White Water Rafting

Huck Finn Rafting - Huck Finn Rafting - My father and I started this business ten years ago to show people how much fun and exciting rafting rivers can be. We wanted to share this experience with others on one of the most beautiful and scenic rivers that Western NC has to offer. Let us show you the love that we have for this river and the surrounding area. Heath White

French Broad Rafting - French Broad Rafting Expeditions is the closest whitewater rafting outfitter to Asheville, North Carolina (NC) USA. For a thrilling whitewater rafting experience on Western North Carolina’s most scenic and free flowing river, the French Broad River is one of the oldest and most playful whitewater rivers in Western North Carolina. When visiting Asheville, North Carolina, let French Broad Rafting Expeditions take you and your family or group on an exciting whitewater or calm water rafting adventure. See you on the river!

Blue Heron - Blue Heron Whitewater offers whitewater rafting trips on North Carolina's French Broad River near Asheville, NC. Our most popular NC rafting trips paddle the section of the French Broad River between Marshall, NC and Hot Springs, NC. This makes for an easy day trip from Asheville, NC. We provide excellent, fun-loving guides and all the appropriate river equipment so you can maximize your fun, while experiencing the western North Carolina mountains by river!

Nantahala Outdoor Center - French Broad whitewater rafting trips take you down the world's third oldest river and is a great activity to add to your Asheville vacation. The French Broad flows through scenic Pisgah National Forest in the mountains of North Carolina, and is ideal for families and young teens. On French Broad River rafting trips, you can expect splashy and fun Class II and III rapids. The full-day trip option adds the percussive, Class IV Frank Bell's Rapid, a river-wide, bouncy drop.

USA Raft - French Broad River 1/2 day trip: The 5 mile half day trip offers wide, open channels, beautiful mountain vistas and fun, splashy class II and III rapids - perfect family rafting fun! The 5 mile French Broad River trip is a great choice for families or groups on a tighter schedule. There are many class 2 and 3 rapids, such as Pinball, S-Turn, Stack House, Sandy Bottom and Ledges!

Horseback Riding Plus

Sandy Bottom Trail Rides - Sandy Bottom Trail Rides We are located on a secluded ranch minutes north of Asheville, North Carolina that has been in the family for three generations. Our picturesque trails pass through the high country, scenic mountain meadows and wooded areas of Madison County. Fresh mountain air, breath-taking scenery and an old fashioned down-home friendliness greet you when you visit family-owned Sandy Bottom Trail Rides.

Big Pine Ranch - Enjoy views at 5000 ft. elev. at Big Pine Ranch, Marshall, North Carolina. We specialize in - 2 - 5 hour trail rides, all day trail rides, includes lunch, overnight pack trips, camping gear available, primitive tent camping, natural spring water on site, camper rentals, water & electric, trout fishing, hiking,riding lesson

Horse Sense of the Carolinas - Horse Sense of the Carolinas, Experience the natural wisdom of these kind and intuitive animals. Horses are masters at being in the present moment, grounding us in the here and now. What do you want to experience? What do you want to change? How would you like to grow?

Consider HoreSense if you want to


From Visit Madison County

Hiking Trails : We've got maps !!

Laurel River Trail: 3.6 miles one way, easy trail. Laurel River Trail follows an old railroad bed along the Laurel River. Parking is plentiful at the intersection of US 25/70 and NC 208. The trail begins on a gravel road through private property. Hikers should stay on the trail to ensure the privacy of landowners along the route. After one mile, the trail enters the national forest and continues at a fairly level grade to the French Broad River. The trail is especially scenic in early spring when there are many wildflowers blooming along the path and riverbanks. You'll even find an old time swimming hole at one point.

The old railroad bed used to carry logs to the Runion sawmill which operated in the 1920s. The logging town of Runion once thrived where the Laurel River joins the French Broad River. In its heyday, Runion had a steam powered sawmill, school, railroad, commissary and more than 1,000 people. Brick chimneys and crumbling foundations remain

Lover's Leap and Appalachian Trail Loop1.6 miles, moderate. The Lover's Leap Trail and the Appalachian Trail along the French Broad River create a scenic, 1.6 mile loop. From the Silvermine Trailhead walk down the road and get on the Appalachian Trail (white blazes) along the French Broad River. After about 0.5 mile the trail climbs steeply to Lover's Leap ridge. When this trail reaches the ridge, there are rock outcrops with numerous overlooks.Panoramic views of the French Broad River and town of Hot Springs make this trail one of the best in the county. Return on the Lover's Leap Trail (blue blazes) and descend to the trailhead.

Pump Gap Loop 4.2 miles, difficult. Follow The Lover's Leap Trail from the Silvermine trailhead. At the first major switchback, the Pump Gap Trail goes straight. At the next right fork the trail climbs to the AT at Pump Gap, crosses then returns by a combination of old forest roads and foot trails. The Trail is Moderate in difficulty, offering many changes in elevation and scenery. Can be looped with the Appalachian Trail

Max Patch Loop 1.4 miles and 2.4 miles, easy. A favorite trail with hikers of all degrees of endurance, this is a gentle climb across the southernmost bald on the Appalachian Trail to its grassy summit at 4,629 feet. During the warmer seasons, the trail abounds with wildflowers. This relatively short hike can be extended by continuing either north or south on the Appalachian Trail. Max Patch sit around 4500 feet and has an amazing 360 degree view of the North Carolina and Tennessee countrysides. This is ones of many folks all time favorites. Directions: From Hot Springs, travel south on NC 209 for 7 miles. urn right onto NC 1175 and continue for 5 miles. Turn onto NC 1182 (Max Patch Road) and travel 3 miles to the parking area at the foot of the bald. Elevation: 4,629 feet. Connector trail from parking lot to the AT approximately .5 mile

The Blue Ridge Parkway

From the Blue Ridge Parkway's Milepost, Celebrating 75 Years

A visit to the Blue Ridge Parkway should be slow-paced and relaxing ,pretty consistent with the general rhythm of life here in the mountains. This is never a place to be in a hurry! Residents of the communities along the Parkway during the early days of construction simply called it the Scenic. Early designers used more poetic language, describing the road design as if they were painting the landscape with the brush of a comet's tail. Both descriptions ring true. As we celebrate the Parkway's 75th anniversary this year we reflect on the meaning and importance of this special place to its millions of visitors, and to those who live in adjacent communities.

The Parkway began as a concept in the minds of Depression-era politicians who envisioned jobs for many of the nation's unemployed. It would also be a tremendous economic boost to the region, linking two national parks, Virginia's Shenandoah and the Great Smokies of NC and TN.Construction began in September 1935 at Cumberland Knob, near the NC/VA state line. Survey parties led the way far into the mountains and soon realized the size of the task at hand. Foremost in the minds of construction crews was creating as little scar as possible on mountain slopes. The Parkway was to lay easy on the land and, in order for that to be accomplished, great care was taken to blend the new roadway into its natural surroundings.

Progress was steady until the early 1940s when work was slowed by the coming of WWII. After the war, construction resumed through the late 1950s and early 1960s. Finally, the only missing link was a section around Grandfather Mountain, NC. In order to preserve the fragile environment on the steep slopes of Grandfather, a unique design was conceived the Linn Cove Viaduct and the Parkway was completed in 1987. We're reminded during this anniversary year that the Parkway is a national treasure, enjoyed by more than 850 million visitors since we started counting in 1939. Annually, it is the most visited unit of America's National Park System. It is also an economic force for regional tourism. Finally, we are increasingly aware that this treasured place is a fragile resource. Our challenge for the next 75 years and beyond is to continue successfully preserving the historic structures, the varied ecosystems along with the plants and animals they contain, and the magnificent Parkway views themselves.

The Parkway touches boundaries with state parks, four national forests, and five federally designated wilderness areas. Where else in our fast-paced world can people follow one path that reveals so much natural and cultural history? It's hard to forget a visit to this special place. Browsing through today's electronic social media websites confirms this as visitors record their thoughts and ideas about the Parkway as well as sharing their digital pictures for the entire world to enjoy.


Fall pictures and video courtesy of Bruce Kennedy, innerworks productions
Copyright 2014, RiverDance Properties