French Broad River

Location: Western North Carolina
Trip Starts: Westfeldt Road
Trip Ends: Asheville Outdoor Center
Total Distance: 15.5 miles
Hike Type: One-Way, Shuttle Hike
Hike Difficulty: Easy
Trails Used: French Broad River
Trail Traffic: Heavy
Trip Type: Overnight Trip
More Information:

Asheville Outdoor Center
521 Amboy Rd
Asheville, NC 28806
(828) 232-1970


The French Broad River is a 213 mile waterway that starts near the village of Rosman, North Carolina and flows to the Tennessee state line where it joins with the Holston River in Knoxville and becomes the Tennessee River.

This is a kayaking trip along a fifteen mile section of the French Broad River that starts about 50 miles north of the headwaters near the Asheville airport at the Westfeldt River Park and flows northeast to the Asheville Outdoor Center. There are multiple put-in/take-out options in this section, but these were the sites that we used for our trip.

The first 7-8 miles of the river are near and under the busy Interstate 26 with occasional views of metropolitan Asheville. Tubers frequent this section on weekends, so it is a social and active river during these times. Yet once you pass Firefighter’s Island, the river is much more rustic as it travels through the scenic Biltmore Estate with views of both the mansion and hotel to the east from the river.

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