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Old 12-20-2011   #1
Carbondale, Illinois
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 2
Subaru Rafting Trip Recommendations May '12

I'm new to the forum and I have taken the lead on organizing the White Water Rafting portion of a Subaru Forester enthusiast meet-up in May '12. We are staying in Gatlinburg, driving the Tale of the Dragon/Deals Gap on Saturday, and rafting somewhere on Sunday, May 20th. Any recommendation on where to go and guides/outfitters? Thanks in advance for your help.


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Old 12-20-2011   #2
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 405
Hi Jeremy. This is mainly a Colorado and Western states WW forum. I've never even heard of Gatlinburg. Is that out east somewhere (if so you'd probably get better info on boatertalk), or am I just clueless???

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Old 12-20-2011   #3
Carbondale, Illinois
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 2
No, your not clueless, my fault. Yes, it's in Tennessee. Thanks for the heads up- I will def check out boatertalk. I did raft the Arkansas back in 09 and had a blast.
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Old 12-20-2011   #4
Eagle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 80
I guess it depends on how far you want to drive (but being a driving enthusiasts club maybe you would like a scenic drive?) You should be able to get up to the Nolichucky in about 2 hours which is a beautiful freestone river that runs through an isolated (by Eastern standards) gorge. The Ocoee is a similar distance away and it is a fun river. If you are looking for a closer river, the Pigeon is probably your best bet. I personally don't like the Pigeon though because there is a paper mill that dumps their runoff into the river and the river smells like a big turd. Everyone calls it the Dirty Bird. All three of those river are in the class 3 to 4 range.
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Old 12-20-2011   #5
Bailey, Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 22
Gatlinburg, Tennessee - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 12-20-2011   #6
Pugetopolis, Washington
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 767
Gatlinburg is like Estes Park on steroids. Super touristy town outside of Smoky Mountains Natl Park. Probably more mini golf,laser tag,and go-karts than anywhere on the planet combined. It's just a lil tacky

Ocoee would compliment it nicely.
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Old 12-21-2011   #7
DoubleYouEss's Avatar
Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 577
Tennessee Whitewater Rafting and enjoy Whitewater Rafting in Tennessee: find a Tennessee Whitewater Rafting Outfitter here

Here is a link to outfitters in that area, hope this helps.
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Old 12-21-2011   #8
Bryson City, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 1972
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 24
Hey Jeremy,

In full disclosure, my info here is based on our company. We are an outfitter on 7 Southeastern Rivers - rafting outposts on the Pigeon, Nolichucky, Ocoee, Nantahala, French Broad, Chattooga and Cheoah Rivers. We also have a gear shop in Gatlinburg - right at the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In addition to selling camping, hiking, paddling gear and apparel, we book rafting trips in the store as well.

Gatlinburg is touristy, but it's right next to the National Park, which is gorgeous and awesome - whether you're hiking, driving or paddling. If y'all are driving around Deels Gap, and venture into the National Park, then you should be able to escape the touristy stuff pretty easily.

May is a great time - slower tourist season in Gburg, so not as much traffic. Plus, our Southeastern waters are higher which makes for really fun rafting. Which river you pick depends on what experience you are looking for:

Nolichucky - scenic, wild, bigger rapids in spring, natural flow river. Bit of a longer drive from Gburg though.

Ocoee - not too far from Deels Gap. Classic roller coaster fun water. Dam released. Thought of as some of the best overall whitewater rafting in the country.

Pigeon - fun, not as big water as either the Ocoee or Noli, but close 40 minute drive from Gburg along the National Park. And honestly... the mills do make it smelly at times.

You can get more info on our web site on each river, or give our guest relations folks a call and they can answer questions too (800.232.723.

Hope this helps!
-Lauren at NOC
Nantahala Outdoor Center
Serving the whitewater community since 1972!
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Old 12-21-2011   #9
Bryson City, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 1972
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 24
Not sure why the phone number turned into a smiley face. Sorry - 800.232.7238.
Nantahala Outdoor Center
Serving the whitewater community since 1972!
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Old 12-23-2011   #10
wheretheriverflows's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 82
Ocoee is the way to go, so many fun rapids and just big enough to be exciting! If the Cheoah is running, then class V is all yours, and the take out is right on the tail of the dragon, so that is very nice. Enjoy your time out there beautiful part of the country - Jennifer - go boat the SouthEast - its awesome!

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