In Part 2 of our series on rafting in North Carolina and Tennessee, we are going to explore the French Broad River. This river is the 3rd oldest in the world – only behind the New River and the Nile River. It stretches over 200 miles through Western North Carolina and Tennessee. This river offers something for everyone – with trips as strong as Class IV. So, next time you find yourself around Asheville, North Carolina, be sure to visit and explore the French Broad River.
Like many other rivers in the region, the French Broad has a long, rich, history as an important part of the culture and commerce of North Carolina and Tennessee. In particular, this river was an essential part of the discovery process by Spanish explorer, Hernando De Soto. It was later claimed by French explorers and fur trappers – as the name might suggest. Many Native Americans also called the French Broad home and utilized the many natural resources throughout their lifetimes.
The river begins in Rosman County, North Carolina but quickly reaches and expands into Tennessee. Unlike many rivers, the French Broad actually maintains an almost level grade throughout – with a fairly steep drop off as it approaches Tennessee. It is also relatively flatter and wider than many of the rivers native to the region. This long, low environment means that the French Broad is rich with nutrients – allowing many different breeds of fish, birds, and other wildlife to thrive on the bed of the water.
In addition to the utility and history of the river, the French Broad also has provided years of fun and entertainment to families and groups of all ages and backgrounds. Rafting is considered to be one the best ways to truly experience the French Broad. This river offers a variety of different rafting options, ranging in difficulty. Playful introductions are available for the novice rafters, and a little further down the river, Class IV rapids are waiting for the experienced rafter. Many other activities are available on the French Broad, such as fishing, floats, kayaks, allowing even those who would prefer not to raft, a venue through which to explore and experience the water.
A wise man once said that time on the water is never wasted. Here at River Expeditions, we believe that no truer words have been spoken. We encourage all water sport enthusiasts to explore as many rivers as possible, especially ones that have a long and rich history of being part of local life and community.
For more information about the French Broad River, go here!