Rafting

We offer a variety of white water rafting trips for people of all ages and experience. Fill us in on your comfort, budget, and the level of adventure you seek and we’ll provide a trip that suits you and your whole family. For added adventure, ask about our Be-a-raft-guide-for-a-day Program.

Watauga River (section 5)

Featured as our beginner rafting trip, the Watauga is appropriate for all ages and skill levels. Watauga, the Cherokee phrase for ‘sparkling water’ describes these clear, immaculate waters perfectly. Cruise downriver through plentiful class two and three rapids, surrounded by the Cherokee National Forest and surrounding east Tennessee farmland. 

Difficulty: Class II & III
Distance: 10KM/6+miles
Number of Rapids: 18+
Approximate River time: 2 hours
Minimum Age: 0 & up with an expert guide! 

Itinerary

When you arrive at our convenient riverside outpost in Elizabethton, Tennessee, you will be personally fitted with top of the line gear. Then, you and your friends and family will load up into a River and Earth Adventures van where our expert guides will give you a brief scenic tour of the area until we reach our put-in location.

After a thorough and entertaining safety talk by your guide, you will board your rafts just under the notorious, raging Wilber Dam. Enjoy an introductory float, then jump off a twenty-foot cliff into the brisk waters beneath—a great way to wake you up for the adventure to come!

Several class one and two rapids will prepare you for the infamous Anaconda Rapid. This class three rapid is iconic southeastern whitewater. The cascading boulders and hidden holes make this stretch of river an exhilarating adventure for the whole family. 

The remainder of your rafting journey will wind through smaller rapids and skinny side waters then wraps up directly behind our outpost where we provide changing stations.

Full-Day French Broad Trip

This is our premier full-day, high adventure wilderness whitewater rafting experience. This trip flows for more than nine breath-taking miles through the pristine wilderness of Pisgah National Forest. Abundant class three and four rapids await you on this unforgettable stretch of river. 

Distance: 13KM/8+miles
Number of Rapids: 30+
Approximate River time: 4-5 hours
Minimum Age: 7 years  

Itinerary

Meet us at our Boone outpost by 7:30 am to ride in our shuttle van (riding the shuttle is not as comfortable as your own car but you can leave the driving to us) or take your own car to our log cabin outpost in Marshall, NC, by 9:30 am. Once you have been personally fitted with our top of the line gear and prepared with safety information from your guide, the river is a stone’s throw away. 

The first few rapids you will encounter include the continuous, downward drops of Stairstep, the twisting and turning maneuvers throughout the upper and lower Maze, and the exhilarating switchback of S-Curve

Following these jolting, introductory rapids, the raft will drift to overlook a cliff twenty feet tall known as Jump Rock

Your trip includes an all-you-can-eat, deli-style lunch at our immaculate, riverside picnic lunch spot overlooking the infamous Turtle Rock and Big Pillow rapid. This hearty lunch will provide you the energy to continue down and conquer the long, boulder-clogged chute, culminating into a four-foot drop and large hole that is Big Pillow. 

Next, glide through Sandy Bottom Rapid and eddy out to cool off with a swim in the fresh mountain water. Now coast pass the center island and ride some big waves and deep holes at The Ledges. Look off to the right and catch a glimpse of the historic Stackhouse, but remember to keep paddling! Pass by the bridge where Big Laurel flows into the French Broad and don’t miss the awe of jutting, slender boulders towering above you as you ride the rollercoaster towards Needle Rock Rapids. Hold on tight and paddle hard for the upcoming rapid known as Needle Falls or Kayaker’s Ledge

The grand finale of your whitewater experience consists of a series of big broken ledges funneling down to a giant, roaring hole. This extreme, class four, deep water rapid is known as Frank Bell’s. Finally, cruise on down to our take out in Hot Springs, NC, where a River and Earth Adventures van will be waiting to escort you back to your car.

Half-Day French Broad Trip