Big Creek Expeditions in Hartford, TN

Big Creek Expeditions3671 Hartford RoadHartford, TN 37753
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Total Price: $59.97 (USD)
TripAdvisor user rating 5.00 out of 5 Based on 1084 reviews


Dive into a wet and wild family adventure! This Pigeon Forge rafting trip will be the talk of your vacation. Big Creek Expeditions offers two white water rafting options for any age and skill level; the Upper Pigeon River rafting (ages 8+) takes you through class III and IV rapids. The Lower Pigeon River rafting is a scenic float trip for ages 3 and up.

up to 3 hrs

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our Hartford Travel Experts
  • Raft Upper or Lower Pigeon River.
  • Upper section features Class III & IV rapids.
  • Lower section features Class I and II rapids.
  • 60+ rapids on Upper section tour.
  • 45-minute drive from Gatlinburg.
  • Bring a change of clothes and towel.
  • Closed toed shoes required.
  • Raft rain or shine.
  • All guides are certified.
  • Pregnant women cannot raft.
  • Children ages 3 and up can raft lower section.
  • Age requirement is 8+ for upper section.


from Rafting with Big Creek Expeditions
Experience the best whitewater rafting in the Great Smoky Mountains!

Big Creek Expeditions, Inc. is a whitewater rafting company located on the Pigeon River in beautiful Hartford, Tennessee. They 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.

There are two different rafting trips appropriate for any age and skill level:

Upper Pigeon River
The Upper Section of the Pigeon River offers a classic whitewater trip for ages 8 and up (or 70+ lbs). Perfect for groups, families, couples or individuals with a thirst for adventure, regardless of skill levels. No experience necessary--each boat is guided by a professional, experienced guide navigating you through class III-IV rapids. Enjoy the best the Smoky Mountains has to offer while getting soaking wet and making lifelong memories.

Lower Pigeon River
The Scenic Float trip is a beautiful Class I-II trip through the gorge as the Pigeon River cuts its way through the mountains. Offering trips for ages 3 and up, the Scenic Float trip allows guests to bask in the splendor of the Smoky Mountains while cooling off from the summer heat. Perfect for those wanting to spend a day enjoying the mountains and being on the water, but not quite ready for the adrenaline packed Upper Section. An experienced, professional guide in each boat, no experience necessary.

Rafting with Big Creek Expeditions Reviews

25 Reviews
Ebony Wheeley  Tripster User Profile Image
Ebony Wheeley
1 Review
"Best Rafting Experience!!"
June 2024 NEW
This was my first experience white-water rafting and it surpassed my expectations. We were a all girls group and opted for the all day adventure. Our guides Parrish Lower river and Wayne Davis Upper river were awesome!! They both were knowledgeable about the history of the river, excellent safety instructors, and went above and beyond making our day fun. The food trucks provided excellent choices of different food and made the days experience even better. We can't wait to book our next trip! Thank you Big Creek Expeditions for making a first time experience one of the best memories for a group of best friends:)
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Tip: Wear good water shoes. Bring a towel for later because you will get wet.

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Susan Helms Tripster User Profile Image
Susan Helms
1 Review
"Big creek expedition"
June 2022
Had a blast. The guide (Bailey) was awesome. She instructed us perfectly. Thank you so much now I'll be able to check this off my bucket list. It was so enjoyable
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Tip: Listen to your guide. And wear water shoes

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Lori Danner Tripster User Profile Image
Lori Danner
1 Review
"Had a Blast"
July 2021
What a great time… family had a blast. Highly recommend… Erin Aka Ernie was our guild and she did great!!
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Mary Lawrence-Kirk Tripster User Profile Image
Mary Lawrence-Kirk
Hinckley, OH
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"An adventure!"
August 2020
Steve was a great guide. With his experience we felt safe and comfortable. The whole experience was enjoyable. We would like to go in the spring to experience bigger rapids. We would definetly use Big Creek again. Very organized.
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Lash George Tripster User Profile Image
Lash George
1 Review
"Ask for Stoney!"
July 2019
I loved The rafting, I’m scared of the water and can not really swim. Stoney made me feel comfortable, showed me how to tuck my feet in the boat and enjoy! I smiled And laughed the whole ride! Great please
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Tip: They care about ur safety and u enjoying yourself!!!

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Michele Ensminger Tripster User Profile Image
Michele Ensminger
Hummelstown, PA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"What a great ride!"
June 2019
We choose Big Creek after watching some you tube videos about their rafting expeditions. We were planning a road trip with the grandkids ages 9 and 14. We wanted to give them a rafting experience, but the 9 yr old was a bit nervous about the rapids. He sW the young kids going, but was still a little reluctant, so we only scheduled the float trip on the lower Pigeon River. At check in, the young woman at the counter talked our grandson into rafting the upper Part of the River where there were class 3 & 4 rapids. He had seen the videos of the rapids so he knew what she was talking about and agreed he’d go. We were ALL glad he did. From the first rapid, he was hooked. Our guide Shane, was terrific. He explained everything to our grandson, so there were no surprises except for how much fun he had. Shane was a wealth of knowledge about rafting, and about the River. We really appreciated his patience and handling of our grandson. At the end of our road trip he declared the raft trip as the number one adventure. We also took clean clothes, dry shoes and towels so we could shower when we got off the river. There are very nice shower houses on site. Being dry and clean on the ride back to our cabin, was a real comfort. Thank you Big Creek, and especially Shane.
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Tip: Wear water shoes, and don’t worry if it’s raining. You will be wet anyway.

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Eli Blanchard Tripster User Profile Image
Eli Blanchard
1 Review
"Family Vacation Fun & Excitement"
July 2018
My family of 12 did this and it worked out great, 2 rafts of 6. Everyone highlighted this as the most fun had during our weeklong vacation this year. The water was up, so was the excitement. You will have great pictures available to purchase afterwards and great memories too! ENJOY.
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Tip: If you don't do this, you're missing out on great fun and adventure.

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Chad Shoemake  Tripster User Profile Image
Chad Shoemake
1 Review
"Awesome Family Fun"
June 2018
Great time for the whole family. We had four skeptical first timers with us but by the end of the trip they wanted to go again immediately. Thanks to our river guide Elton. Highly recommend Big Creek Expeditions
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Frequently Asked Questions about Rafting with Big Creek Expeditions

What is the minimum age required at Rafting with Big Creek Expeditions?

The minimum age/weight for the Upper Pigeon is 8 yrs old or 70 lbs. The minimum age for the Lower Pigeon Float trip is 3 yrs old.

What do I need to wear / bring?

Foot protection is required. You will need old shoes or sandals that go around your ankle. Flip flops are not allowed on the river. You will get wet! Bring a change of clothes, shoes and a towel for after the trip. Mountain weather is unpredictable, so come prepared for anything. In the summer, we recommend shorts, a T-shirt, a hat, and sunscreen. In the spring, when it is cold, wool and Polypropylene, or other synthetic materials are recommended. Cotton is not recommended because it will rob the body of heat and restricts movement when it is wet.

Can I take a camera?

We do not recommend taking anything on the river that you do not want to lose or get wet. We have disposable waterproof cameras available for purchase in our outpost store, or you can purchase one of our professional photos after your trip.

What if I can't swim?

No experience necessary! We take first - timers down all the time. You will be provided a personal floatation device and instructions on what to do if you come out of the raft. We do not recommend swimming in whitewater.

How far are you from Gatlinburg / Pigeon Forge?

Rafting with Big Creek Expeditions is located in Hartford, Tennessee – about an hour from Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.

What if the weather is bad?

Big Creek Expeditions runs trips rain or shine. Only if there is danger from lightning would we delay trips leaving the outpost.

How will I get back to my car?

You will be provided shuttle service to the put-in at no additional charge. Your trip will end at the outpost where you park your car. Please lock your valuables in your vehicle. We have a secure location in the outpost to keep your car keys.

Do I need to be physically fit?

Participation is required on all of Big Creek Expeditions trips. You will need to be in good physical condition. You may be asked to help with moving of equipment and rafts both at the put-in and the take out. Please consult with your family physician before taking part in strenuous activity. If you are pregnant please understand that you will not be allowed to participate.