Rafting at Wildwater Adventure Center in Hartford, TN

Wildwater Pigeon River Adventure Center3555 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. Enjoy the great outdoors! Bring your family and friends for lots of fun rafting and ziplining outdoor experiences!

Good To Know

  • 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 and Ziplining - All at one location! Come spend a day filled with adventure and beautiful views!

Bring your family and friends and come join us on the river and in the sky. 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 experience 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 guided by a fully trained, certified, professional river guide. All of our friendly, and knowledgeable guides are required to have a minimum certification of CPR.

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Rafting at Wildwater Adventure Center is located at Wildwater Pigeon River Adventure Center3555 Hartford RdHartford, TN 37753
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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?

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!