Pigeon River Rafting with NOC in Hartford, TN

NOC Pigeon River OutpostHartford, TN 37753
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Overview

Raft the Pigeon River with Nantahala Outdoor Center! 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! NOC float trips on the Lower Pigeon are great for families with kids!

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.

Description

from Pigeon River Rafting with NOC
Don’t just visit the Smokies, get out there and experience them on a river trip with Nantahala Outdoor Center! NOC is 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 River 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. This trip is perfect for any experience level and families with kids 8 years old OR 70 pounds.

Just want to get outside? NOC float trips on the Lower Pigeon River are great for families with kids as young as 3. Paddle a gentle section of the river, where swimming and splashing are encouraged.

Both Pigeon River trips leave from our Hartford, TN outpost. Please allow 45 minutes to 1-hour travel time.

While you're in the area be sure to visit our outdoor retail store, 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.

Tripster Customer Reviews

23 Reviews
Justin Menard
Lake Charles , LA
4 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Family fun"
August 2019 NEW
Great experience, our guide was Noah & he was awesome. Recommend you try this out!!
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Tip: Wear sunscreen & prepare to get wet

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Bruce Alexius
Prairieville, LA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Spot On"
September 2018
The rafting trip was spot on with a great guide, reasonably priced and great fun.
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Tip: Wet and fun!

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Greg harrison
haslet, TX
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Great time with best guide "SAM"....."
August 2018
Sam made the trip. Grandkids had a great time and the interaction with Sam was fun.
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Thomas Nigg
Sylvania, GA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Do It !!! The best rush ever with NOC and Whitewater Rafting ..."
August 2018
We had a family weekend vacation in Tennessee and decided on a rafting trip with NOC on the Pigeon River... MAK was our guide and he was AWESOME !! Went for the Wild Rapids and really had a blast ! Safe, Fun, Experienced Staff - Would do it again in a minute...Susan, Georgia
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Tip: Bring extras clothes and indulge in the surroundings...

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SUZANNE CISNEROS
HELENA, AL
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Great family fun"
July 2018
We were first time rafters and did the intermediate trip. We had a blast and our guide Josh was very knowledgeable and professional. We would absolutely do it again.
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Tip: It’s rain or shine, lightning or not. They keep going. Dress to be very wet.

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Milly Pinero
Hialeah Gardens, FL
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"The Highlight of our Vacation"
July 2018
NOC does it right. From the person working in the office checking you in, to the safety instructor to the guide. We did the Lower Pigeon float trip with our kids and it was incredible. We all had so much fun. The swim in the river to cool us off was a perk. We will definitely visit again!
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Tip: Bring sunscreen and water shoes!

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Jane Gibbs
Poseyville, IN
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Lots of fun"
July 2018
Sam, our guide, was half the fun. Just enough thrill but still felt safe.
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Tip: Lodge your foot in a bellow in front of you. Dress in stuff that is comfortable wet.

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marsha wood
lusby, MD
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"NOC awesome rafting"
June 2018
From the moment we pulled down into the property it was an excellent experience
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Tip: The guides were excellent and the whole experience was well organized.

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TripAdvisor Reviews
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The5Maces
"Kate was awesome!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 07, 2019 NEW
Kate was our guide on the Upper Pigeon River that had class three and a couple of class four rapids. This was our third time rafting but our first on the Upper Pigeon and we had a blast! Our kids are 11,13, and 15. Kate was skilled and fun. The quality of the gear and guides at Nantahala was top notch. Highly recommend!! We travelled with two other families with younger kids and they enjoyed the slower pace of the lower Pigeon River trip.
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Sherry O
"Lower Pigeon Trip, Great Activity for the Whole Family!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 03, 2019 NEW
We loved our time on the river with Nantahala Outdoor! The Lower Pigeon is more of a float trip and was a great first experience on the river for our 5 year old grandson. We appreciated the safety film and information before our trip and felt very safe. They even had a helmet with a mount for our Go Pro! I also liked the email confirmation of our reservation and the chance to do the waivers electronically vs filling them out on paper at the outpost. We were on the 3:45 pm trip and it was a great time to go! I believe we were on the water about an hour and 15 minutes and the bus ride back was about 10 minutes. Our guide Kaitlyn was great! We had 4 kids and 5 adults on our raft, including our guide and it was very fun to share the experience with others. Also, there were other boats on the river at the same time and the kids really enjoyed having water wars with the provided toys! The river itself is absolutely beautiful. Nothing over Class II, fun but not at all intimidating. There are a couple of spots to swim and it was very refreshing or quite cool depending on your tolerance. Just keep in mind that getting out of the boat means someone has to haul you back in! I am 58 and overweight and getting back in the boat was definitely not a graceful event, but still worth it to me to enjoy swimming in the river. The bus ride back to the outpost was fun with the guides telling jokes and asking folks to contribute to the fun. Also, they take pics along the way and those are available on a flash drive. The outpost has a good sized changing area with restrooms and showers, a shop with drinks, snacks, t-shirts and sundries, and a nice grassy area for play. The drive from Pigeon Forge took about an hour and was a beautiful ride. Gatlinburg is only about 45 minutes from Hartford so we went back that way. Again, a beautiful drive and we enjoyed walking around and having dinner in Gatlinburg. If you take kids on this trip, I recommend they bring their own water gun for extra fun! Kids have to wear helmets, but they are not required for adults on this trip, so you might want to bring a visor or a cap. The life jackets fit well and were comfortable as far as life jackets go. Thanks NOC for a great outting!
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Floridagal1990
Tampa, Florida
"Rafting with Chris aka "Crispy""
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 12, 2019
We were a family of 5, each of our first time rafting. We took the upper level consisting of mainly class 3 rapids. It was a great experience for all levels but especially great for beginners like us. Our guide was patient and mentored us as we went. At one point in the river when it was calm, they let us get out of our raft and into the cool water. The only con would be that the photographer only snaps photos of the left side of the raft. We were almost all on the right side. Great experience. We recommend it and would do it again!
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Josh W
"Rafting with Perry"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed June 09, 2019
He was a great guide! He was super knowledgeable about the river, the animals, and the trees around the river. No one fell overboard! We definitely recommend Perry!
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DopeyRN
Kenner
"Amazing rafting experience with Chelsea!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed June 07, 2019
One of the highlights of our Gatlinburg family vacation! We did the lower Pigeon river rafting as we had 4-7 year olds. 5 adults and 3 kids and we went in one raft. I had heard about 45 degree water but am happy to report this river is much warmer! We were given great instructions, properly outfitted and off we went! Chelsea was our guide and she was above and beyond amazing! Cannot say enough about how wonderful she was. I wish we had the time to go again, because I would have ditched the kids and gone for the upper river...it was that much fun! They have someone stationed to take pictures...which were so reasonably priced! If memory serves me $45 for the whole bunch. We had been offered single pics at other attractions for the same cost. Do this adventure...you will not regret it!
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Frequently Asked Questions about Pigeon River Rafting with NOC

Are all Rafting with NOC trips guided?
Yes, all trips are fully guided.

How far is Rafting with NOC from Gatlinburg?
The Smoky Mountain Outdoors Pigeon River Outpost is located about 45 minutes north of Gatlinburg.

Do I have to know how to swim?
No, every guest is issued a type 5, Coast Guard approved personal floatation device. The "PFD" is designed to give you all of the floatation needed on the river.

Is there a minimum age requirement?
The minimum age/weight for the Upper Pigeon trip is 8 years old or 70 pounds. You have to be at least 3 years old to go on the Lower Pigeon trip.

When are raft trips scheduled?
The Pigeon River is not a free flowing river. About ten miles upstream from our launch area there is a dam that regulates the amount of water flowing down the river. From Memorial Day to Labor Day the flow is consistent and we can schedule accordingly. During the summer months we raft Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

If I am pregnant can I go?
We do not recommend rafting if you are more than two months pregnant.

What do I wear for a rafting trip with Smoky Mountain Outdoors?
Shorts, t-shirt and secure fitting shoes. No flip-flops or bare feet allowed. During the Spring and Fall avoid cotton clothing, it really absorbs water and will make you cold. Wear clothing that will not absorb much water like wool. Good synthetic fabrics are fleece and polypropylene. Do not wear jeans. Also, bring a dry change of clothes and a towel for after the trip

Do you raft in the rain?
We raft rain or shine. Rafting is one of the best rainy day activities because getting wet is part of the fun! We may delay the trip for a few minutes to allow a strong storm to pass.