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4 Little Known Facts About the Pigeon River

December 19, 2013 March 15th, 2020
pigeon river

The Pigeon River is one of the best places for white water rafting in Tennessee. With everything from class 1 to class 4 rapids, this beautiful river can accommodate rafters of all ages and abilities. Did you know that the Pigeon River spans two states? Read on to learn more about one of the South East’s most popular rivers.

1. The Pigeon River Starts in North Carolina and ends in East Tennessee.

It can be easy to forget how long this river is! The Pigeon River begins in Haywood County in North Carolina and flows mostly northwest, with a few exceptions. In East Tennessee, the river runs through Hartford to Newport and eventually merges into the French Broad River.

2. The river was named after the passenger pigeon.

The Pigeon River takes its name from these birds because their migration pattern used to include the river valley in North Carolina. Unfortunately you won’t see any passenger pigeons flying along the river because the birds have been extinct since around 1914.

3. Flooding from the Pigeon River caused massive damage in 2004.

The combined effects of hurricanes Frances and Ivan caused considerable flooding in North Carolina. Sections of the towns of Canton and Clyde were totally underwater and part of Interstate 40 actually collapsed due to the force of the floodwaters.

4. The river has two distinct sections: the Upper and the Lower.

Smoky Mountain Outdoors offers exciting trips down both the Upper and the Lower Pigeon River. The Upper section offers a wild ride featuring class 3 – 4 rapids with plenty of big waves, big drops and surfing. In contrast, the Lower Pigeon River is gentle and scenic, with mostly class 1 and class 2 rapids.

You simply cannot beat the Pigeon River for white water rafting in Tennessee! Visit our Combo Trip page to learn how you can raft both the Upper and Lower Pigeon River.