(828) 877-3106 [email protected]

Self Guided Canoeing and Kayaking River Trips

3, 4, or 7 hour river trip by canoe or kayak; All Class-1 river, 100% family & kid friendly!

Planning a trip? Have some fun facts ready for your pitch about the French Broad River!

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The headwaters of the French Broad River are near the town of Rosman in Transylvania County, North Carolina, at our shop, Headwaters Outfitters. We call it “Mile 0.”

Just northwest of the Eastern Continental Divide near the northwest border of South Carolina. They spill from a 50-foot waterfall called Courthouse Falls at the terminus of Courthouse Creek near Balsam Grove.

The waterfall feeds into a creek that becomes the North Fork, which joins the West Fork west of Rosman. South of Rosman, the stream is joined by the Middle Fork and East Fork to form the French Broad River. From there it flows northeast through the Appalachian Mountains into Henderson, and Buncombe counties.

 

For 25 years, we get to provide customers and clients unique and memorable river excursion.

You’ll enjoy canoeing and kayaking river trips on the first 20 miles of the French Broad River.

Thousands of paddlers have explored this peaceful section of the French Broad River Watershed. The section is perfect for brand new paddlers, but is beautiful enough to bring the most seasoned paddlers.

You, your family and friends will encounter a lively, yet gentle current with fast-moving shoals and sharp river bends along the way, all part of a natural river environment. This makes this section of the French Broad River a great trip for beginning paddlers and children, or anyone seeking a relaxing river trip. These self-guided Canoeing and Kayaking River Trips are offered daily April – October and you can choose your take-out from a 3 , 4, or 7 hour river trip by canoe or kayak.

Pricing and Options for Self Guided Canoe and Kayak Trips

 

  • Hannah Ford River Adventure- 8 miles/3 hours- $40.00 per person 
  • Island Ford River Adventure- 10 miles/4 hours- $45.00 per person
  • Hap Simpson River Adventure- 20 miles/ 7 hours- $70.00 per person
  • 3rd Person in Middle of Canoe- 10 & Under- $20.00/ 11 & over- $30.00

Canoeing and Kayaking River Trip Rates Include:

  • Canoe (max. 2 adults/2 small children) or kayak (solo or tandem)
  • Life jackets, paddles
  • Shuttle service to & from the river
  • Parking
  • River map
  • River safety video
  • Riverside orientation and instruction

 Canoeing and Kayaking River Trip Rates Do-Not Include:

  • Personal Gear – dress for weather conditions – River Trip Tips
  • River shoes – not flip-flops/heel-less shoes
  • Drinks non-glass & alcohol free, snacks, picnic lunch (order from Food Truck on Weekends!)
  • Bear repellent (LOL gottcha just kidding)- but bug spray and sunscreen! 
  • Gratuities – our river staff provides excellent  service it is acceptable to tip your river host

Canoeing and Kayaking River Trip Policies:

  • Prices are based on 2 people per canoe which is ideal
  • Third person riding in middle of canoe is a discounted rate
  • Maximum 2 adults/2 small children per canoe
  • Plan to arrive 30-45 minutes, no later than 30 minutes, before your scheduled departure time
  • Each participant is required to read, complete & sign our Release Form. Click Here- river_release_form
  • Those under 18 need a Parent or Legal Guardian signature
  • Everyone must have appropriate river shoes – not flip-flops

What to Expect:

Upon arrival at Headwaters Outfitters, (the entrance to river trip parking is located behind our river shop) you complete check-in. You get to review a river map, view our 10 minute safety video, be custom fitted with a life jacket (yes, you are required to wear your life jacket) and paddle. We then depart by our shuttle vehicle for a short 1 mile drive to the river access put-in. Before launching, our river staff will complete a brief riverside orientation, set an agreed upon pick-up time all before helping you into your boats and launching you on your downstream river adventure! Your canoeing or kayaking river trip will end at one of the three take-outs. Hannah Ford is the first take-out and is the location of our canoe camping facilities.

Picnic tables and port a-johns are available there. Those of you continuing down stream to Island Ford or to Hap Simpson, be sure to stop at Hannah Ford for lunch and stretch your legs before continuing downstream. Arriving at your take-out location, you will meet your River Host. Your River Host will load your canoe or kayaks, and shuttle you back to our river shop. Reservations are not necessarily required, however, we have limited availability. Those with reservations paddle first. We highly suggest you make reservations. Consider paddling early in the day to avoid those afternoon mountain thunderstorms!