasions, when the river level is just right, and there are folks who are up for it, we can offer self-guided rafts. Those rafters are still part of the guided trip and are given plenty of pre-launch instruction as well as on the water direction.

Ducks

Smiling duckerA duck is a single person, inflatable kayak. Unlike hard-plastic kayaks, ducks do not have a deck, so they are sort of a combination of raft and kayak. You do use a double bladed paddle though, and you are in the boat by yourself, but you are not on the trip by yourself.

Ducks are only an option up to a certain water level. If the water is too high ducks are not an option because the chances of swimming are too great and rescue becomes more dificult. Ducks are a fun option for those folks who maybe have done a bit of rafting before or are looking for a little more of an adventurous time on the river. Before getting on the water there will be ducky school and more instruction and help while on the river will be provided by the guides.

A typical raft trip with ducks included might look something like this: The river leader will be in the lead raft followed by a few ducks. Then another guided raft leading a few more ducks, and so on, raft and duck tripwith the last boat always being a guided raft. It is not uncommon for a group to split its members between rafts and ducks. That way everyone can give them a try. And there is always the option to get in a guided raft if the whole duck thing just isn't working out.

Ducks are available on a first come, first served basis and there is no extra charge.