Rafting with Big Creek Expeditions in Hartford, TN

3541 Hartford RoadHartford, TN 37753
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$38.95 $28.95
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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 Gatlinburg 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!

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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.
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

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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!
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.
Tip: Pack some extra water for those hikes!

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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!

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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.

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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
Reno, Nevada
"Great lazy day"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed June 21, 2017 NEW
Mike Ryan was our guide, very friendly and knowledgeable. Very professional organization. Did lower river.
TripAdvisor user image
Sheryl B
"Awesome Float Trip!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed June 15, 2017 NEW
We had our 5 year old grandson so we could not do the upper portion of the river, so we did the float trip. It was a fantastic ride! Our guide Adam was awesome! He told us stories as he guided us around the rocks. It was a GREAT day on the river and my grandson is hooked now. Everyone was more than friendly and helpful. I recommend these guys!
TripAdvisor user image
Kris M
"Poor customer service"
TripAdvisor user rating 2 out of 5
Reviewed June 13, 2017 NEW
The rafting was fun enough (though it's likely you're expecting more "rapids" than you'll get - seriously) and our guide was pretty great. That said, if customer service matters to you please know there are other companies (some even in walking distance of this one) offering the same trip down the same river for the same or less cost. We had called to ask a question but ended up pressured to book our spot for that day, being given the impression that we were very lucky they had an opening for us (do not be fooled, there are others eager for your business). We were not told that it would be non-refundable due to their 48 hr notice of cancellation policy. We did not receive the promised confirmation email. When we accidentally tried to check in at NOC (the next driveway down, where there were several empty spots for us) and called back to figure out what was up, they were downright rude. (Which is when I learned it was non-refundable, as I asked her to just cancel my booking at that point.) I've been in customer service, I am not unforgiving - I understand. But this lady left me feeling like she'd just as soon spit on me since she already had my money. With so much easily accessible competition it doesn't make sense to treat customers this way. I won't book with this company again.
TripAdvisor user image
Sherry B
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed June 05, 2017 NEW
Just had our first white water rafting experience there this past weekend. The staff are all really nice and helpful. Our guide Clay made our trip so much fun! Be sure you book your trip with a company that has LOTS of experience on the river. Big Creek guides do!!! Thank you all for an amazing day!
TripAdvisor user image
Stacie B
"Great First Experience"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 30, 2017 NEW
This was our first experience on the Pigeon river. My wife and I have done several trips down the Ocoee, but it is the first time taking our kids who are 9, 13 and 14. It was a little chilly, but the kids had a blast. The Pigeon is a good beginner river for kids with mainly class III rapids and a couple class IV with time to rest between rapids. The dam only releases water on certain days, so check the schedule when trips are available. Our guide Stoney did a great providing some good clean fun and he didn't put us in any of the big holes, since it was their first time for our kids. We were a little apprehensive about the facilities, since it was our first time in the area and we were randomly finding an outfitter. Big Creek Expeditions has a first class outpost, it is newly built after experiencing a fire last year. All their equipment is brand new. Their campground has a bath house with nice showers. We would definitely use them 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.