Rafting with Smoky Mountain Outdoors in Hartford, TN

3299 Hartford RdHartford, TN 37753  
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Conveniently located in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains on the Pigeon River, White Water Rafting with Smoky Mountain Outdoors offers an exciting adventure for everyone to enjoy. Guests can choose between Lower Pigeon River Rafting (with class 1 and 2 rapids), Upper Pigeon River Rafting (with class 3 and 4 rapids) or Upper Pigeon Extreme Rafting for experienced riders only.


  • 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.
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Good To Know

  • 45 minute drive from Gatlinburg.
  • Bring a change of clothes & towel.
  • Closed toed shoes required.
  • Raft rain or shine
  • Cameras allowed at own risk.
  • Souvenir photos available.
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from Rafting with Smoky Mountain Outdoors
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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TripAdvisor Reviews
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Charlottesville, Virginia

"White Water Rafting"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 24, 2016 NEW

What a great experience, the guides were awesome (Wilson was ours and he was hilarious, professional, and made us feel safe). If you have been white water rafting before, the river is not quite as long as others. The total amount of time on the water was about two hours, there were a few class 4 rapids, mostly class 2 and 3 though. Highly recommend using Smoky Mountain Outdoors if you go rafting in Hartford.

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Tampa, Florida

"Dawn is awesome! What an experience!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 24, 2016 NEW

First time white water rafting. Dawn was an amazing guide. Such a memorable trip. Will be coming back.

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Emma B

"Flint "
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 24, 2016 NEW

Super entertaining, funny, and enjoyable guide and experience! We would totally recommend smokey mountain outdoors and Flint to anyone around the area!

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"Huey is the best!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 21, 2016 NEW

Our group was very nervous for our first white water rafting adventure. I'm not the strongest swimmer and didn't exactly want to take the plunge into the river. We were assigned to Huey the raft guide and he did not disappoint! Not only was he incredibly knowledgeable about rafting and safety, but he was a great guy and kept us laughing the whole trip. He also rescued another raft that had capsized that day since the trainees were on rafts for the first time and he handled the situation like a pro! I knew if I fell in that I would have nothing to worry about. I highly recommend requesting him if possible. You will not be disappointed. Thanks again, Huey! You're the best! PS give Huey a raise!! :D

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Arlington, Tennessee

"Wonderful Experience"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 19, 2016 NEW

We booked a rafting trip for our trip to Pigeon Forge and had already paid in advance. On the day we were supposed to go one of our group members was sick. I called and they allowed us to reschedule for the next day, for no extra charge, in the hopes that they would be feeling better. After going to the doctor and sleeping it off they were feeling much better so we got to go. Our raft guide, Tyler, was awesome!! Very informative about all the rapids and his jokes were funny. If you're nervous about going they are very thorough with the safety so you have nothing to worry about. We definitely want to do this again!!

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Rafting with Smoky Mountain Outdoors is located at 3299 Hartford Rd | Hartford, TN 37753
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Frequently Asked Questions about Rafting with Smoky Mountain Outdoors

Are all Smoky Mountain Outdoors rafting trips guided?
Yes, all trips are fully guided.

How far is Smoky Mountain Outdoors from Gatlinburg?
The Smoky Mountain Outdoors Pigeon River Outpost is located about 45 minutes north of Gatlinburg. It is the closest whitewater rafting to the Smoky Mountain area.

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.

Can I go if I am a bit overweight?
There are no upper limit weight requirements. Our "PFD's" can accommodate a chest girth of 54".

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 starting 11AM and trips depart every half hour until 5PM. The spring and fall trip availability will be based on local rainfall.

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.. We also provide nylon jackets and pants to wear over your clothing at no extra charge. Also, bring a dry change of clothes and a towel for after the trip. If for some reason you forget secure shoes, they are for sale at the outpost. 

Can I bring a camera on the rafting trip?
We recommend that you lock all personal items in you vehicle. Anything that you bring on the river will get wet and could possibly get lost during the trip. We will take pictures of your boat during the trip that can be seen and purchased after your 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.

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