No trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park is complete without a rafting trip on the Pigeon River, also known as the Big Pigeon River. Wildwater offers trips on both the Upper and Lower Pigeon River from our location in Hartford, TN just outside of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. It’s also an easy drive from Maggie Valley and Asheville, NC. With a white water rafting trip, you’ll see the Smokies from a whole new perspective! Rafting in the Smoky Mountains on the Pigeon River is a great trip for all ages.
What is the Difference between the Upper and Lower PIgeon River Sections?
The Pigeon River offers two exciting trips ranging from big splashy white water to a quiet float for the youngest first-timers. The popular Upper Pigeon is five miles of intermediate class III and class IV rapids – with views into the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, making for a thrilling ride through drops like Powerhouse, Big Rock, Roller Coaster, Lost Guide and Double Reactionary.
The easy-going Lower Pigeon is the perfect trip for novices, for families with small children or those seeking a fun and relaxing river experience. This is a mellow 2.5 hour trip on class I and II white water, and has the lowest age restriction of any trip Wildwater runs – age 4!
Summer Rafting on the Pigeon
Summer trips are scheduled 4 days a week, from Memorial Day thru Labor Day: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday plus Saturday.
Early Spring & Fall Rafting
There are no scheduled water releases in the Spring & Fall in the Tennessee Smokies on the Pigeon River. However, we often are able to raft on gorgeous fall days when seasonal rains have brought the levels up, or when the power companies need to release water for extra power generation. Water levels range from class I-II and sometimes we get class IV rapids! We usually don’t know levels until time of rafting – so call our reservations office for more information and reservations!
What to Expect On Your Pigeon Trip
Enjoy breathtaking views of the Smoky Mountains while visiting us in Hartford. The Wildwater facility offers a clean shower house, two cozy shops to browse through, and our very own Pigeon River Dog House where you can enjoy a delicious lunch or afternoon snack. We have two pavilions to enjoy a picnic lunch with your family. You can also enjoy a friendly game of volleyball or cornhole before or after your trip. All Pigeon River trips have a guide in every raft.