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Here are three great ways to go with the flow in Transylvania County’s storied waterways.
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Pisgah National Forest
The Davidson River parallels US-276 as it journeys through Pisgah National Forest, giving you lots of convenient put-in and take-out options. But if you’ve never tubed the Davidson and don’t own tubes, I recommend this trip: Rent your tubes from Davidson River Rafting at the entrance to Pisgah National Forest. Drive up US-276 approximately ¾ of a mile and park your car at the Davidson River Campground. Put in at the bridge (commonly referred to as the Job Corp bridge). From here you’ll have a relaxing hour-long float down the Davidson. When you’re done, one member of your party can retrieve the car by walking the Eastatoe Trail (on the opposite side of the river from US-276) back to the Davidson River Campground– just a 10 minute walk.
The French Broad River and its many tributaries offer boundless opportunities for paddlers, from exciting class 4, 5 and 6 rapids to placid flat water. If you’re looking for whitewater, the North Fork of the French Broad is the place to go. But if you want a fun, low-key introduction to the river’s many charms, The Adventurist recommends a half or full day excursion offered by several outstanding outfitters, including Headwaters Outfitters and Pura Vida Adventures. Each company offers fun, affordable trips that take care of the equipment, portaging and other hassles, leaving you to enjoy the experience. In all, 30 miles of the French Broad River course through Transylvania County, each of them special in their own way. You won’t see much in the way of development or human activity. What you will see is a still wild river, following its own path, unaltered by man. For a better appreciation of the French Broad River before you paddle it, I recommend Wilma Dykeman’s landmark book, The French Broad.