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“Rafting the French Broad”

Blue Heron Whitewater
Ranked #3 of 12 things to do in Marshall
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Closest whitewater rafting outfitter to Asheville, NC. Blue Heron Whitewater offers a variety of trips on the French Broad River. Choose the trip that fits your group and schedule. Half Day Trips enjoy 5 miles, with class II-III rapids. Full Day Trips add 3 more miles, a delicious deli-style lunch served riverside, and a class IV rapid. Minimum age for whitewater trips is 8. Float Trips are offered for families with kids as young as 4 and for those looking for a scenic float trip through the beautiful Southern Appalachian Mountains. On the river you are no longer a spectator!Come visit our new solar-powered outpost with hot showers, free wet suit use in cool weather and the most experienced guides on the river.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Lockers / storage, Activities for older children
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Rafting the French Broad”
Reviewed 5 September 2013

Great trip with good company. Owners and guides very serious about what they do and making sure everyone is safe and having fun. Good prices on everything, even pics at end of day. Felt like we were all a bunch of friends at end of day. Sandy, one of the owners was on our trip, and she rocked it. Great fun had by everyone. They are Eco friendly as well.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Kbluster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BlueHeronWhitewater, Owner at Blue Heron Whitewater, responded to this review, 6 September 2013
Glad to hear you had a good trip and thanks for writing a review. Sandy and the other two owners (including me) have been rafting on the French Broad for 20 - 30+ years. This is our career and we do take it seriously. We realize that there are a multitude of reasons folks want to go down the river including rapids, scenery, history, group and family time, and all the above. We also realize that intertwined with all these reasons, enhancing them, is the fun factor. Fun is very important. It is the spice. On the other side of the scale is safety. It's hard to have fun if you don't feel secure. We go to great lengths to inform folks honestly about what to expect. And being a little nervous is normal and healthy. Balance is the key for a great day on the river.
Thanks again for rafting with us and hope to see you again soon!
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210 reviews from our community

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English first
Houston, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
25 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Great rafting experience!”
Reviewed 4 September 2013

I have been whitewater rafting in other areas of the US but had never been to NC. We were visiting and staying with friends in Asheville. I looked online at the rafting outfits in the area and read each of their websites. Since we had one person in the group that had never been rafting I wanted to find a company that would cater to all levels and promote not just the fun but the safety. I really like Blue Heron's website and decided to book with them. I can only say that it was a super experience. We all had a wonderful time and all the guides were delightful and our photographer was excellent. I have to say that Nate was a riot but made sure everyone understood what to do (safety) if they were forced to swim. Our guide, Nadine rocked! She took wonderful care of us and became part of our group immediately. I would suggest a full day trip if the river allows. Thank you Blue Heron Whitewater for a great day on the river!

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank WeezieDee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BlueHeronWhitewater, Owner at Blue Heron Whitewater, responded to this review, 5 September 2013
We're very glad you chose to go rafting with us and that you had a good and memorable day on the river. It is very important to us, as I'm sure it is for all of our guests, to find the balance of fun and safety. And over the years (decades actually) that we've been leading rafting trips we have found that there are really only a few hard and fast rules, and we base some decisions on the make-up of the group and the kind of trip they want. We like to stay flexible and somewhat fluid.
And what great people and guides Nate and Nadine are. Super competent and keenly aware of their guests needs and desires. It is always, always a great time when those two are on the river.
Thanks again for rafting with us, and for your comments. We really appreciate it. And I'll be sure to pass you comments along to Nadine and Nate.
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Vero Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great time!”
Reviewed 19 August 2013

Instructors were knowledgeable and we all felt safe. Helmets were provided and wet weather gear and/or wetsuits were also available for no extra charge. In addition to the white water rafting, as we were in the bus to/from the spot where we put in, the guide gave us history and information about the area that was very interesting. Enjoyable day!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Linda C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BlueHeronWhitewater, Owner at Blue Heron Whitewater, responded to this review, 21 August 2013
Thanks for rafting with us and for writing a review. We're glad you had a good time. We love to share not only our love of rafting and being on the river, but to also what we've learned over the years about the beauty and history of Western North Carolina.
Hope to see you on the river with us again. We're always learning new things to share with folks.
Thanks again.
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Hollywood, Florida
Level Contributor
29 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Great day on the French Broad River”
Reviewed 14 August 2013

Our first time whitewater rafting and we had picked the best company. We had an awesome time (Thanks Wags). Did the all day trip which was well worth it. Great river, great guide and beautiful surrounding. We went a couple of days later with another company on another river - but honestly this was one of the highlights of our trip. After the trip we could take a hot shower at the beginning point and the bathrooms where so clean even that we were the last once to come back. Loved it !

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Anja G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BlueHeronWhitewater, Owner at Blue Heron Whitewater, responded to this review, 16 August 2013
Thank you very much. We really appreciate you taking the time to write a review and are happy to hear you had a good trip. Wags does a great job on and off the river and loves sharing his love and enthusiasm for the outdoors in general and the French Broad River in particular. Glad to hear you chose the full day trip. That really is a beautiful stretch of unspoilt river topped off by the fun and splashy Frank Bell's rapid. A great introduction to class IV rapids.
Hope to see you again. Being a free-flowing river, the French Broad is never the same twice.
THANKS!
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St. Augustine, Florida
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Outstanding service...outrageous fun!”
Reviewed 13 August 2013

We took a half day rafting trip with children 9 and 12 years old. We were a bit apprehensive (especially for the kids) as this was the first time we were trying white water rafting. We were given a very thorugh safety talk about what to do if one falls in the water and felt quite reasured.

We had a great time. The guides are all very friendly and especially good with kids. After the trip was done, our kids wanted to book a full day trip the very next day.

Their photographer is awesome....he took some terrific action shots that we will treasure. They have good clean facilities to shower and change after the trip. Store offers water shoes at reasonable price if you forget to bring yours.

Blue Heron is a quick drive from Asheville. I definitely would raft with them again.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank mud2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BlueHeronWhitewater, Owner at Blue Heron Whitewater, responded to this review, 14 August 2013
Thank you so much for rafting with us. We really appreciate you going down the river with us and trusting us with your first whitewater rafting experience. We take that responsibility very seriously and do what we can to make sure folks are comfortable enough to have a great time on the river. And the French Broad is a great river for first time rafters and kids. Warm(ish) water, fun but not too scary rapids, and beautiful scenery.
Thanks again and hope to see you again. Maybe on the full day trip. Gotta give that class 4 rapid a go.
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