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Zen Tubing experience...

jc tenn
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575 posts
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Zen Tubing experience...

We went to Zen Tubing yesterday - Midtown location. Five of us arrived and it was busy, but check in was quick and we were shuttled to the drop off location. It was fun floating down the river for nearly three hours (we had five tubes tied together). The water wasn't cold and the river was shallow, but not so low that we ever got stuck. One thing I didn't expect was that the French Broad is adjacent to I-26, so there was loud traffic noise for much of the trip. The trees did shield the traffic from view nearly 100%, but it wasn't a quiet country trip. Later, there was a lot of excavating equipment working along the river - noisy. The end of the trip was quiet.

I had called ahead to ask if they had changing facilities and bathrooms. I was assured they did. They only had a few portable toilets and one small nylon tent to change in. When we returned to Zen wet and went in the tent to change clothes for the 1.5 hour trip home, the tent was in the sun and reeked so badly of urine that we all changed outside by our car.

The float trip was great - we all enjoyed it. That said, I'd probably pick a tubing place that has regular bathrooms to change in next time.

Does anyone know if any of the tubing companies in the Asheville area drop off in a quiet area of the river? We live north of Asheville and there is white water rafting in the Erwin, TN area, but I understand it is very different from "floating".


Destination Expert
for Atlanta, Savannah
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1. Re: Zen Tubing experience...

Check out the tubing in Hot Springs, NC. It sounds like it's more of what you are looking for.

Asheville, North...
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for Asheville
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2. Re: Zen Tubing experience...

Cattail, tubing has exploded in popularity this year, and some of the commercial operators are behind the curve on infrastructure like changing and restroom facilities. The current put-in and take-out locations are limited and parking at the public locations is at a premium. The rougher sections of the French Broad River ,e.g., between Alexander and Hot Springs, like the Nolichucky Gorge above Erwin, TN, are not suitable for tubing and the rafting traffic is much lighter. Thanks for your trip report and I hope the outfitters figure out that they need to provide better facilities, especially place that offer private take-out locations. A lot of people are bringing their own tubes and providing their own shuttle between public put-in and take-out parks.

Asheville, North...
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3. Re: Zen Tubing experience...

The Green River in Saluda has lots of tubing on the calm part. Very nice and slow and chilled out. Have fun - we've been tubing here the last 20 years - there's lots of different kinds of tubing :)

4. Re: Zen Tubing experience...

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