Although we could have gone rafting at any number of companies close to where we were staying in Gatlinburg, we travelled quite a distance across one lane mountain roads to go rafting on the French Broad River. We chose to go with Blue Heron because of the excellent ratings we found online as well as the type of trip they offer. It was well worth the trip. We are a family of four with two adults in their 40's, a 12 year old and 18 year old. Blue Heron is a very well run business with excellent guides and facilities. I was a little apprehensive, being that it was a new experience for all of us. My fears were unfounded. The level of rapids (mostly 2 and 3's with a few 1's and one 4) on the half day trip was just perfect for what we were looking for. We wanted a mix of excitement and relaxation with beautiful views. We weren't looking for a harrowing experience where any of us would be at great risk of being thrown out of the raft. On the other hand, we didn't want to just float down a river. Blue Heron adjusted the length of the trip to eight miles instead of 5 because the river is flowing quite fast due to all the rain. It was really nice that they did this to make the trip as long as it usually is when the river is lower. I can't think of one thing that I was not impressed with. All the staff were very friendly, the bus driver drove safely, the guides were mature and didn't overdo it at all with their personalities--just the right amount of talking and information given. The rafts, equipment and facility were all in great condition. The mountain views were beautiful and we even saw a blue heron! I also think the prices were appropriate. I feel that their gift shop costs and costs for the photos they take of you on the trip are quite reasonable. Thank you to Meredith, our guide, for a very nice time!
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