Skip to the main content
Asheville Adventure Company

Thrilling Kayaking on the French Broad River

three people kayaking down the river in white water

Book Now

Activity Level: ModerateActivity Level: Moderate

$59 | 3 hours (1.5-2 hours float time)

Tour Highlights

Scenic views of the French Broad River and the Appalachian Mountains

Challenging Class II-III rapids

Great introduction to white water kayaking and river rafting for beginners and first-timers

Unique opportunity to paddle white water rapids in an inflatable kayak (ducky)

Experienced guides with swiftwater rescue certification

We Provide

You Should Bring

Book Now

Voted the #1 paddling trip in Asheville on TripAdvisor, our Section 6 French Broad River kayaking excursion provides a perfect balance of floating through calm water and paddling through white water rapids on your very own ducky.

What to Expect on Your French Broad Kayaking Adventure

This scenic float spans approximately 5 miles along the free-flowing waters of the French Broad and gives you a unique combination of calm water and exciting rapids that is sure to make your French Broad river kayaking trip the highlight of your visit to Asheville. 

Voted the #1  paddling trip in Asheville, the Section 6 French Broad Kayaking trip is great for beginner paddlers and adventure junkies alike!

Equipment

Asheville Adventure Company is a complete white water outfitter, providing you all of the equipment you’ll need for your trip down one of the oldest rivers in the world. 

  • Kayaks/ Duckies: Individual inflatable kayaks that give you a stable and exciting way to experience the river. Learn more about duckies here.
  • Rafts: Seat 6 people, not including the guide, and are available for families or ADH trips on Section 9. Interested in a trip in a raft? Check out our French Broad Gorge Whitewater Rafting Trip!

All equipment including your duckies, personal flotation device (PFD), helmet, and paddle are white water certified. 

If you prefer, you can bring your own equipment for the trip. However,  it must be rated for white water. PFDs for waterskiing are not permitted. 

Note: all of our PFDs have a base (or minimum weight) of 50 lbs.  If a member of your party weighs less than this, you’ll need to provide your own certified PFDs. 

Waivers

Every participant is required to sign a touchless liability waiver before departing for the trip. Participants under 18 must also have a parent or guardian sign the waiver. Links to the waiver will be included with your trip confirmation. 

Our Section 6 French Broad kayaking trip is recommended for adults, or children aged 10 and up.  All participants are required to have footwear with a heel strap and to wear PFDs at all times. While this is a laid-back whitewater kayaking trip, we recommend all participants be in good health and physically ready for the adventure. Anyone under the influence will not be permitted to participate. 

Transportation

We’ll start and end the day at our shop, just north of downtown Asheville. From there we’ll take a van to the put-in location, where we’ll start our float. With the French Broad River flowing south to north, we’ll end our float by passing the beautiful Walnut Island. Once we reach the take-out point we’ll take a scenic drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains back to the shop to celebrate a successful float. 

Parking at Asheville Adventure Company Headquarters: Parking is available at our shop, but space can be limited on the weekends. We recommend taking a Lyft or Uber to the shop so you can fully relax and enjoy the day (including a beer or two at the end of the trip!). 

Your Guide

All of our kayaking trips are guided tours on the French Broad River. Each paddling and rafting guide at Asheville Adventure Company is an outdoor enthusiast, with swiftwater rescue training, that has spent plenty of time navigating the rapids of the French Broad. Not only will your guide share info about the area, but they’ll also provide an intro to paddling and teach you how to navigate down the river. 

The French Broad River

Meandering its way through western North Carolina, the French Broad River is one of the oldest rivers in the world. With pockets of calm water to challenging rapids, you’re sure to enjoy spending  a half-day paddling along the river taking in the breath-taking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Madison County.

Class II-III Rapids

Class II & III rapids can create waves ranging from 1-5 feet, making sure your adrenaline gets pumping. Your guide will teach you how to navigate these rapids. Whether this is your first time rafting or you’re a white water junkie, the Class II & III rapids of the French Broad’s section 6 are sure to give you a thrill. 

Wildlife

Floating down the river is one of the best ways to observe the natural beauty of the Appalachian Mountains. While there’s no guarantee of what wildlife you’ll see on your trip, in the past, we have seen a variety of different types of fish and several types of birds of prey including hawks, eagles, etc. There have also been sightings of deer and even bears on some of our later evening trips.  

Celebrate a Successful Trip

After spending time on the water, what better way to end the day than enjoying a cold one with our adventure buddies!  At the end of each trip, we have a keg of local craft beer waiting back at the shop for everyone to enjoy.  Don’t drink? We’ve got you covered! We also offer local organic soda, Devil’s Foot, for kids and non-drinkers. So kick back and relax after a thrilling day tackling the rapids of the French Broad River. 

Who Would Enjoy French Broad Rafting? 

If you’re looking for a rush of adrenaline but have never been whitewater rafting before, our Section 6 French Broad rafting trip is perfect for beginners and first-timers. This laid-back trip is also good for experienced whitewater rafters too! 

Our trips are good for individuals, small groups, and families. So if you’re looking for a memorable experience and a bit of adventure in Asheville, look no further. 

Rafting Trip FAQs

Here are the answers to some of the most common questions we get about our French Broad rafting trips: 

How Long Are We On The Water? 
Our whitewater rafting trips are around 3 hours. Typically it takes 1.5-2 hours to float Section 6 of the French Broad River. 

Can We Swim In The River? 
There is a flatwater section where you can go swimming. Your guide will take the time in this section to give you an intro to paddling and teach you how to navigate down the river. 

What Do I Do With My Keys and Wallet? 
We recommend bringing only what you absolutely need. You can leave your keys, wallets, and other belongings in your car or in the changing room at your own risk. 

Can I Bring My Phone With Me? 
Guides do have a dry bag if it is an absolute necessity to bring your phone with you. You can also bring your own dry bag or purchase one before the trip starts. Take your phone on the river at your own risk. 

Can I Bring a Camera With Me? 
We know you want all the photos of your big moment navigating the whitewater rapids of the French Broad. Rather than losing your phone or camera in the river, we will have souvenir photos available for you. 

Do You Have Changing Rooms? 
There are bathrooms and changing rooms at the Asheville Adventure Company headquarters for you to change back into dry clothes after your trip down the river. 

Can I Bring Snacks?
Snacks on the river are discouraged, but we try to be as flexible as we can. You are more than welcome to bring some snacks on the shuttle van. The same goes for bottled water. 

When’s The Best Time To Raft on the French Broad? 
The French Broad River is relatively warm in the summer (May-September). However, if you plan on whitewater rafting in April or October be advised the water will be cold.

Do All Trips Start On Time? 
All of our rafting trips will start on time. If you are late we will try to accommodate you on a later trip. However, additional fees may apply. 

What If There’s Bad Weather? 
We’ll make a decision about weather as close to the trip as possible while still giving you time to make adjustments. Keep in mind that Asheville is a temperate rainforest and usually calls for rain every day in the summer (which is typically just a 15-min shower). In such cases, the trip will go on as planned. 

We won’t run a trip if it’s going to be dangerous. Our main goal is to make sure you have a good time. If it looks like the weather is going to prevent that, we’ll try to reschedule if possible. 

If there are any changes to your trip due to the weather, we’ll text or call you. 

Book Your French Broad Rafting Tour

A French Broad rafting tour is a great way to add a bit of adventure to your Asheville visit. Whether you’re a first-timer or are a regular rafter looking for a laid-back time on the water, the Section 6 tour is guaranteed to be a good time. 

This tour is one of our most flexible rafting trips. While most people opt for individual Duckies, we do have a raft available for ADH and families with kiddos (10+).  However, because we have a limited number of rafts, you’ll want to be sure to reserve one ahead of time. 
For more information on our Section 6 French Broad Rafting tour or to book your trip call us at 828-417-7109 or you can go ahead and book now online.

^