Paddle and Overnight Camping Trip

Looking for a great Kids love canoe camping!way to spend some family time in the great outdoors or perhaps a quick weekend getaway? Come canoe camping on the French Broad River.

A canoe camping trip with Headwaters Outfitters on the scenic French Broad River is the perfect way to get outdoors and introduce your friends and family to the joys of canoe camping. Fall asleep to the soothing sounds of the river, then wake up to the smell of woodsmoke and frying bacon.

We make it easy for you by providing all the essential paddling gear, as well as transport to and from the river. You can even set up your campsite before you get on the water! Whether you’re a Boy Scout Troop or a father-son duo, now is the time to discover our overnight canoe camping trips in the mountains of Western NC.

Headwaters Outfitters offers you and your family two options in canoe camping. Both options are the same on the first day; a scenic 8 mile/ 3 hour paddle down the first few miles of the French Broad River. The difference is your take-out location on day 2.  Island Ford Canoe Camp-Out gives you a 2 mile/ 1 hour paddle the second day. Hap Simpson Canoe-Camp-Out gives you a 12 mile/ 5 hour paddle the second day. Either way, you’re paddling through some of the prettiest scenery to be found in Western North Carolina, past old homesteads, farm fields and woods.

Bring your camping gear and food; leave the rest to us!

Paddle and Camping Trip Day One:

8 mile/3 hour paddle to our privately owned campground at Hannah Ford

1. Arrive at Headwaters Outfitters’ river shop to complete pre-trip check in. Everyone will need to read and complete a release form, and our 12-minute safety video must be watched by your entire party.

2. For your convenience, you may then drive your vehicle to the campground & sYour canoe camping campsite!et up camp before getting on the river. Folks love this! Please note, your vehicle must remain at the river shop while you are on the river. Upon completion of your river trip, you may return to the campground with your vehicle to gather your gear.

3. Once your campsite is set up, you return to the river shop no later than 1:30, dressed in your river clothes and ready to get on the water by 2 p.m.

4. Everyone will be outfitted with all paddling gear, which includes life jackets, paddles and canoes.

5. We then depart via our vans on a short 1-mile drive to Champion River Park Access in Rosman, NC. After reviewing some river paddling and safety techniques, you launch your canoes and are off on your own to paddle three hours downstream to Hannah Ford River canoe-in campground.

6. Arrive at Hannah Ford and spend the evening around the campfire. If you wish to start your canoe camping trip at another time of the day there may be an additional $25 fee added to the total trip cost. You must be on the water no later than 3pm.

Paddle and Camping Trip Day Two:

2 mile/1 hour paddle to Island Ford – OR – 12 mile/ 5 hour paddle to Hap Simpson Park.

On day two of yCanoe Camping breakfastour adventure wake up to the sounds of the river! For those of you choosing the Island Ford take-out you will have a short 2-mile, 1-hour paddle before meeting your river host. For those of you paddling on to Hap Simpson take-out you will have a full 5 hours, 12 miles of paddling under your belt before you meet your river host. Either trip is a great way to get outside!

Camping Area Includes:

Multiple tent sites, picnic tables, grills, lantern holders and fire rings.
Central drinking water is available as well as a port-a-john.

Paddle and Camp Rates: 

Island Ford Camping Trip- $65.00 per person

3rd Person in Canoe- $35.00

Hap Simpson Camping Trip- $80.00 per person

3rd Person in Cano- $45.00

Trip Fees Include:

Canoe or kayak, life jacket, paddle, shuttle service to and from the river, a river map, river information & safety orientation, parking, and use of facilities at Hannah Ford.

Important Canoe/Kayak Camping Information

• Prior to your launching, we will agree upon a time to meet you and bring you back to the river shop. Plan to arrive at your designated take-out point on time to avoid late fees.
• This is a paddle-in only camping area. No vehicle parking allowed.
• Please NO alcohol or illegal drugs.
• Campers are responsible for all gear.
• Pack out everything you bring, including trash.
• We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.

Hannah Ford River Access is private property of Headwaters Outfitters and is the location of our canoe-in camping facilities. It is available by river to our guests, only by reservation.

To get the most out of your trip we ask that you review our river policies, FAQ, and river tips information.

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