The French Broad Paddle Trail is a recreational water craft trail from the Headwaters of the French Broad River in Rosman, North Carolina and winds 117 miles to the state line where it connects the Tennessee French Broad River Blueway. There are campsites approximately every 8-10 miles on the banks of the river along the trail, available for public use. There are a variety of lodging, restaurants, trails, and other visitor opportunities along the way.
Planning a trip?
REGISTER your group
Join our Forum to keep up to date on river information and share your experience (requires registration) The forum also provides access to trail guidelines, rules and regulations, trail information, and a community of paddlers on the French Broad River.
Please utilize the Maps below to help plan your trip. If you need more assistance contact Trail Manager for assistance: firstname.lastname@example.org
French Broad Paddle Trail Online Map
We have developed a mapping resource to aid you through your trip planning. The main map below is the main map with all of the information. Below are additional maps, sorted by various ammenities you way need or want to experience.
View French Broad River Paddle Trail in a larger map
Additional Maps :
Paddle Trail Elements Map - Map of all campsites, river access points, river gages, and dams and other river hazards
Paddle Trail Lodging Map - Map of all adonal lodging options along the trail, including: Bed & Breafasts, Cabins, Campgroditiunds, and Hotels
Paddle Trail Outfitters Map - Map of all outfitters along the trail, including: rafting companies,guide services, gear stores, equipment rentals, and manufacturers.
Recreational Opportunities Map - Additional recreational opportunities near the trail, including: parks, greenways, and hiking trails.
Want to Volunteer?
Volunteers are the main life blood of the trail. All campsites have been constructed through volunteer labor and are maintaned by our Freinds of the French Braod Paddle Trail Group. Sign-up to Volunteer.
Join our Forum to keep upto date on river information, share trip information, and stay incontact with trail maintainers and volunteer needs. (requires registration)
Want to Support the Paddle Trail?
If you would like to financially support the Paddle Trail there are numerous options. Sponserships are available to individuals and buisnesses, Click here for more information.
Individuals can support the trail through simple donation or becoming a member of the French Broad River Yacht Club.
Click Here to donate to the French Broad River Paddle Trail or send check to RiverLink at P.O 15488, Asheville, NC 28813. Please add FBR Paddle Trail to the memo or in the notes.
Do you live along the French Broad and want to host a campsite?
RiverLink is always looking for more campsites!We have three currently open to the public and three campsites in the developement process to open Spring of 2014! If you are in hosting a campsite and would like to know more information. Please Email Nancy our trail manager.
The trail is 117 miles in North Carolina, usually this take through boaters approximately 10 days to complete. The river varies in character and supports many skill levels of paddlers. The headwaters are narrow and flat, with a few waves and riffle areas. In this section you will traverse predominately through farm land, with high river banks and fallen trees and strainers int he river. After the river enters into Buncombe county it widens and becomes shallower. This area is also fairly flat water with the occasional wave or riffle of whitewater.
Below Asheville there is the first of three dams you will protage. The Craggy Dam is approximately 10' high and there is an unimproved portage on river left. Below Craggy Dam is the first bit of technical white water, called "Ledges" this is a local spot for play boat practice for local enthusiasts. Below Ledges the river is considered class 1-2 rapids.
Above Marshall is the second dam, the Capitola Dam, it has a long portage through town. The safest means of portage is to exit the river at the Town of Marshall Park in Rollins and shuttle to below the Redmond dam. If you chose to continue in the river this section is beautiful, yet there is no legal portage around the third and final dam, the Redmon Dam. Many boaters portage to the right along the railroad, but this is not advised, it is illegal and many boaters have been ticketed for being onthe railroad.
Safety is a priority on the trail. We have provided signage to assist in your journey so plesse look for these signs along the river.
Campsite Sign: Designates FREE public access camping. Camping is first-come-first served, but most sites can be shared by many groups.
River Access Signs: Designates public river access
Transylvania County Outfitters:
Henderson County Outfitters:
Buncombe County Outfitters:
Madison County Oufitters:
Town of Marshall Presentation
Analysis Presentation -- Scott Ogletree
Final Trail Analysis Presentation
Construction and development of the French Broad River Paddle Trail was supported by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources Division of State Parks NC Recreational Trail and the Adopt-a-Trail Programs, The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina Pigeon River Fund, and the NC Department of Transportation.
The French Broad River Paddle Trail is made possible and supported by the following municipalities. These are the places you will be visiting check out their websites for information of on local events and attractions.
Numerous outfitters and local businesses support the trail through donations, time and knowledge. These include: Diamond Brand Outdoors, Asheville Outdoor Center, Asheville Adventure Rentals, Chaco, Mast General Store, and Blue Heron Whitewater.