Book A Trip

Call The Shop

Book A Trip

Call The Shop

Self Guided Canoeing and Kayaking River Trips

Beginner Rated River, 100% family & kid friendly!

For over 25 years, we have provided customers and clients unique and memorable river excursions.

You can 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- $45.00 per person – 7 Days a week 
  • Island Ford River Adventure- 10 miles/4 hours- $50.00 per person- Tuesdays Only 
  • Hap Simpson River Adventure- 20 miles/ 7 hours- $75.00 per person- Tuesdays at 10am Only
  • 3rd Person in Middle of Canoe- $30.00 per person. (max 2 middle riders per canoe)

Canoeing and Kayaking River Trip Rates Include:

  • Canoe (max. 2 adults/2 small children) or kayak (solo or tandem)
  • Life jackets and 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
  • Watch our Pre-Trip Safety Video Below

Choose a trip

All trips are family-friendly and all gear, shuttles are provided.

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! 

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