Blog for Zip line Attraction in the Smoky Mountains

Located in Pigeon Forge, TN and near Gatlinburg and Sevierville.


Whitewater Rafting And Ziplining – The Ideal Extreme Duo

By Ross Bodhi Ogle
Posted on June 25, 2019

Now that summer is officially here (plus it's already been hot for several weeks now), the conditions are perfect for getting outside and enjoying a couple of extreme attractions in the Great Smoky Mountains – whitewater rafting and ziplining. The great thing about them is that almost anyone who's willing can participate in both activities, even if they've never done either one before.

Right now, the conditions are great for whitewater rafting. You'll find several companies located around Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville that operate whitewater expeditions on area waterways like the Ocoee River and the Big Pigeon River. The outposts themselves are mostly located in Hartford, TN, which is near the North Carolina border.

Once you're there, your guide (each raft of eight people includes an experienced guide) will give your group basic instructions on how to obey his or her commands, which can include which direction to paddle and when to paddle. You'll be told about the different classes (size and level of difficulty) of the many stretches of whitewater rapids you'll encounter during your trip, and you'll be given plenty of safety instruction. And just like we do at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, they'll get you equipped with all the gear you need – in this case, a helmet, a paddle and a life vest.

Most tours usually last three hours for a half-day excursion and include encounters with churning rapids as well as peaceful times of floating, during which you'll be given an opportunity to plop yourself into the river and cool off if you want to. Dealing with nature can be unpredictable, which is what makes whitewater rafting so exciting. Anything can happen, and you have to be prepared for the possibility that you'll be tossed from your raft. But when you make it successfully through a set of Class III or Class IV rapids, there's not a more exciting feeling.

Except for ziplining, that is… And that's our specialty. And if you want to go for the extreme outdoor one-two punch, you won't have to do nearly as much traveling to ride our zip line; Sevierville and Pigeon Forge are just a short drive away from our outpost in the foothills of the Smokies.

Once you arrive on our property, the experience is similar to that of the rafting companies. Two experienced tour guides will outfit you with a safety helmet, glove and harness, and you'll be told everything you'll need to do to get the most out of your zipline rides and do so safely at the same time.

From there, you'll travel as a group from our outpost to the top of the mountain in a military transport vehicle, and at that point, you've got seven awesome ziplines (and a vertical descent feature) ahead of you to transport you to the bottom of the course. Along the way, you'll fly from platform to platform through our mature woodlands on a tour that takes about two to three hours to complete. You'll enjoy scenic beauty, fresh mountain air, amazing views of the Smokies, complimentary water and entertaining interaction with your tour mates and your two guides.

At the end of the course, the transport truck will haul your entire group back to the outpost, where you can cool off and enjoy a complimentary beverage.

An ambitious person might be able to squeeze a whitewater rafting trip and a zipline adventure into one day, but you'd have to schedule them at just the right times. It would probably be easier to plan one for one day and one for another. After all, do you think you're ready to handle that much adrenaline and excitement in one day?


This content posted by Smoky Mountain Ziplines. Visit our home page, for more information on zipline adventures in the Smoky Mountains.

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