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Rafting in the Smokies

Jump in a raft and paddle down the rapids of the Pigeon River, zip line through a tree canopy or have a riverside picnic at this outdoor adventure center.

Rafting in the Smokies is an adventure center located on the Pigeon River in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Paddle through class IV river rapids or cruise gently down the river while taking in the stunning mountain scenery. Travel through the treetops on a canopy tour or relax with a picnic at a riverside beach.

Thrill-seekers will love the chance to jump in a raft and paddle through the whitewater rapids of the Upper Pigeon River. Join a trained guide and up to seven friends as you tackle a lively 5-mile stretch of the river. 

If you are looking for a calmer activity, sign up for a family float trip, during which you drift down the lower section of the Pigeon River. Sit back and listen to regional stories from your knowledgeable guide. 

No experience is necessary to take part in the rafting trips. You’ll be provided with life jackets and can be confident in your guide’s attention to safety. Remember to bring a change of clothes because there’s a chance that you’ll get wet. Check the center’s official website for the age restrictions of each trip.

Combine a rafting trip with a visit to Adventure Island. Cross the Pigeon River via a 150-foot (45-meter) swinging footbridge to a 10-acre (4-hectare) island, featuring a river beach and swimming area, nature trail and kid’s playground. Travel through the treetops on zip lines and sky bridges for an adrenalin rush. Challenge your strength and decision-making skills on the rope climbing course. Bring your own food and make use of the picnic and barbecue facilities.

Located in the town of Hartford, Rafting in the Smokies and Adventure Island are a 40-minute drive from downtown Gatlinburg. There is free on-site parking.

The rafting season runs from March to November. Check the Rafting in the Smokies official website for a detailed schedule. Advanced reservations are recommended and can be made by phone, online or at the booking office in Gatlinburg.


Guide to Exploring around Rafting in the Smokies


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Best Lodging Options Near Rafting in the Smokies

See all 7,462 Properties near Rafting in the Smokies
Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg ¥12,533
Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg

Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg

539 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in Gatlinburg, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Anakeesta and Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies. Gatlinburg Sky Lift and Gatlinburg Space Needle are also within 15 minutes.

    Brookside Resort by FairBridge ¥4,739
    Brookside Resort by FairBridge

    Brookside Resort by FairBridge

    463 E Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN
       
      2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      This family-friendly Gatlinburg hotel is located on a river, within a 15-minute walk of Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum and Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies. Gatlinburg Sky Lift and Gatlinburg Space Needle are also within 1 mi (2 km).

      Baymont by Wyndham Gatlinburg On The River ¥4,892
      Baymont by Wyndham Gatlinburg On The River

      Baymont by Wyndham Gatlinburg On The River

      293 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN
         
        2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in Gatlinburg, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Traffic Light #3 and Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies. Gatlinburg Sky Lift and Gatlinburg Space Needle are also within 1 mi (2 km).

        Howard Johnson by Wyndham Downtown Gatlinburg ¥4,396
        Howard Johnson by Wyndham Downtown Gatlinburg

        Howard Johnson by Wyndham Downtown Gatlinburg

        242 Bishop Lane, Gatlinburg, TN
           
          2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Gatlinburg, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Traffic Light #6 and Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies. Gatlinburg Sky Lift and Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum are also within 10 minutes.

          Days Inn by Wyndham Gatlinburg On The River ¥4,309
          Days Inn by Wyndham Gatlinburg On The River

          Days Inn by Wyndham Gatlinburg On The River

          324 Hemlock Street, St. Rt 441/321, Gatlinburg, TN
             
            2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated on a river, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Traffic Light #3 and Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies. Gatlinburg Sky Lift and Gatlinburg Space Needle are also within 1 mi (2 km).

            Clarion Inn ¥4,568
            Clarion Inn

            Clarion Inn

            200 East Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN
               
              2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Gatlinburg, this motel is within a 10-minute walk of Traffic Light #3 and Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies. Gatlinburg Sky Lift and Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum are also within 15 minutes.

              Smoky Mountain Dream - Five Bedroom Cabin ¥34,052
              Smoky Mountain Dream - Five Bedroom Cabin

              Smoky Mountain Dream - Five Bedroom Cabin

              231 Laurel Oaks Way, Gatlinburg, TN
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Gatlinburg, this golf cabin is within 2 mi (3 km) of Rafting in the Smokies, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies. Gatlinburg Sky Lift and Gatlinburg Space Needle are also within 3 mi (5 km).

                Damrons Dream 5 Bedroom Mountain View Home with Hot Tub
                Damrons Dream 5 Bedroom Mountain View Home with Hot Tub

                Damrons Dream 5 Bedroom Mountain View Home with Hot Tub

                228 Laurel Oaks Way, Gatlinburg, TN
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Gatlinburg, this golf vacation home is within 2 mi (3 km) of Rafting in the Smokies, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies. Gatlinburg Sky Lift and Gatlinburg Space Needle are also within 3 mi (5 km).