Best tennessee white water rafting

Best tennessee white water rafting


Further east on the Ocoee from Benton is Ducktown, TN. Ducktown affords whitewater rafting and adventure lovers an array of activities including hiking, rock climbing and ziplining. The Upper Ocoee section of the river was showcased in the 1996 Olympics and is home to world-class rapids.

Rafting the Upper Ocoee will give you half-a-mile of class IV rapids in the Olympic section. It’s not all about the Ocoee, though! Whitewater rafting on the Pigeon River in Ducktown is a great option if you’re in Eastern Tennessee. There are some class III and IV rapid sets, but if you’re out with younger paddlers, the Lower Duck River is a fun but family-friendly option. Wildwater Rafting has a minimum age of 4 on this stretch of river, so bring your little ones!

Wildwater Rafting

    • Middle Ocoee Rafting: $49.95 per person
    • Upper Ocoee Rafting: $49.95 per person
    • Ocoee Upper and Middle Trip: $99.95 per person
    • Upper Pigeon Rafting: $39.95 per person
    • Lower Pigeon Rafting: $34.95 per person

Ocoee Rafting

    • Middle Ocoee: $40 to $49 per person
    • Upper Ocoee: $49 per person
    • Full River: $85 to $90 per person

Carolina Ocoee

    • Middle Ocoee: $35 to $49 per person
    • Upper Ocoee: $51 per person
    • River Combo: $92 to $99 per person


Whitewater rafting in Cleveland, TN is centered around the Ocoee River. If you’re in the Cleveland area seeking out a whitewater adventure, check out:

Big Frog Mountain Outfitters

    • Middle Ocoee: $35 to $38 per person
    • Full Ocoee: $85 per person

Quest Expeditions Ocoee River

    • Middle Ocoee: $36 per person
    • Upper Ocoee: $49 per person
    • Full River: $90 per person


    • Middle Ocoee: $39.50 per person
    • Upper Ocoee: $45 per person
    • Full River: $91 per person
    • Class V Ocoee: $54 per person
People in a yellow raft with their paddles raised in the air
Rafting is a great bonding experience for families, friends—and even strangers. | Photo: Razvan Orendovici

Pigeon Forge

In Pigeon Forge, TN, you can whitewater raft the scenic and engaging Upper Pigeon River. With class III and IV rapids, this area provides excitement on the river for beginner to experienced paddlers looking for a whitewater rafting adventure in Tennessee. Pigeon Forge is about an hour’s drive from Knoxville, so there’s plenty of entertainment off the river close by!

Outdoor Rafting Adventures

    • Upper Pigeon River: $44.95 per person


Hartford is a little town with a roaring whitewater rafting scene. A perfect spot to set off on a whitewater day, Hartford has a number of rafting companies that run on the Pigeon River. For an even more exciting river day, check out mini raft tours! If you’re an angler, 5 Rivers also offers fishing tours in the Hartford area.

Rapids in the Hartford area are class I to class IV, and there are plenty of more relaxed floats for families and those looking for a less adrenaline-filled day.

5 Rivers

    • Upper Pigeon: $39.99 per person
    • Lower Pigeon: $39.99 per person
    • High Adventure Trip: $49.99 per person
    • Combo Trip: $59.99 per person

Nantahala Outdoor Center

    • Upper Pigeon Gorge: From $40 per person
    • Lower Pigeon Gorge: Youth from $28, adults from $35

Big Bear Rafting

    • Upper Pigeon: $39.95 to $45.95
    • Lower Pigeon: $31.95 for youth, $39.95 for adults

Smoky Mountain River Rat

    • Lower Pigeon: $32.95 +tax per person
    • Upper Pigeon: $45.95 +tax per person
    • Xtreme Upper Pigeon Adventure: $59.95 +tax per person

Gatlinburg & Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains are famously beautiful and serene with endless natural features to be explored. An estimated 200 to 300 million years old, the Smoky Mountains have long been cultivating an impressive display of biodiversity. Flora and fauna that are mainly found in the southern states thrive in the lowlands of the Smokies, and species that are heartier in the northern states can be found in the higher elevations. If you want a preview of the real thing, check out the webcams the National Park Service streams live!

Gatlinburg is a popular place to begin whitewater rafting adventures in the Great Smoky Mountains. Most tours in the park are either in the class III and IV range, or are much quieter class I trips. Gatlinburg also provides many other activities to create an adventure-filled trip— check out kayaking, rock climbing, hiking and ziplining.

Rafting in the Smokies

    • Upper Pigeon: $42 per person
    • Lower Pigeon: $35 per person

Smoky Mountain Outdoors

    • Upper Pigeon: $46.95 per person
    • Lower Pigeon: $41.95 per person
    • Extreme Upper Pigeon: $99.95 per person

Nantahala Outdoor Center

    • Upper Pigeon: From $40 per person
    • Lower Pigeon: Youth from $28, adults from $35
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