Tubing the Little River is BIG in Townsend.  There are several tubing companies such as River Rage, River Rats, etc.  Tubers rent their tubes (after signing a bunch of legal stuff), and are then hauled about a mile and a half upstream where the driver quickly gives some tips and safety advice.  After being dropped off, tubers plop in the river, and take off. It starts off slow and lazy but eventually, it picks up and moves quickly (and roughly) in places.

Tubers range from young children to the very, very old, but this isn't an a activity for everyone and very timid children maybe shouldn't participate. Parents of small kids may want to use a short rope to keep up with their kids because groups will probably not stay together very well. After about a mile and a half,  there are signs on the river that tell everyone that it's time to go ashore.

Once back on land, tubers can then get the transport back to the starting place and continue to shuttle and tube until about 5:00 or so.  

Water shoes are definitely recommended.