Added by Lucas Bremer

Great whitewater close to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The Pigeon River is a dam controlled river that winds its way through North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee just outside Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The river provides beautiful views as one paddles along via raft or kayak. 

Cutting through portions of the Pisgah and Cherokee National Forests, this pristine river offers unbelievable beauty and offers enthusiasts of many outdoor activities to challenge themselves when not on the water.

The river is beginning to become famous among whitewater enthusiasts. Popular named whitewater rapids include Roller Coaster, Powerhouse, Lost Guide, and many more that will keep your nerves on edge and your paddling skills checked. An added enjoyment for many visitors is watching professional kayakers defy physics and "surf" with their boats.

For thrill seekers and more experience paddlers, you'll want to choose the upper section of the Pigeon because 5 plus miles of Class II-III+ rapids. For rookie paddlers or those with small children who are looking for great scenery, the lower section of the Pigeon provides 4 miles of family friendly flat water where swimming is encouraged. 

Many travelers here usually book one of the many outfitters in the region for a half day or full day on the river.

Read More

Tags

Fitness
Chillin
Photography
Rafting
Kayaking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Groups
River
Scenic
Swimming Hole

Reviews

Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Stay Nearby

Newport, North Carolina

Big Creek Campground (Great Smoky Mountains National Park)

Overview Big Creek Campground is located in a remote portion of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The beautiful flowing waters of Big Creek parallel the campground offering the visitor a pleasa...

Newport, North Carolina

Big Creek Horse Camp

Overview Pack up your horses for a getaway at Big Creek Horse Camp, located on far northeastern side of Smoky Mountains National Park, approximately 16 miles from Newport, Tennessee. This campsite ...

Newport, North Carolina

Big Creek Group Camp

Overview Big Creek Group Camp is located in the far northeastern corner of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, near the Tennessee-North Carolina border. With the gentle waters of Big Creek run...

Cosby, Tennessee

Cosby Picnic Pavilion

Overview Tucked in the mountains under a canopy of cool shade, this picnic pavilion creates a peaceful and secluded environment for visitors, offering the best that the Great Smoky Mountains Nation...

Nearby Adventures

  • Explore Halls Top Fire Tower

    Halls Top Fire Tower is a special untouched spot in the Cherokee National Forrest. The road that leads you into the CNF is known as Halls Top Road  just a few miles off of Interstate I-40. This road will take you 4.4 miles to the next turn onto St...

    1 miles 200 ft gain

  • Hike to Mouse Creek Falls

    Follow Big Creek Trail on a moderate climb to this 45-foot waterfall. Around 1.3 miles in, you will begin to hike alongside Big Creek, and shortly afterwards you will pass Midnight Hole, a particularly deep pool. There are a number of other small ...

    4.2 miles 605 ft gain

  • Hike to Mt. Sterling's Fire Tower

    On your way in, stop at the ranger station parking lot to use the outhouses and grab a map for $1. Once at the Baxter Creek trailhead you have two options: 1. The Out and Back (12.2 miles) 2. The Loop (17 miles)Out and Back: Start on the Baxter C...

    12 miles 4200 ft gain

  • Hike to Hen Wallow Falls in Great Smoky Mountains NP

    Start your adventure by parking in the Cosby Picnic Area Parking Lot near the entrance of the Cosby Campground. (127 Cosby Picnic Area Rd, Cosby, TN 37722.) Then backtrack through the parking lot about 100 yards until you see the sign marking the ...

    4.4 miles