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October 17th, 2023
White water rafting down river

Top 4 Tips for Rafting in the Smoky Mountains During Cool Weather

September 22, 2023 October 17th, 2023

If you are planning a trip to the Smoky Mountains this fall, you’ll be excited to know that we offer white water rafting excursions until mid-October! This is a unique time to experience the Pigeon River as the water flow depends entirely on mother nature. In addition, the pleasant fall temperatures are perfect for outdoor activities with the average highs reaching the low to mid 70s throughout the early part of autumn! If you happen to experience a cooler than average day for rafting, no problem! Here are the top 4 tips for rafting in the Smoky Mountains during cool weather:

1. Wear Synthetic Material to Stay Warm

When dressing for a white water rafting trip in the fall, be sure to leave any cotton clothing back at your cabin or campground! Cotton is the worst type of material to wear while rafting, as it collects moisture and drains heat from your body. Check your clothing tags carefully as even a small percentage of cotton can really wick the heat away! It is much better to wear some type of synthetic material, such as polyester or fleece, to increase the insulation — this includes the socks on your feet. 

2. Pack and Wear Sun Protection

applying sunscreen on armAnother top tip for rafting in the Smoky Mountains during cool weather is to pack and wear sun protection. Although the summer season is over, that doesn’t mean that it’s not sunny! The sunlight reflecting off the water can also increase your chances of a sunburn, so protection is important through the fall. This is a great time to use up those bottles of sunscreen that are left from your summer vacation (remember that most sunscreen products begin to diminish in effectiveness after just 12 months). If you need to pick up a fresh bottle, aim for broad spectrum protection of SPF 30 or higher.

3. Get Moving

If it’s cool outside and you’re concerned about getting soaked, remember that rafting is an active sport where you’ll be paddling down the Pigeon River with your professional guide! One of the best ways to stay warm on the water is to stay in motion as much as possible. This physical activity causes your muscles to convert energy into heat energy, causing your body to warm up! If you are getting cold while rafting in the Smoky Mountains, try to do more paddling or some other movements to get your blood flowing! 

4. Have Fun!

raft going through a rapid on the Pigeon RiverThe fun of white water rafting is enough to keep most folks warm despite a few splashes, so embrace the excitement and let the adrenaline rush keep away the cold! On our fall rafting trips, our certified guides will navigate your raft while sharing their love of splashing through waves, maneuvering around rocks, and enjoying the beauty of being in the great outdoors! You can expect to spend about 1.5 to 2 hours on the river, depending upon the water levels and natural conditions. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced paddler, don’t miss the chance to join us for our last rafting trips of the season!

Now that you know the top tips for rafting in the Smoky Mountains during cool weather, book your rafting adventure today! We look forward to seeing you soon on the Pigeon River!