Outdoor Activities: Paddling

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Paddling There is no lack of opportunity to paddle in Transylvania County, and the paddling discussion must start with the French Broad River, said Joe Moerschbaecher, with Pura Vida Adventures.

Believed to be the third oldest river in the world, the French Broad starts on the western side of the county and meanders throughout the river valley as each drop of water begins its long journey to the Gulf of Mexico.

In Transylvania County the French Broad offers both flat water and whitewater paddling opportunities. Some of the most popular flat-water paddling river access areas along the French Broad River include Champion Park, Island Ford, Hap Simpson Park, Wilson Road and the newly created Penrose access area.

“For those seeking the adrenaline rush of a whitewater paddle in Transylvania County,” Moerschbaecher said, “all you need is a little bit of rain, which comes often to the rainiest county east of the Rockies.”

A class II whitewater experience and an A-plus river experience can be found on the Lower Davison River as you float along one of Pisgah’s main tributaries right out of the forest gates. Whitewater creek boating can be found on the North and West Fork of the French Broad River, as well as the Upper Davidson and Little River. These Class III-V creeks will have you boating down steep slides and paddling over steeper waterfalls.

The following businesses are available to help maximize your waterway experience:
•Headwaters Outfitters, located at the junction of U.S. 64 West and N.C. 215 on the French Broad, offers self-guided canoe and kayak trips, plus tubing. The outfitter provides tubes, life jackets, safety information, shuttles to and from the river, and changing rooms. For more information, visit www.headwatersoutfitters.com or call (828) 877-3106.
•Pura Vida Adventures, headquartered on the Hendersonville Hwy. in Pisgah Forest, offers canoe trips, kayak trips and instructions. For more information, call (772) 579-0005 or go to pvadventures.com.

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