The French Broad River offers all of the aspects that make for a great day on the river. The water is warm and the huge boulders and rugged terrain create a spectacular backdrop. The rapids are definitely big enough to satisfy the adventure side of paddling, but they are also playful and fun without being too difficult. The river has a lot of deep pools that are great for swimming and the plentiful beaches make for nice places to picnic. The French Broad has everything you’d want on a river, including options that make for fun half day or full day trips. An interesting aspect is that it is purportedly the 3rd oldest river in the world, which makes for some really interesting geography that’s evident in the scenic landscapes along the river. A big bonus is its close proximity to Asheville that makes it easy to head back to town and grab dinner and beer from a variety of the incredible restaurants and breweries. All in all, the French Broad River is a great adventure for folks looking to get out and enjoy the river. Section 9 features some of the most fun and exciting rapids of the entire 218-mile-long river. With a combination of action-packed rapids and great scenery, this section offers an incredible river experience that is hard to beat. The big waves of the Class III Big Pillow Rapid provide a good introduction to the rapids and long wave trains that lie ahead on the scenic journey through the French Broad River Gorge. Paddlers can stop at Jump Rock for a 10-foot plunge into a nice, deep pool before heading downstream for more rapids. Characteristic diagonal ledges create long and engaging routes through rapids like The Maze, Ledges, Pit Stop, and the infamous class IV Frank Bell’s Rapid. A large part of the 8+ mile section of river includes some very beautiful scenery through a stretch of Pisgah National Forest. In total, this river trip takes anywhere from a half day to a full day.