Rafting with Big Creek Expeditions in Hartford, TN

3541 Hartford RoadHartford, TN 37753
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Overview

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.

Description

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

19 Reviews
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
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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Amy Mescher
1 Review
"This was awesome family fun!"
June, 2018
My family loved! My 3 kids ages 20, 18, & 15 are very active & adventurous & this did NOT disappoint! Our guide was helpful...could have spoken a little louder. Difficult for front rafters to hear directions. Best part was letting us jump out of raft; swimming & flowing down the river! My youngest immediately after finishing was asking when we could white water raft again! Great time. The company was well run & organized. Definitely recommend the Upper Pigeon for an adventure!
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Tip: Wear shoes with heel straps or tennis shoes...no flip flops ; bring dry change of clothes & dhoes

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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.
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Tip: Need to print your tickets!

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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.
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Tip: Make sure you wear old shoes, bring extra cloths as they have showers and changing rooms for after the trip.

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Sarah Y.
mount washington , KY
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Awesome!!"
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!
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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

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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!
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Tip: Bring dry clothes to change into afterwards. They keep your keys so you can lock everything in your car.

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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.
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Tip: Pack some extra water for those hikes!

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TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
Rachel T
"Wonderful experience!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed October 04, 2018
Booked our trip not sure of the water levels of the river. The staff informed us that the river had scheduled a controlled releases so we booked our trip. After checking in we were informed that the release hadn’t occurred as scheduled and water level was low. We decided to go to the drop off location with the understanding if water hadn’t been released we wouldn’t get to go. As we were pulling in the horn sounded warning the release was about to begin. The company could have said nothing and attempted the trip regardless. Glad they were upfront and honest. This was our 2nd trip with them & we will definitely be back.
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wmlancaster1
Loudon, Tennessee
"Summer fun"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed September 16, 2018
This is a perfect introduction to white water rafting. Beautiful scenery, knowledgeable guides and just enough rolling water to keep it exciting. Would not recommend if you have experience already.
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Leighton S
Knoxville, Tennessee
"Fantastic & Safe 1st Rafting Experience!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 29, 2018
This was my 1st white water rafting experience, and for some of my friends, it was their 2nd or 3rd. We brought 3 boats full of friends, and none of us had never booked with Big Creek Expeditions. We loved every minute! The ride was exhilarating and the guides were very experienced. In fact, the average experience among the guides is about 20 years! They are also likable and knowledgeable. We never fell out of the boat or felt unsafe. At one point, they do let you jump in to float alongside the boat. That was very refreshing! Overall, we loved our Big Creek Expeditions adventure and highly recommend this company!
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jklmedwards
Beloit, Wisconsin
"Professional, safe, and a thrill."
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 19, 2018
Our guide, Joan, was not only experienced and professional, but also hilarious! Safety and professionalism is the first impression one gets when they walk through the door. You are made to feel welcome and they want you to have a great adventure. I would recommend the upper portion of the creek even without any prior whitewater rafting experience.
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Justin M
"Had a blast"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 19, 2018
Group of 9 on the higher and then did the float on lower, vacation is over and kids still talking about how great the rafting was. Joey our guide was outstanding and the kids had a blast with him. We will be back. Super fun, safe and friendly.
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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.