Go Whitewater Rafting for a Wild Ride

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Whitewater rafting is one of the most exhilarating outdoor activities you can enjoy in Gatlinburg. Many of the rafting tour companies offer package deals so be sure to ask if you get a discount for a large group. Kids and adults alike can enjoy whitewater rafting, however the majority of rafting companies specify that kids should be at least 8 years old. Many whitewater rafting trips take place on the Little Pigeon River in Gatlinburg.

It's important to write up a checklist with questions when booking a rafting trip. Some things you'll want to ask are:

  • How long will the total time be on the river?
  • What kind of clothing shall we wear? What type of shoes?
  • What is the cost per rafter?
  • What kind of training do your guides have?
  • What other safety issues should I be aware of?
  • Do I have to be a strong swimmer?

It's recommended that you bring along some extra clothing to change into after the rafting trip is over. Getting wet definitely is part of the experience!

All rafters will wear a Personal Flotation Device and a helmet as part of the safety regimen, and a throw rope will be available in the rafts in the eventuality that someone is thrown into the water. While it is a good idea to have some swimming capability, people who are not good swimmers can still go rafting on some of the less challenging areas of local rivers as long as they are accompanied by experienced guides.

Tubing offers relaxing fun on the water

While whitewater rafting offers an exciting change from the everyday, sometimes floating serenely on a calm stream is the way to unwind. In Gatlinburg the Little Pigeon River offers opportunities for friends and family to make a day of it soaking, spinning, floating and enjoying the scenery. There are many outfitters in the area that can get you started and some of the area hotels and cabins can offer some pointers, too. You can drop by some of the shops and buy an inner tube and make your way unceremoniously to the river for some wet fun, or arrange your day with a tubing company. A tubing company can provide you with several courtesies like letting you know about current river conditions before you come for tubing. They can also meet you at the end of your ride and pick you up in their vehicle to bring you quickly back to the tubing ride entrance, thus saving you a lot of time. While it's not necessary to work with a tubing activity provider, the low cost ($10-12 per person) and the services offered make it well worth considering.

Kids like tubing and whole families can go together. A few simple precautions should be taken, such as the wearing of life jackets and purchase of waterproof cell phone cases. Having your cell phone with you can make it easy for you to call the tubing company for a ride when you complete the tubing course.

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Tell us about your whitewater rafting and tubing experiences in Gatlinburg! Share your stories with us in the comments, on Facebook, on Twitter @travelgburg, or on Google +!