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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wendy r

"The Pigeon River and Kansas -- nothing less than stellar"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed April 29, 2016 NEW

Perfectly organized and professional and AWESOME from our arrival until our departure. Smoky Mountain Outdoors has every base covered. I was beyond impressed by the processes put in place. We were outfitted quickly in our gear, and nobody missed a beat from transporting us to the start of our journey to loading everyone onto the rafts to launching multiple rafts with perfect timing -- not a single hiccup. The magic though, and what I believe separates this trip from the many others in the area, are the guides -- especially our guide, Kansas. From the moment she took control on our bus ride over to the launch area, it was clear, she is an absolute professional who is skilled at her craft and knows how to deliver serious safety instruction, to a bunch of novices, with just the right balance of humor. I took my 8 and 9 year old on the upper river trip (class 2, 3 and 4) and there were moments of intensity, but Kansas clearly had things covered and with her solid instruction and expert skills, we all enjoyed the most beautiful and exciting day on the river. This excursion, through Smoky Mountain Outdoors, is an absolute MUST if you're in the area. Also, if you can, request Kansas as your guide -- trust me -- she's a rock star.

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Bree S

"Best day of my life!! #Raftin"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed April 28, 2016 NEW

"We have to work together as one muscle!" Our raft guide, Dustin, was and is AMAZING! For my first time to white water raft, it was the best experience I've ever had. I was terrified. This kind of thing is for crazy folks. Haha! Dustin was funny and he knew what he was doing. I love puns and cheesy jokes and he was cracking me up. So, my fear turned into laughter! I will definitely suggest to anyone to go rafting with any raft guide there, but most importantly, Dustin! He is cool😎 I hope to come back and have lots of fun again! It was all worth my time. Thank you, Dustin, for being super duper! ---Paisley

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Debalina D

"Great White water rafting Experience !!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed April 28, 2016 NEW

We had a thrilling experience rafting the Upper Pigeon river in April. We reserved the tickets online and got 30% discount which is surely a plus. The river has four class 4 rapids and many 3s and 2s and we passed through all of them without even falling once..Yeeee!!!. Thanks to our guide Kansas who was pretty knowledgeable about the waters and the surroundings that made the trip even more fun and exciting!! Will surely recommend everyone to try it out...

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David R

"White water rafting"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed April 25, 2016 NEW

We did the upper half with my 12 year old daughter. It was great. The guide Kansas and her trainee Nicole were both awesome. Being from NY I have done this down the Black River in Watertown,NY. This was comparable to that. If you have older kids like 12 and above the upper is fine for them. Would do it again tomorrow if we could.

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"White water rafting"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed April 25, 2016 NEW

This was an amazing experience and thanks to bubby our guide the trip was enjoyable and exillerating. My daughter fell out but bubby was calm and got her back in safely. Thanks bubby and smoky mountain outdoors!

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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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