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“Great time!”

Smoky Mountain River Rat Tubing
Ranked #3 of 21 things to do in Townsend
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Smoky Mountain River Rat has offered guests tubing adventures on the Little River for 24 years! River Rat is located 15 miles South of Pigeon Forge in Townsend, TN- the Peaceful Side of The Smokies. Tubing trips offer plenty of rapids to satisfy your craving for excitement, but the Little River is mellow enough for your youngest thrill seeker. Ages include 2+ years old. Open 7 days, May-Labor Day. **NEW 2018- Riverside Cabana Rentals now available! For photos and info, visit our website. Want more PADDLE, SPLASH & PLAY? River Rat also offers whitewater rafting with Smoky Mountain River Rat Whitewater. Formerly USA Raft, River Rat Whitewater offers guests rafting adventures on the Pigeon River in Hartford, TN- conveniently located off I-40 at the TN/NC border. We are the closest rafting outpost to Gatlinburg, Knoxville and Pigeon Forge. Rafting, ThrillKats, fishing and more... The most fun you will ever have in the water awaits you on the Pigeon River. All experience levels welcome!
Reviewed July 23, 2013

I tubed the river 40 years ago a few days after a big rain. The water was ice cold that time and about 2 foot higher. A little scarry that time, but so much fun! This time the water was a little lower and much warmer(still very refreshing;), and exciting but not scarry. The River Rats gave us great service and sold me a nice pair of river shoes for $10. Total cost of $25 with tax. Great value!

Thank Joseph L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"low water"
in 30 reviews
"water level"
in 64 reviews
"water shoes"
in 66 reviews
"push stick"
in 9 reviews
"tube ride"
in 8 reviews
"relaxing fun"
in 8 reviews
"shuttle bus"
in 9 reviews
"relaxing trip"
in 10 reviews
"life jackets"
in 28 reviews
"flip flops"
in 22 reviews
"upper section"
in 9 reviews
"small rapids"
in 16 reviews
"on the rocks"
in 25 reviews
"few dollars"
in 11 reviews
"tubing company"
in 21 reviews
"changing rooms"
in 21 reviews
"white water rafting"
in 14 reviews
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651 - 655 of 817 reviews

Reviewed July 22, 2013

The prices are higher here than at any of the other tube companies. The staff did seem younger than I had expected but not any different than most fast food joints. We were given lifejackets and tubes but very few instructions other than where to get in the water. The water was very swift and our children, 12 & 14 were scared for a few minutes and then calmed down. I saw several families that were obviously unprepared for the rapids and were panicking. The ride's end caught us by surprise as we were only in the water for about 25 minutes before we reached the exit The exit point was only a few feet from a scary looking pile of concrete that would have probably injured my youngest child if my husband hadnt lept off his own tube to save her. I also noticed that one of the other company's tubers were continueing on past our exit. They said that their trip was twice as long as ours. I spent almost as long waiting for the shuttle and riding back to the car as I spent in the river. I would probably try another company with a longer trip for less money if I ever go again!

1  Thank Gmichelle344
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2013 via mobile

We had a couple of very close calls on our tubing adventure. My sisters tube was sliced open by a stick and thankfully we had a tube for my son, so we could switch him into my husbands tube so my sister could have his. My husband did almost flip but I was able to catch him. I was overturned by a large boulder, but was able to regain my footing and get back in my tube. It's important to remember that this is not an amusement park lazy river. You have to expect that things can go wrong, but if you keep calm and level-headed, you can overcome close calls and still have a great time. If you have questions or you aren't sure what you are doing, ASK FOR HELP!! We loved our day, close calls, popped tubes, overturns and all!!!

Thank Littlebsmamma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2013

We enjoyed our time on the river with River Rafts. Were a little surprised at the price...thinking it was like the others, but was actually a little more. However, it was easy to get your tube (a good strong quality tube) and walk down to the water. The trip down took a little over and hour...pretty easy. There were some rapids, but nothing terrible. Some parts of the river were deeper and slow so you could hop off the tube and swim if you wanted. We did not tie ourselves together, just occassionally held each others hand or tube handles or just drifted apart. I have been reading the reviews....if you have never done this, wear a life jacket...they are provided if you want to use them. Also...it is really stupid to tie rafts together. When in rapids or moving rivers you should never do something like this....also...never grab a hold of over head branches....the tube will go and you will be dumped. If you fall in you should always float down the river on your back feet first and avoid going into any trees (strainers) that are in the water. Wait until you get to a quiet area and then collect your tube or get out. We only had to wait for a few minutes to get back on the shuttle and take another run down the river. Great place to go.

1  Thank pogolovestheswamps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 21, 2013

River Rat is a little more expensive than the other tubing companies in Townsend and we gladly drive the two hours to pay it. We've been twice this season, 7/12 & 7/20. Their tubes are bigger and in much better shape than others you see floating down the river. There exists are CLEARLY marked and often times have employees in the water to help you out. Reviews should be clear if the are commenting on the upper or lower part of the river because the are very very different. I personally don't enjoy the upper part. Three of us we're capsized in the upper river and beat up pretty bad. My daughter took the brunt of it but luckily knew what to do if that happened or it could have been worse. We headed back down to the lower after that and finished our day. When the water is average in the lower you will get stuck a couple times but the point of running is to enjoy the journey. Its not a race to the finish. We had a blast yesterday. We did the lower twice and the upper once (one member of our party did the upper twice alone because they had so much fun, but it's not our cup of tea). The business of the tubing companies is to rent rafts and provide transportation. That's it. They are not life guards. They are not stationed in the river to help you through. This is not a water park. There are rocks and sticks and logs and bugs :) You will probably get bumps and scrapes. If they advise life jackets listen to them. Their employees are friendly and we love their smiling faces!

Thank dj12478
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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