French Broad Float – FAQs

What does my registration fee include?

Your registration fee includes a T-shirt, a one year membership to the MountainTrue, beautiful primitive camping each night on private land, shuttle, food, beer, awesome and knowledgeable guides, educational activities, tours, and a great time with other paddlers.

Do I need to be an experienced paddler?

It helps to have spent some time paddling a boat, but it’s not necessary for the trip. The pace and distance of each day’s journey and the difficulty of the river is generally suitable for beginner to intermediate paddlers. The four day trip does have several class II rapids with a some small class III rapids. The big rapids on the French Broad will be paddled in a guided raft.

What do I need to bring?

You only need to bring personal camping items. Leave the rest to us. When you register we will email you with a list of suggested supplies.  A limited number of free boats will be provided, so sign up soon if you need one. If you need to rent a boat, visit Headwaters Outfitters, Asheville Outdoor Center, or Asheville Adventure Rental for great deals. Also, bring standard camping gear including a tent, sleeping pad and bag, and personal items. Camp gear is limited to 40 pounds and two bags per person. Your boat should be of a size and weight that you and another person can carry it. A gear list with mandatory and suggested items will be provided. Borrow gear from a friend or rent anything you’re a missing from REI in Asheville.

Where do we camp?

Camping will be on the banks of the river every night. This is backcountry primitive camping.

Do I need to bring food?

Breakfast, dinner and sack lunches will be provided as part of your registration. Yummy Oskar Blues Beer will be available on each night of the trip. You are welcome to bring some other must have snacks and drink.

Where do I leave my car?

Everyone will meet in Asheville (except people who are only paddling the first two days of the five day trip). We have arranged a safe place to meet and leave your cars. Your camping gear will also be shuttled between campsites, allowing you to travel light on the river.  We will email these details closer to the date.

Can I fish?

Yes, but you are responsible for obtaining appropriate licenses through the wildlife resources commission.


More questions? Call or email the French Broad Riverkeeper at or 828-258-8737 ext.211.

Through Muddy Water Watch, volunteers go out hiking, biking, and driving to collect data about sources of sediment pollution. The data is used to work with the US Forest Service to repair damaged roads, culverts, and other sources of sediment to ensure these streams remain healthy.
After nearly a decade of work by WNCA (now MountainTrue), 11th District Congressman Heath Schuler, and many others, the long-proposed North Shore Road along the shore of Fontana Lake was put to rest. The people of Swain County were financially compensated in lieu of the originally promised road, and pristine streams, sensitive aquatic life and public land were preserved.