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Rafting with Big Creek Expeditions in Hartford, TN

3541 Hartford RoadHartford, TN 37753
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$38.95 $28.95
per person
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Come enjoy the Appalachian Mountains by rafting the Pigeon River in beautiful Hartford, TN! This half day whitewater rafting expedition will be the talk of your vacation! It offers two different rafting trips appropriate for any age and skill level; the Upper Section rides 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.

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our Hartford Travel Experts
  • 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.
  • 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.


from Rafting with Big Creek Expeditions
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)

Reserve Pigeon Forge Customer Reviews

16 Reviews
Carrie Scarbrough
Deltona, FL
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Big Creek Expeditions was AWESOME!"
August, 2016
We went on an Upper Pigeon river rafting trip, and it was amazing. Our guide was very knowledgeable, and really accommodating to my son with autism. There were SOOOO many rafts in the water, and it was obvious that so many of the other guides were too young and inexperienced. I was really thankful we chose Big Creek, based on the experience level of the guides alone. The office was really accommodating as well, and the photos turned out really great.
Tip: Need to print your tickets!

Was this review helpful? Yes

Jerry Pennington
Shreveport, LA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Big Creek Rafting"
August, 2016
It was so much fun and the guides were very funny, helpful and were able to speak the history of the area.
Tip: Make sure you wear old shoes, bring extra cloths as they have showers and changing rooms for after the trip.

Was this review helpful? Yes

Sarah Y.
mount washington , KY
1 Review
Verified Traveler
July, 2016
The experience was amazing. Me or my son had never even been in a boat and so we were a little nervous. But the young girl that took us was awesome. Sweet, funny and made the experience great. Already planning on going again next month!
Tip: Wear sunscreen on your knees. Sounds crazy but both my son and boyfriends knees were the only thing burnt when we were finished lol

Was this review helpful? Yes

Amie Kemper
Louisville, KY
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"The whole family enjoyed it!"
July, 2016
We really enjoyed our day! They were very thorough in their instructions and explanations before the trip and our tour guide, Joey was very knowledgeable and fun. My 15 was very nervous, but he had a blast!
Tip: Bring dry clothes to change into afterwards. They keep your keys so you can lock everything in your car.

Was this review helpful? Yes

amanda monroe
forney, TX
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Awesomness in Gatlinburg"
July, 2016
We had a great time in all of TN. We are not planners so we had our stay scheduled in few weeks in advance. However, when you get there. It is a lot to take in a very beautiful. So many places you can see an visit. Everyone is so friendly.
Tip: Pack some extra water for those hikes!

Was this review helpful? Yes

Victor Estevez
1 Review
"White Water Rafting Fun!"
July, 2016
It was an awesome experience!! It was our first time and our guide Brennan was so nice and easy to talk to and get along with down the river and told us exactly what to do to make it a awesone trip. Cant wait to do it again!

Was this review helpful? Yes

Shawn Robbins
Vancleave, MS
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Very nice rafting operation in a great location."
July, 2016
This was a great experience. We dropped the car off at their property, conveniently located just off of the interstate service road and hung out and walked the gift shop as we waiting for our boarding time. Staff was great, including the tour guide. We felt comfortable and safe at all times and I would highly recommend. We go to Gatlinburg at least once a year and I'm sure we'll go back and do this again.
Tip: Wear closed shoes, no flip-flops, etc and warm but light clothes that'll dry easy.

Was this review helpful? Yes

Abby Frias
Boca Raton, FL
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Awesome Time"
June, 2016
So much fun!! Will do this again
Tip: Water is a little cold but feels so good in the heat

Was this review helpful? Yes

TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
Lexington, Kentucky
"All smiles with Miles!!!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 26, 2017 NEW
Great time! With only four women in the raft with Miles we were apprehensive but Miles got us through the rapids and down the river just fine. He was a great guide! We will be back next year and will request him again!!!
TripAdvisor user image
"Drew the rookie "
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 25, 2017 NEW
It was everyone's first time whitewater rafting and we were a little nervous. However, Drew led all 8 of us in the party raft with no problem and had some pretty funny jokes! I highly recommend Big Creek Expeditions and hope you get Drew!
TripAdvisor user image
Lynn F
Orlando, Florida
"Awesome Time! Special thank you to Debra & Mike!!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 24, 2017 NEW
We wanted to do some white water rafting.. checked out so many places online and this one seemed to be the right place. Great reviews and price was better.. once we arrived, it was the nicest building and facility than the other ones next door😊 I originally booked us and our two friends for the lower level rafting because we were a bit scared. We've never done this before and we thought we should take the more scenic, slower route. I called and spoke to Debra who convinced us to do the Upper level and we decided to take her up on it. Not to mention, her wonderful customer service and just talking to her over the phone got us even more excited too! The next day, we arrived.. Great staff, very informative.. and our guide Mike was so patient with us. He had a great sense of humor and to be honest, I think we had one of the BEST guides! We tipped him well too. I highly recommend this place and if it is your first time, live a little and do the upper level. We were so happy we switched it up because we probably would've been bored doing the lower level. Our experience was beyond all of our expectations for sure. The restrooms were also very clean and had showers. When the ride was over, we were ready to head up to the next level (which Mike said would be at the Ocoee River in Tenn). We will definitely be back.. going back home to Florida with all smiles and planning to bring the extended family up to Big Creek Expeditions😁 Thank you to the staff!
TripAdvisor user image
Morgan City, Louisiana
"Great class 3 & 4 rapids"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 24, 2017 NEW
We've been rafting this river for over 5 years and we've enjoyed it each and every time. This year we went with Big Creek and we had Steve as our guide. Our kids had Miles as theirs. Both were excellent and made our trip eventful and extra fun. The facility is fairly new and is very nice. Things to remember: the vest and helmets that you wear stink. I don't care who you raft with, they all smell the same. Dunk your vest and helmet in the bath solution right outside the hut before putting them on. Wear a thin shirt under the vest and you can even wear a baseball cap under the helmet. You will need closed toe water shoes and a sunglass strap to keep from losing your glasses. The water is extremely cold so be prepared. Bring a towel and extra clothes to change into when your done. Big Creek takes lots of photos so you will want to buy them for each boat. It's not a bad price. Tipping each guide anywhere from $50-$75 is what we usually do.
TripAdvisor user image
Chris M
Evansville, Indiana
"Bucket List item fulfilled, (second time) "
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 22, 2017 NEW
I fulfilled this bucket item last year with another company. It was just as much fun as last year. Shayne was our guide and he was awesome! Thank you Shayne! Come prepared for a come time. You'll need dry clothes, sunscreen, water shoes, towel, tip for a great guide and an open mind to doing something you've never done before. It's fun, peaceful, relaxing and exciting all wrapped into one trip. Definitely will do again!

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.