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Getting to Know the Neighborhood

A significant feature that links four mountain counties in western North Carolina is the French Broad River. From her headwaters near Rosman in Transylvania County, through the counties of Henderson and Buncomb the meandering river is popular with anglers, canoe paddlers and inner tube floaters.

Venture a bit further downstream and you will discover a very different vibe from this ancient river. In Madison County, a few miles below the tiny yet eclectic, vibrant town of Marshall, the French Broad picks up momentum. House size boulders and diagonal ledges create rapids that are fun and engaging. Calm pools create breaks in the action, and allow paddlers space to appreciate dramatic and ever changing scenery, and even entertain an intentional swim!

This is a river trip that attracts a wide range of adventure seekers. The minimum age on commercial rafting trips, for the whitewater section, is 8 years old. On the calm water float trip the minimum age is 4. These are trips active families, spanning three generations, can enjoy together. Rafts are guided by professional guides. When water level allows, those opting for more action may choose to paddle single person inflatable kayaks, and follow guides’ directions.

Historic Stackhouse Inn takeout on French Broad River in Madison County.

We love to share our passion for and knowledge of the river: the best routes, fascinating human and geologic history, the wild critters that make this place home. All of us at Blue Heron Whitewater hope to see you this season, getting to know your French Broad River in Madison County!

Sandi Tomlin-Sutker
Written by Sandi Tomlin-Sutker