Whitewater rafting is a popular activity in the Smoky Mountains. With gorgeous spring, summer, and fall weather and beautiful scenery, it’s a great place to spend a day in the great outdoors and out on the water. The Pigeon River, split into the Upper Pigeon River and Lower Pigeon River, also offers rafting for children and adults of many ages. The Upper Pigeon River is a fast-paced adventure, great for adults and older kids. It is five miles of intermediate class III and class IV rapids, including Powerhouse, Big Rock, Lost Guide, Double Reactionary, and Roller Coaster. The Lower Pigeon River is a bit tamer, so it’s better for younger children. Kids as young as four can raft down this section of the river, and others can hop on a tube for a relaxing day. As you raft down the river, enjoy the cool breeze, breathe in the fresh air, and soak up the scenes of lush trees around you.
One of the top rafting companies near Pigeon Forge is Wildwater Rafting, offering trips down the Upper Pigeon River and Lower Pigeon River in summer and fall. Summer trips run Memorial Day through Labor Day, and summer release days for the Pigeon River are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. In early fall, Wildwater Rafting runs trips after the last Labor Day release through September 27.
Wildwater Rafting’s Pigeon River Adventure Center is the jumping-off point for a day of fun on the water. It offers clean restrooms and changing rooms where guests can get ready before getting on the water. It’s about 45 minutes from Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, so it’s an easy day trip during a vacation in the Smoky Mountains. Each whitewater rafting trip features its own guide, ensuring safe trips with experienced rafters for every guest.
Upper Pigeon River whitewater trips run across class II, III, and IV rapids and are for children ages 8 years old and up. The approximate trip is about two hours long, with about one hour of time on the water. Prices for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday trips are $39.95 for adults and $29.95 for youth. Group rates for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are $34.95 for adults and $29.95 for youth.
Lower Pigeon River float trips run across class I and class II rapids and are open for children 4 years old and up. The trip also runs about two hours (one hour on the water), and prices are as follows: $34.95 for adults and $29.95 for youth Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Group rates are $29.95 for both adults and youth on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The Lower Pigeon River trip is great for a half day on the water with families and youth groups. It will be a fun but peaceful day with friends and family. Wildwater Rafting also offers trips down other rivers not too far away – the Ocoee, the Nantahala, and the Chattooga rivers.
Other Wildwater adventures
Along with whitewater rafting, Wildwater has a number of other fun activities to try. You can enjoy the scenery with a half-day trip off the main roads. Take a Pigeon Jeep Adventure or zip through the trees on a Pigeon River Canopy Tour. If you need a snack to power up before your trip or need to get your energy back after a day on the water, stop by the Wildwater Pigeon River Dog House for a hot dog, BBQ sandwich, ice cream, or wrap.
After a day at Wildwater, head back to Pigeon Forge for more fun. There are dozens of attractions to check out, including laser tag, go karts, arcades, and miniature golf. If you need a break from the sun, go to one of Pigeon Forge’s popular indoor attractions. Or if you want to keep playing in the water, head to Dollywood’s Splash Country.
3555 Hartford Rd
Hartford, TN 37753
866.319.8870 or 423.487.5916
Where to stay
Need a place to call home while you’re in the Smoky Mountains? Browse our wide range of cabin options. With more than 200 cabins to choose from, we have something for everyone. Choose a cozy 1-2 bedroom cabin for a honeymoon or romantic weekend away, a large-group cabin for retreats and reunions, or a budget-friendly cabin for a low-cost getaway. Along with coming in a range of sizes, our cabins offer a variety of amenities to meet your needs and wants. Need to entertain a group? Choose a cabin with a home theater, private indoor pool, big screen TVs, or a large game room. Want to stay warm on those cool Smoky Mountain nights? Find a cabin with a gas or wood-burning fireplace in a comfy living room or bedroom. Seeking relaxation? Pick a Smoky Mountain cabin with indoor jetted tubs, outdoor hot tubs, a sauna, or plush king-size beds. Some are tucked away in the mountains while others are just minutes from the exciting downtown – something for everyone!