Pigeon River Rafting with NOC in Hartford, TN

NOC Pigeon River OutpostHartford, TN 37753
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Overview

Raft the Pigeon River with Nantahala Outdoor Center! The Upper Pigeon features Class III-IV rapids along the border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Experience a full dose of whitewater excitement and scenery in just three hours. Raft with the best, and make this summertime classic a part of your Smokies vacation! NOC float trips on the Lower Pigeon are great for families with kids!

Good To Know

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

Description

from Pigeon River Rafting with NOC
Raft the Pigeon River with Nantahala Outdoor Center, rated "One of the Best Outfitters on Earth" by National Geographic Adventure and the "#1 Vacation with a Splash" by Good Morning America.

The Upper Pigeon features Class III-IV rapids along the border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Experience a full dose of whitewater excitement and scenery in just three hours. Raft with the best, and make this summertime classic a part of your Smokies vacation!

Just want to get outside? NOC float trips on the Lower Pigeon are great for families with kids as young as 3. Paddle a gentle section of river, where swimming and splashing are encouraged. Don’t just visit the Smokies, get out there and experience them on a river float trip with NOC! Trip leaves from Hartford, TN outpost. Please allow 45 minutes to 1 hour travel time.

While you're in the area be sure to visit Gatlinburg's newest attraction: NOC Gatlinburg. Scale our 25-foot climbing wall, browse the largest selection of Smokies souvenirs, buy top brand outdoor gear or book your guided adventure all in the store. We are located at stoplight 10 in downtown Gatlinburg.

Reserve Gatlinburg Customer Reviews

14 Reviews
wayne harris
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Just a blast"
August, 2016
This turned out to better than I would have expected, easy to get to, everyone there at N.O.C was great. Our guide"Gilligan" was awesome kept you entertained the whole way and really profesional regarding the rafting. Definitely going to go here again, the whole family loved it. Reserve Pigeon Forge made it super easy buying tickets and even making cages to the reservation. Just a blast!
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Tip: Your going to get super wet, make sure they are rafting on the days you want to go.

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Cindy Halliday
Apex, NC
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Awesome"
August, 2016
We very much enjoyed our trip and the grand kids loved it!!
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Pamela Ruehle
Cutler Bay, FL
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Grandma's Great Field Trip"
August, 2016
With six grandchildren at opposite ends of a very long Florida we have started a tradition of renting a house for a week in the summer. We found a beautiful house in Gatlinburg and enjoyed the wonderful mountain views.We spent a fun day at Dollywood and had an exciting lunch at Dolly's battle between the north and the south.
Having traveled with my own two children many summers ago, we wanted to relive rafting trips that we had taken with them. I was pleased to find that we could also plan a wet and wild rafting adventure for six children between the ages of three and fifteen. We ventured out onto the lower Pigeon Forge river with the younger girls and with my own youngest child. Sad to say that my youngest is somehow 34 now but it was fun to see him experience the trip with his own daughter. My teenage grandchildren accompanied their parents on a bumpier trip on the upper level of the river. A wonderful time was had by all on this latest version of Grandma's great field trip.
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Tip: Consider buying the photo CD at the end of the trip as the rafting photos are a wonderful reminder of the day.

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Reserve Gatlinburg Customer
Maryville, TN
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Great experience!"
July, 2016
This was the first rafting trip for my girls and me. The girls were very nervous about the trip. However from the moment we were welcomed in the parking lot, to the check-in process, to the safety video, and finally meeting our guide, NOC did a great job making us feel at ease. Our guide, Billy, was amazing! She had complete control over the boat and did a great job getting us all wet and laughing. She told stories the entire time to keep us entertained. We had such a great time. The girls now want to go rafting again! We would definitely go back. Recommend checking the price at Reserve Pigeon Forge to save a bit of money.
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Tip: 1. Wear quick dry shorts and tshirt to be most comfortable under the life jacket. 2. Bring a change of clothes and be prepared to go home dirty. They have only a few showers...very clean, but not enough for us to get a shower.

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Eric Unger
Mt. Pleasant, SC
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Lets do it Again!"
July, 2016
We are a family of six with children ages ranging from 6 to 11. We were looking for something economical and FUN to take us away from the heat and man made tourist attractions. No one had ever been white water rafting before, but it proved to be the highlight of our Pigeon Forge vacation. Due to size and age restrictions, we chose the Class I and II excursion on the lower part of the river. This proved perfect for the kids who really enjoyed the rapids, swimming, and water guns/splashing. The rain encountered half way through made it all the more fun. Our guide Sam was skilled, knowledgeable, and encouraged fun. I highly recommend NOC to take full advantage of natures water park. The last thing said by my son was "lets do it again," and next time we hope to try the Class III and IV excursion. Five Stars!
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Tip: Bring dry clothes, and if traveling through Gatlinburg, allow a little extra time to travel.

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Calvin Emberton
Greensburg, IN
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Best part of our vacation!"
July, 2016
This was my 2nd time rafting but my daughter's and grandsons' 1st time. They were all nervous at the start but having the time of their life after just a few minutes on the river. Our guide (Will) was great, he told us what rapids we were heading for and how to get through them by paddling left, right, or full forward or even backwards to turn the raft the right direction. It poured down rain some during part of our adventure and that just added even more excitement for us. Great instructions before we all ventured into the water. Everyone can't wait until we can go again! Thanks NOC for making this the best part of our vacation!
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Tip: Watch close for the entrance it's easy to miss. Better get something to hold your glasses on your face or tuck them away before you load up!

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Ginny Aguilar
Prosper, TX
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Rafting Pigeon River"
July, 2016
Had a fantastic trip down the river!! Our guide Sam was very knowledgeable and fun and the guides with this group all seem to like each other and work well together. I have rafted with this group before and am super glad I chose to again!!!
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Lisa Evans
Kissimmee, FL
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Wow!"
July, 2016
We booked two different raft trips for the variety of age groups we had. Both trips were fantastic and the guides actually taught what to do and explained the why behind each type of move.
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Tip: You need to be physically active or it will be challenging.

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TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
Jcase4
Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States
"Safe and Fun"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 24, 2017
Steve was our guide to the Upper Pigeon River. We learned that there is no bad time to go as the river is fed by a Dam. The river water was around 70 degrees - perfect for our sunny day. A 20 minute safety lesson that held our teens attention (14 and 16), a 15 minute drive on a clean bus and 90 minutes of fun including a quick dip. Steve and he was filled with knowledge about the surroundings and some history of the area - and some bad jokes. We not only felt safe but entertained. Wear your swimsuit or a moisture wicking shirt and shoes that cover your ankle - we had Keens - they do sell aqua socks on the shop. NO FLIP FLOPS or SLIDES. There is a changing area complete with showers if you need them (but the river was very clean). The t-shirts and CD of photos were both reasonable - I would rather spend my money in their t-shirt shop than on the strip.
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Anonymous
"1st Time White Water Rafting"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 15, 2017
We didn't know what to expect but found out quickly that it was easy to find, the staff was informative, friendly and kept us laughing with their humor. The trip down the river was exciting and "wet". We are still talking about the fun we had (all 7 of us) over a month later.
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Cheryl L
"Great way to experience the Smokies"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 11, 2017
Booked a trip for 5 on the scenic trip on the lower river. We had an excellent trip with Joseph! So glad we chose NOC. To start, the location was easy to find, the facilities were clean, employees friendly. They provide floatation devices, helmets for the kids, paddles, and of course, the raft. They also take photos of your trip at several points on the river--we loved this! The day we went was beautiful! Conditions were great. The lower river gives you a calm trip, perfect for the kids with some quicker water in parts, enough to thrill you but not so much that the little ones are scared. They keep the fun going with water cannons on the calmer water. You can also get out of the raft and float in the river at two points. I'm so glad I opted to do this--water was nice, felt safe, and got to experience it. What a beautiful way to see the Smoky mountains! Rafting with NOC was the highlight of our trip to the Smokies! I want to go again! Would recommend rafting with NOC to everyone.
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Stclair1958
Collinsville, Mississippi
"Nantahala will excite you "
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 09, 2017
Nantahala is as good as it gets you will be entertained you will have a great time and you will experience some world class rafting very professional group of guides and very unique places to see
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Drew W
Wilson, North Carolina
"Fun"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed August 08, 2017
They give you a guide so that can be a damper if you like to be the driver. The lower is slow so only take it if you have little ones or really old ones.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Pigeon River Rafting with NOC

Are all Rafting with NOC trips guided?
Yes, all trips are fully guided.

How far is Rafting with NOC from Gatlinburg?
The Smoky Mountain Outdoors Pigeon River Outpost is located about 45 minutes north of Gatlinburg.

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.

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.

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. Also, bring a dry change of clothes and a towel for after the 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.