Rafting at Wildwater Adventure Center in Hartford, TN

3555 Hartford RdHartford, TN 37753
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Come spend a day filled with adventure and beautiful views! Wildwater Adventure Center brings you summertime savings on Smoky Mountain adventure and sits on the banks of the Big Pigeon River in Hartford, TN. Bring your family and friends for lots of fun rafting, ziplining, and taking jeep tours of the great outdoors! Bring your family & friends to enjoy these amazing experiences!

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our Hartford Travel Experts
  • 45 minute drive from Gatlinburg.
  • Bring a change of clothes and towel.
  • Closed toed shoes required.
  • Raft rain or shine.
  • All guides are certified.
  • Pregnant women cannot raft.
  • Raft Upper or Lower Pigeon River.
  • Upper section features Class III & IV rapids.
  • Lower section features Class I and II rapids.
  • 60+ rapids on Upper section tour.


from Rafting at Wildwater Adventure Center
Rafting, Ziplining and Jeep tours! All at one location!
Come spend a day filled with adventure and beautiful views!

Reserve Gatlinburg, Reserve Pigeon Forge, and Wildwater Adventure Center have come together to bring you summertime savings on Smoky Mountain adventure! Bring your family, bring your friends, and come join us on the river, in the sky and on top of the mountains.

Let the experts at Wildwater Pigeon River Adventure Center take you on a relaxing trip down the Lower Pigeon’s class I and II rapids, or brave the challenge of the Upper Pigeon’s class III and IV whitewater. For your best value combine a raft trip with a zipline trip, Jeep tour and lunch all in one location.

Our adventure center sits right on the banks of the Big Pigeon River and is located in beautiful Hartford, TN, a short scenic drive from Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. Surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee National Forest, Martha Sundquist State Forest, and the Appalachian Trail, the Pigeon River has carved a deep gorge through some of the most spectacular landscapes and vistas in the country.

Upper Pigeon River (whitewater trip):
The upper section of the Big Pigeon River offers up twelve class III, and three class IV exciting whitewater rapids for you to conquer! Let one of our knowledgeable and professional whitewater river guides escort you down five miles of raging rapids like “Powerhouse, Too Late, Rollercoaster, Lost Guide and Accelerator!” This is non-stop continuous whitewater excitement!

• No experience necessary
• Minimum requirements: 8 years old or 70 lbs.
• Approximately 1 ½ hours on the river.

The upper portion is Dam controlled from Memorial Day until Labor day but we still raft in the early spring. These trips can range from class I - II rapid to III - IV rapids. The water levels vary due to rain and the power companies need to generate power. On lower water days you will experience a beautiful float trip with the possibility of larger whitewater. Either way you will experience the beauty of the Smoky Mountain area.

Lower Pigeon River (fun float trip):
The lower section of the Big Pigeon River is perfect for younger children or those that want to enjoy a milder river adventure. This is a fantastic way to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the area, from deep within the river gorge. Rafters will encounter numerous class I and class II rapids, with lots of time to play and splash, as well as one exciting class III rapid near the end of your trip. This is an excellent opportunity to witness the magnificent beauty of this area. Sit back, relax, and enjoy nature’s splendor.

• No experience necessary
• Minimum age 4 years old
• Approximately 2 hours on the river

All Wildwater Pigeon River trips are provided a fully trained, certified, professional river guide. All of our friendly, and knowledgeable guides are required to have a minimum certification of CPR.

This trip is only offered from Memorial Day until Labor day due to uncertain water levels in the early spring.

Reserve Gatlinburg Customer Reviews

4 Reviews
Lori Gravatte
1 Review
"Awesome zip lining adventure!"
July, 2017
I highly recommend zip lining at this place! It was so much fun for my husband and I, being it was our first time and our guides they were both very knowledgeable and patient. Zip lining under a canopy of trees and over the Pigeon River was totally awesome? It was an awesome day that won't be forgotten!
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Tip: You are going to love this experience. You will have to walk up considerable steps but it is all under a canopy of trees.

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cathy underwood
1 Review
August, 2016
My husband and I rafted for the first time this summer! Loved it! We had Rachel for a guide and she was awesome!!! She explained everything and was very fun to talk to going down the river!!! Couldn't have had a better guide!!!!! We plan on returning next summer and hope we can have her again!!!!
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arisa loup
Glynn, LA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Great time!"
August, 2016
This was the first time my husband and I had been white water rafting, and we had the best time! We loved our guide, he was very knowledgable about anything we asked! It was a beautiful day and a fun time.
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Tip: Get ready to get wet! Our raft didn't flip, but we watched the one in front of us flip!

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Reserve Gatlinburg Customer
South Lyaon, MI
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Wildwater Advanture"
February, 2015
It was an amazing experience from the beginning till the end, really enjoyed it
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Tip: extra cloth and some snaks and water, and swiming clothes

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TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
Raleigh, North Carolina
"Absolutely amazing place to go!!!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed October 14, 2018
It was my 15 year anniversary and I had this as a surprise for my husband. They called to inform me on the weather 2 hours before. We went anyway not sure if we would have to cancel bc, of water rising from tropical storm. Chris Shealty was our guide. He was great. He let us know that the water was a little rough but, he would take care of us. It was only my husband and I for the evening run. So, they were so kind to send us out another boat with 4 guides just for safety. It was the most awesome experience and out of all the companies and guides I recommend this one foremost.
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Yeffry R
"Family and Friends "
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 28, 2018
Beautiful place, strongly recommend for family’s or just to disconnect from busy life. Friendly people and lots of places that would take you back in time to the old country.
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Hutto, Texas
"Very disappointed"
TripAdvisor user rating 1 out of 5
Reviewed September 05, 2018
I booked the waterfall zip line trip for first thing in the morning August 5th for my family. The company knew the day before they had bee/hornet nests up in the hills and had shortened Saturdays excursion. They did not tell us this until we arrived that morning, Instead of the 2.5 hr excursion, the kids were done after five lines. Their computers were down so they could not reimburse me that day. It is now Sept 5th and I still have no refund. I just got off the phone again with the company, they say its coming. I have rafted and zipped with this company for the past nine years, but the staff have changed. Zipping is one of my fun down times when I get the chance but after the lack of professionalism I will not return to Hartford.
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Franklin, North Carolina
"White Water Rafting"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 03, 2018
Daniel was a great guide. Lots of jokes and laughes were had down the river. Our 8 yr old daughter had a blast on the upper Pigeon! Would recommend this company to anyone!
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Lincoln, Nebraska
"Wet and Wild"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 30, 2018
The river is pretty tame but fun. There is just enough rapids to make the trip exciting. The guides make the experience memorable. Mike (our guide) was definitely the guide you want if you are looking for the wet and wild version.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Rafting at Wildwater Adventure Center

Is rafting really safe?Wildwater Ltd. has been in business for over 45 years and has maintained an excellent safety record. Our Team Members go through extensive training before being "checked out" as a trained guide. All of our guides are trained in CPR and First Aid with many being trained in Advanced Wilderness First Aid as well. Wildwater takes pride in providing our guests with a quality trip that is both safe and enjoyable. However, due to the nature of whitewater rafting and other associated activities, Wildwater Ltd. and its affiliates assume no responsibility for personal safety or loss of personal property. All participants are required to complete a personal liability and photo release form before their trip.
What if I cannot swim?Many rafters cannot swim but you should be comfortable in water. On all trips, Coast Guard-approved life jackets are provided and must be worn. On advanced trips it is recommended that you have basic swimming skills. In general you should be comfortable in water and all rafters should be able to follow directions.
Do I need to be physically fit?Participation is required on all of Wildwater Ltd.'s trips - you must paddle. You do not need to be an athlete, however a good physical condition is recommended. Life jacket limitations are a maximum girth of 52". For any medical conditions that may be affected by strenuous activity please consult your doctor. IF YOU ARE PREGNANT, YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE!
What do I wear?In the summer shorts, a bathing suit and shoes that will stay on your feet are recommended. For the spring and the fall we recommend layering with synthetics such as fleece or polypropylene. 
What happens if there is bad weather?Rain: Trips go rain or shine. You are going to get wet anyway so why not enjoy your river trip when other activities like hiking and biking are better suited for sunny and dry weather. Rainy days also provide some of the most beautiful scenery as fog and mist rises off the river. A baseball cap can help by keeping rain out of your eyes.
Lightning: In the event of a locally severe lightning storm, trips may stop and pull over on the bank. Exposure while on the river is at a minimum because of the high ridgelines and trees that surround the river. Trip starts may be delayed if a storm is occurring at the rafting center.
High Water/ Flood: Wildwater, in conjunction with the Federal Agencies that license the outfitters, have established a protocol for paddling at specific water levels. On the Chattooga, as the water level rises, we move upstream. If the water levels on any of the rivers exceeds safe levels, trips may be cancelled or relocated to another river. In the case of a trip cancellation, guests are offered the option to reschedule, get a credit voucher or receive a full refund.
Do I have to fill a raft?No. Whether you come by yourself or with a large group we can accommodate you on a trip. If you do not have a full boat we will combine groups. The rafts on the Pigeon River holds 6 people. These numbers may vary depending on the size of the group. Whitewater rafting is a participatory activity and everyone is expected to help paddle.
What factors determine the age/weight requirements?The line has to be drawn somewhere. We have seen kids below the minimums that were perfectly capable and we have seen kids that meet all the minimum requirements, but still are not ready! The determining factors usually revolve around the likelihood of a flip or swim and at what age a child listens to and understands instructions. Can the child understand the dangers? Does the child have enough size or body fat to have control of their body in icy water? Can the child rescue themselves or will the parents be so concerned about a young child they put their own health at risk? Minimum ages and/or weights are usually set by the managing agency that regulates each river. Wildwater will not knowingly take an underage person on our trips, we do ask and we do require a signature from a parent signifying proper age. Should you push the limit with your child? No, it is not worth the risk!