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Rafting with Big Creek Expeditions

3541 Hartford Road • Hartford, TN 37753   View on Map

White Water Rafting

Rafting with Big Creek  Expeditions in Hartford TN

Looking for an exciting family expedition or memorable outdoor adventure?

Come enjoy the Appalachian Mountains by rafting the Pigeon River! This half day whitewater rafting expedition will be the talk of your vacation. The Pigeon River is the closest whitewater rafting adventure to Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, and Knoxville, Tennessee.

Big Creek Expeditions, Inc. is a whitewater rafting company located on the Pigeon River in beautiful Hartford, Tennessee. We are one of the premier attractions in Eastern TN. No matter the size of your group, Big Creek Expeditions, Inc. will give you the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the Smokies on a professionally guided whitewater rafting adventure.

We offer two different rafting trips appropriate for any age and skill level; the Upper Section is a thrilling ride through class III and IV rapids for ages 8 and up (or 70+ pounds), while the Lower is a scenic float trip for ages 3 and up.

Upper Pigeon River
View the scenery of the Great Smoky Mountains and Cherokee National Forest while enjoying a fully-guided 6 mile stretch of whitewater. Raft over exciting drops and through exhilarating white capped waves. The Upper Pigeon River Trip offers 60 plus rapids that include 12 Class III rapids and 4 Class IV rapids. This provides your group the perfect outdoor adventure. Names of rapids on this section include Powerhouse, Lost Guide, Double Reactionary, and Accelerator. Absolutely no rafting experience is required for this Appalachian expedition. (Minimum age limit: 8 years or 70 pounds)

Lower Pigeon River
The Lower Pigeon River Trip is more relaxing & better suited for those who seek a more leisurely trip, or have children that do not meet the requirements for the Upper Pigeon River Trip. The Lower Section consists of fully guided Class I & II whitewater. Your group can expect plenty of time for swimming and playing in the river on this trip! This is the premier float trip for those looking for scenic views of the Smoky Mountains. No experience necessary. (Minimum Age: 3 years)

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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating: TripAdvisor user rating 5.00 out of 5
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Big Bear Rafting

3165 Big Creek Rd. • Hartford, TN 37753   View on Map

White Water Rafting

Big Bear Rafting in Hartford TN

Located in the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, Big Bear Rafting is one of the most exhilarating attractions in the Smoky Mountain area. We provide professional White Water Rafting trips on the Big Pigeon River in Hartford, TN (exit 447 I-40 East). Conveniently located only 45 minutes from Pigeon Forge.

Locally owned by Sutton Expedition, LLC and operated by Daniel Sutton, current P.R.P.A. (Pigeon River Permit Association) president, an alumnus of Gatlinburg-Pittman H.S. and the University of Tennessee. Daniel, a raft guide himself, understands what it takes and strives to provide the best whitewater rafting experience possible. At Big Bear Rafting, you’re more than just a number, you’re our rafting family. Come and see why our guests have given us the honor of being Ranked #1 on TripAdvisor among 14 attractions in Hartford, Tennessee.

Our goal is to provide our guests with a professional, high quality, and most of all, a fun an exciting white water rafting experience. We can accommodate groups of all sizes. Let the Big Bear Rafting team help you make Smoky Mountain Memories that will last a LIFE TIME!

Big Bear Rafting offer’s several different trips to choose from.

By far our most popular trip is Whitewater Rafting on the Upper Pigeon. Beautiful, exciting, breathtaking, these are just few of the words you will use to describe the Pigeon River Gorge as our professional guides navigate you through 5 miles of class III and class IV rapids surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains and the Cherokee National Forest. Rapids named Powerhouse, Vegematic, Lost Guide, Double Reaction, and Accelerator provide a fun, fast-paced whitewater experience that is sure to leave you with memories that will last a life time! 2 hour trip, fully guided, Minimum 8 yrs. Old, No Experience Necessary.

Just want a relaxing float trip, or do you have little ones between the ages of 3 and 7? Then the Lower Pigeon Scenic Raft Trip is just what you have been looking for. The Beautiful Lower Pigeon River is an ideal trip for novices, families, and youth groups. There is a professional guide in each raft. One of the best attractions in the Smoky Mountains for little kids and the faint of heart, this 6 mile scenic raft trip promises Class I and II rapids through the Cherokee National Forest providing a fun whitewater experience for the whole family.


  • 5 miles of Class III and IV Rapids

  • 1.5 hour trip

  • Fully Guided


  • Minimum age/weight: 8 years old or 70 pounds

    • 5.5 miles of Class I and II Rapids

    • 2 Hour Trip

    • Fully Guided


    • Minimum Age: 3 years old

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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating: TripAdvisor user rating 5.00 out of 5
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Rafting at Wildwater Adventure Center

3555 Hartford Rd • Hartford, TN 37753   View on Map

White Water Rafting

Rafting at Wildwater Adventure Center in Hartford TN

Rafting, Ziplining and Jeep tours! All at one location!
Come spend a day filled with adventure and beautiful views!

Reserve Gatlinburg, Reserve Pigeon Forge, and Wildwater Adventure Center have come together to bring you summertime savings on Smoky Mountain adventure! Bring your family, bring your friends, and come join us on the river, in the sky and on top of the mountains.

Let the experts at Wildwater Pigeon River Adventure Center take you on a relaxing trip down the Lower Pigeon’s class I and II rapids, or brave the challenge of the Upper Pigeon’s class III and IV whitewater. For your best value combine a raft trip with a zipline trip, Jeep tour and lunch all in one location.

Our adventure center sits right on the banks of the Big Pigeon River and is located in beautiful Hartford, TN, a short scenic drive from Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. Surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee National Forest, Martha Sundquist State Forest, and the Appalachian Trail, the Pigeon River has carved a deep gorge through some of the most spectacular landscapes and vistas in the country.

Upper Pigeon River (whitewater trip):
The upper section of the Big Pigeon River offers up twelve class III, and three class IV exciting whitewater rapids for you to conquer! Let one of our knowledgeable and professional whitewater river guides escort you down five miles of raging rapids like “Powerhouse, Too Late, Rollercoaster, Lost Guide and Accelerator!” This is non-stop continuous whitewater excitement!

• No experience necessary
• Minimum requirements: 8 years old or 70 lbs.
• Approximately 1 ½ hours on the river.

The upper portion is Dam controlled from Memorial Day until Labor day but we still raft in the early spring. These trips can range from class I - II rapid to III - IV rapids. The water levels vary due to rain and the power companies need to generate power. On lower water days you will experience a beautiful float trip with the possibility of larger whitewater. Either way you will experience the beauty of the Smoky Mountain area.

Lower Pigeon River (fun float trip):
The lower section of the Big Pigeon River is perfect for younger children or those that want to enjoy a milder river adventure. This is a fantastic way to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the area, from deep within the river gorge. Rafters will encounter numerous class I and class II rapids, with lots of time to play and splash, as well as one exciting class III rapid near the end of your trip. This is an excellent opportunity to witness the magnificent beauty of this area. Sit back, relax, and enjoy nature’s splendor.

• No experience necessary
• Minimum age 4 years old
• Approximately 2 hours on the river

All Wildwater Pigeon River trips are provided a fully trained, certified, professional river guide. All of our friendly, and knowledgeable guides are required to have a minimum certification of CPR.

This trip is only offered from Memorial Day until Labor day due to uncertain water levels in the early spring.)

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Rafting Adventures with USA Raft

USA Raft Pigeon River • 3630 Hartford Rd • Hartford, TN 37753   View on Map

White Water Rafting

Rafting Adventures with USA Raft in Hartford TN

Looking to add a little excitement to your life? USA Raft is the closest white water adventure rafting in Gatlinburg, Knoxville and Pigeon Forge. Your next adventure is waiting for you in the Great Smoky Mountains. Whether you are planning a quick weekend getaway or a fun family vacation, USA Raft-the premier outfitter for rafting in the Smoky Mountains-has an adventure that is just right for you! Our experienced guides combine safety with the rush of an outdoor adventure to give you and your family the thrill of a lifetime! From rafting to ThrillKats to fishing and more, the most fun you will ever have in the water awaits you on the Pigeon River. At USA Raft we believe it is our job to make rafting in the Smoky Mountains your first choice for vacation fun!

The Upper Pigeon Rafting Adventure is Five miles of scenic river with rapids ranging from class III to IV. Surrounded by the beauty and grandeur of the Cherokee National Forest and the Great Smoky Mountains, the Upper Pigeon River combines racing rapids with natural beauty to bring you the excitement of rafting in the Smoky Mountains. Our guides are ready to get you out of the crowds and busyness of the everyday and into all the fun of the Upper Pigeon Rafting Adventure. Due to the physical requirements of this trip, rafters must be at least 8 years old.

Rafting in the Smoky Mountain with young ones, or just want to take it easy? Then the Lower Pigeon Rafting Adventure is just what you need! This trip has plenty of rapids to satisfy your craving for excitement, but the Lower Pigeon is mellow enough for even the youngest thrill seekers. This adventure is designed for rafters ages 3 and up, with children 3-7 rafting free with a paid trip.

You can add tubing at Smoky Mountain River Rat for only $5 with each paid rafting trip.)

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Rafting with Smoky Mountain Outdoors

3299 Hartford Rd • Hartford, TN 37753   View on Map

White Water Rafting

Rafting with Smoky Mountain Outdoors in Hartford TN

Enjoy an exciting River Rafting Trip or Combination Adventure Package with Smoky Mountain Outdoors, recipient of Tripadvisor's prestigious Certificate of Excellence year after year.

The Pigeon River, located about 45 minutes from Gatlinburg, in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, offers breathtaking scenery and whitewater thrills! Experience the Class III and IV Upper Pigeon River section for ages 8+, or the milder Class I and II Lower Pigeon River section for ages 3+.

No prior experience is necessary. All of our Tennessee rafting trips include an professional river guide to keep your adventure safe and enjoyable. White water rafting is something the whole family can enjoy.

Bring a change of clothes and a towel. We have changing rooms, showers, and an on-site casual eatery.

Everyone must wear secure fitting shoes. No Flip-flops or bare feet.

We offer inflatable kayaks, guided hikes, and full-river trips.

Please note: rafting is not available in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge. Please check in at our riverside outpost in Hartford, TN one hour prior to your trip time.


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Rafting with NOC

NOC Pigeon River Outpost • Hartford, TN 37753   View on Map

White Water Rafting

Rafting with NOC in Hartford TN

Raft the Pigeon River with Nantahala Outdoor Center, rated "One of the Best Outfitters on Earth" by National Geographic Adventure and the "#1 Vacation with a Splash" by Good Morning America.

The Upper Pigeon features Class III-IV rapids along the border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Experience a full dose of whitewater excitement and scenery in just three hours. Raft with the best, and make this summertime classic a part of your Smokies vacation!

Just want to get outside? NOC float trips on the Lower Pigeon are great for families with kids as young as 3. Paddle a gentle section of river, where swimming and splashing are encouraged. Don’t just visit the Smokies, get out there and experience them on a river float trip with NOC! Trip leaves from Hartford, TN outpost. Please allow 45 minutes to 1 hour travel time.

While you're in the area be sure to visit Gatlinburg's newest attraction: NOC Gatlinburg. Scale our 25-foot climbing wall, browse the largest selection of Smokies souvenirs, buy top brand outdoor gear or book your guided adventure all in the store. We are located at stoplight 10 in downtown Gatlinburg.

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Rafting in the Smokies

3595 Hartford Rd. • Hartford, TN 37753   View on Map

White Water Rafting

Rafting in the Smokies in Hartford TN

Need an adventure? Rafting in the Smokies has one for you. Bring your family, friends or both and experience a trip you will never forget. It will be the highlight of your vacation!

UPPER SECTION (Pigeon River)
The Big Pigeon River boasts twelve class III and three class IV whitewater thrilling rapids! Accompanied by one of Rafting in the Smokies professional river guides, you'll be escorted down five miles of lively whitewater, rafting through class III & IV rapids such as "Too Late, Vegamatic, Razor Blade, After Shave, and Lost Guide."

The scenery surrounding the Pigeon River is just as breath-taking as the rapids. Skirted by the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Cherokee National Forest, Martha Sundquist State Forest and the Appalachian Trail, the Pigeon has carved its rocky riverbed through some of the most dramatic country in East Tennessee.

No Experience Necessary - Minimum age: 8 years old or 70 lbs. - Features 1 ½ hr of spectacular whitewater.

LOWER SECTION (Pigeon River)
Looking for a way to really relax and enjoy natures beauty? Do you have children who weigh less than 70 lbs? If you answered yes to either, then we have just what you need. Check out the Lower Section of the Pigeon River! The Class I and II rapids and one Class III at the end of the trip, make this very casual and laid back section of the Pigeon River perfect for everyone 3 years old and up! Rafting in the Smokies will assist you, your family and friends down approximately six miles of relaxing waves and rippling mountain water. You'll gaze at the beautiful Smoky Mountain surroundings as you casually float this section of the Pigeon River. If someone in your group needs a little more adventure, we can accommodate! Let us help you plan coinciding trips on the Upper and Lower Pigeon. The portion of the group rafting the Lower Pigeon Float Trip can be scheduled to coincide with the other portion of the group's Upper Pigeon Trip.

No Experience Necessary - Minimum age: 3 years old and up -Features 2 hours of introductory whitewater - Length of rafting trip is 6 miles.

We offer a lot more! How about spending time on our Family Adventure Island where you'll zipline on our dual-racing lines and you can challenge yourself to our High Ropes Challenge Course. Test yourself!)

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