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“Awesome day on the river!”

Blue Heron Whitewater
Ranked #2 of 16 things to do in Marshall
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Closest whitewater rafting outfitter to Asheville, NC. Blue Heron Whitewater offers a variety of trips on the French Broad River. Choose the trip that fits your group and schedule. Half Day Trips enjoy 5 miles, with class II-III rapids. Full Day Trips add 3 more miles, a delicious deli-style lunch served riverside, and a class IV rapid. Minimum age for whitewater trips is 8. Float Trips are offered for families with kids as young as 4 and for those looking for a scenic float trip through the beautiful Southern Appalachian Mountains. On the river you are no longer a spectator!Come visit our new solar-powered outpost with hot showers, free wet suit use in cool weather and the most experienced guides on the river.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Lockers / storage
Reviewed May 30, 2015 via mobile

My children (10 and 12) and I did the full day trip and had a blast! The staff are friendly, professional, and knowledgable. Our guide, Sam, kept us all on track (and in the raft)-- she was excellent! Would recommend this outfitter to anyone.

Thank BamaMom71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueHeronWhitewater, Owner at Blue Heron Whitewater, responded to this reviewResponded June 1, 2015

Glad you and your children had a good time on the river. We love the full day trip. It's a great way to be immersed (so to speak) in the river experience. Thanks again and thanks for writing a review. It is much appreciated. Hope to see you again soon.

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Write a ReviewReviews (252)
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"half day trip"
in 31 reviews
"the french broad river"
in 33 reviews
"rafting trip"
in 28 reviews
"great trip"
in 15 reviews
"oreos"
in 4 reviews
"white water rafting"
in 15 reviews
"water shoes"
in 8 reviews
"safety briefing"
in 5 reviews
"showers and changing rooms"
in 3 reviews
"class rapids"
in 7 reviews
"wet clothes"
in 4 reviews
"great pictures"
in 6 reviews
"hummus"
in 4 reviews
"a lot of fun"
in 12 reviews
"great guide"
in 9 reviews
"small cliff"
in 3 reviews
"knowledgeable guides"
in 3 reviews
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116 - 120 of 252 reviews

Reviewed May 26, 2015

There are many whitewater raft trip operators to choose from within striking distance of Asheville, N.C. (and we know 'cause we live here), but I'd say Blue Heron Whitewater is one of the best. Our family of four joined a half-day trip with other parties, led by our guide. Sam knows the river like the back of his hand, and skillfully served as sweep in the rear of our flotilla, while navigating our raft through the choice spots on the rapids--which include two Class Three sections of rock. There are plenty of Class 1 and 2 sections as well...plus a jumping off rock, and a section where swimmers can slip into the water for a float through some deep-water rapids. Upon our return to the bus, the guides loaded the boats while clients snacked on cookies and water (a welcome treat after 2.5 hrs paddling). Back at their building, paddlers will find hot showers in a very nice tiled bath and changing room. Everything is clean and attractive, and the gift shop offers everything you might have forgotten at home, including water shoes, sunglasses, and croakies. You can even purchase photos of your party taken as you've passed through key sections of rapids...$35 will give you a selection of photos of a group of four. An interesting extra that helps the business stay afloat (ha). The only thing I'd change: ask for as much time you can get at the jumping off rock. The guides sort of hustled everyone through, so the kids couldn't do a bunch of repeat jumps (why on earth not? because you're in a hurry to get back to the barn at day's end?). Recommended for beginners through intermediate.

Thank Waterthrush
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueHeronWhitewater, Owner at Blue Heron Whitewater, responded to this reviewResponded May 27, 2015

Thanks so much for rafting with us! and taking time to give feedback! There are a few reasons that a trip's time at Jump Rock would be shortened. The most common is to share the popular spot with other boaters on busy days. Another reason could be a trip got a late start. Morning Half Day Trip guides often circle back to guide the afternoon trip. This helps us keep our trip rates low, and guides happy with more work. There are days when Jump Rock doesn't fit in at all, so we're glad when we can do it.

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Reviewed May 25, 2015

We had a fantastic trip up there this weekend with our Girl Scout Troop! The guides were super knowledgeable, and took great care of us, and our girls, and we had a blast. (Don't forget your sunscreen!)
We took the all day adventure, and a lovely spread was provided for lunch.

I'm not sure how accessible this trip would be, and it would probably depend on the individual rafter. I have a girl in my troop who is in a wheelchair, and while she didn't go on this trip, I do believe it would be possible for her to go, and sit in the middle of the raft, and get help into and out of the raft.

Thank Haley G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueHeronWhitewater, Owner at Blue Heron Whitewater, responded to this reviewResponded May 27, 2015

Hi Haley,
We're glad you all had a great trip on the river! Thanks for taking the time to write a review. We hope to see you all on the river again sometime!

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Reviewed May 7, 2015

My fiance and I were planning a trip to Asheville and I was in charge of finding some awesome things for us to do. We were both interested in whitewater rafting and after some extensive research browsing many different company's websites, we chose to go with Blue Heron Whitewater on a full day (8 mile) trip. Best choice ever! It looked like we were going to run into rain and the forecast said low 60's for the day. Thankfully, Blue Heron lent us some wet suits and splash jackets (they provide these for free-- not everyone does!) to keep us comfortable for the entire day. The coldest part of the day was taking them off at the end of the trip!

The trip itself was awesome-- the rapids were very fun and the view was gorgeous! My fiance and I actually got to go out by ourselves with our guide, Drew, and our guide-in-training, Dan. Drew was very knowledgeable and told us a lot about the history of the river. He kept us laughing the entire way and kept us busy (and wet!) going through the rapids. We didn't have a lot of specifics planned for the rest of our Asheville trip, so Drew and Dan recommended some AWESOME restaurants as well as hikes. We parked where they told us to park downtown, ate where they told us to eat, and even hiked on specific trails they suggested the next day. We ended with a trip to Hot Springs as per their recommendation as well. My fiance and I felt that they not only gave us a GREAT day on the river, but helped make the rest of our trip fantastic!! In the end we left Blue Heron Whitewater (and Asheville) with huge smiles on our faces. Thank you!!

1  Thank Brittany S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueHeronWhitewater, Owner at Blue Heron Whitewater, responded to this reviewResponded May 9, 2015

Hi and thanks for rafting with us. And thanks for writing a review. We really appreciate it. Glad to hear you had a good time on the river and that Drew and Dan were able to give you some good recommendations for the rest of you time in Asheville and Western North Carolina. Hope to see you again soon.

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Reviewed April 25, 2015

If you're interested in rafting the French Broad, call Sandy at Blue Heron. She is very friendly, knowledgeable and accommodating. A full-day trip cost $68 and included several hours on the river in class II to IV rapids, a stop for lunch, a professional and informative guide (thank you Drew) and plenty of borrowed wet suit gear to insure our comfort (temp was 51). Lots of fun, splashes, smiles and great memories.

Thank Dayna C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueHeronWhitewater, Owner at Blue Heron Whitewater, responded to this reviewResponded May 6, 2015

Hi and thanks for rafting with us! Glad you had fun on the river with Drew. He's very entertaining (and a new dad). The full day trip is a great way to spend time on the river and in these old mountains. We also offer half-day rides if you find yourself with less time available for rafting. Thanks again for writing a review. We really appreciate it.

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