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“A Top-Notch Rafting Experience, Courtesy of a Top-Notch Outfit”

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, Lockers / storage, Activities for older children
Reviewed August 14, 2017

Yesterday I donned my Blue Heron t-shirt and recalled the delightful rafting experience I enjoyed there with my daughter and (very likely) future son-in-law. It occurred a year ago, almost to the day. I don't usually write reviews like this, but promised myself I would post something this time. It's taken me a year - but they earned it.

Although the details aren't as fresh in my memory now as they were then, I recall that we had a rafting expedition that was perfectly suited to our group's level of inexperience. I remember, too, thinking that the price was very reasonable. It was just the right level of excitement: there were plenty of genuine thrills, but we weren't all-out terrified. There were opportunities for pictures, and we were provided with snacks. At one point, we stopped along the shore and were given the opportunity to leap into the river from a bluff - that was a hoot! If I recall, Laura was our guide. She was very knowledgeable, and during the less rollicking moments of our trip, she shared all kinds of information and lore about the river, the folks who lived along it, and various interesting rafting expeditions over the years. That was fascinating.

When I asked her about the history of the company, and about the other companies in the area, she displayed a level of class that is, sadly, not so common these days: while singing the praises of her Blue Heron colleagues, she had only nice things to say about her competitors.

I had a preview of that kind of classy attitude before the trip got started: we could buy some dive slippers or water shoes - but they also had dozens of pairs of used shoes - sneakers and such - that previous patrons had left, which we could pick from at no charge. I opted to buy some new slippers, which I have since used repeatedly, but giving customers that option, even though it might mean reduced profits, really resonated with me. It kind of reminded me of that scene in "Miracle at 34th Street" - where the department store Santa... well, you'd have to see the movie.

In sum, the trip was thrilling and fascinating, led by a seasoned, classy guide, with a company that keeps costs reasonable. I will return to Asheville soon, and I wouldn't raft with anyone else.

Thank jcamenker
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 August 16, 2017

Wow! Thanks for writing such a thorough review. We really appreciate you taking the time to do that. And it's nice when folks notice and appreciate the little things. Thank you and hope to see you again soon.

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Write a ReviewReviews (268)
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"half day trip"
in 30 reviews
"the french broad river"
in 37 reviews
"rafting trip"
in 28 reviews
"white water rafting"
in 16 reviews
"great trip"
in 14 reviews
"oreos"
in 4 reviews
"safety briefing"
in 5 reviews
"felt completely safe"
in 4 reviews
"class rapids"
in 7 reviews
"water shoes"
in 7 reviews
"showers and changing rooms"
in 3 reviews
"great guide"
in 9 reviews
"great pictures"
in 6 reviews
"a lot of fun"
in 12 reviews
"wet clothes"
in 4 reviews
"hummus"
in 4 reviews
"family reunion"
in 4 reviews
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39 - 43 of 268 reviews

Reviewed August 5, 2017

We did the full rafting day with lunch. When we arrived, Sandy asked if we would like to do the ducks (individual kayaks) instead of the raft. I am so glad we did because we had so much fun! We got instructions for the ducks and always had a raft close by to give instructions or help if we needed it. Safety and fun are their priorities. The scenery was beautiful and the rapids were lots of fun. The changing areas and restrooms are private and clean. Lunch was much better than I expected, something for everyone. We learned some local history throughout the day which we enjoyed. They took some great pictures throughout the day for us to purchase. This was the best rafting trip we have done.

Thank DautreyD
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 August 7, 2017

Thanks for writing a review. We really appreciate you taking the time to do that, and we're glad to hear you had a good time on the water. Hope to see you on the river with us again sometime.

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Reviewed July 31, 2017

We took a half day afternoon trip down the river and had a great time. It rained but we were already wet so it didn't matter. John made it a lot fun. The guides really worked well together and all of them were friendly and helpful. The river was low so we didn't get to stop at the rocks but that's all for safety reasons. We would definitely raft with them again.

Thank dib49
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 August 2, 2017

Thanks for your review. A rainy day of rafting can be incredibly fun and beautiful. Glad you had a good trip and we hope you'll go down the river with us again sometime. Maybe in the sunshine this time. Thanks!

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Reviewed July 30, 2017

We decide to do a little adventure on our trip and we were so happy with our rafting trip with Blue Heron. We rafted, jumped off rocks and floated down a class one rapid. Great guides and beautiful scenery. We did a 1/2 day trip...it was perfect!

Thank BrookeMoore78
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 August 1, 2017

Glad to hear you had a good trip. Thanks for rafting with us and hope to see you again soon.

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Reviewed July 27, 2017

Everything was top-notch! Experienced and knowledgeable guides taught us what we needed to know. Our guide Kelsey was super. We look forward to going again. If you are hesitant to go because you have not rafted before, don't worry! - they will help you learn and are very safety conscious. A very well-run outfit! And lunch was great!

Thank susanlI1666CO
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 July 28, 2017

Thanks for going down the river with us. We really appreciate it. The French Broad is a great first time rafting river. The rapids are fun but not overwhelming and the water is warm (unless you're from south Florida, then the water is cool).

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