We are happy to offer custom multi-day trips on the French Broad! Reservations are required with at least one week’s notice for these trips, and we usually advise folks to have already made their campground reservations and to know where they would like to put into the river before reserving shuttles/equipment from us. Please read the entirety of this FAQ, as it will answer most questions you may have. In terms of the services we provide, we offer shuttles and equipment rentals. Most folks need both, but we have them as separate options for those who have their own equipment or transportation. (pricing is separate) We do not allow online reservations for mutli-day trips due to their custom nature. If you have any other questions or are ready to make your reservation, call us at (828)505-7371!
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Frequently Asked Questions
This is determined by a number of factors, first being how long you want to spend actually paddling during the day. Do you want to get up at the crack of dawn and paddle until dusk? Or is only 6 hours of paddling more your plan? Will you be actively paddling the whole time? Or will you be fishing and floating some?
The next factor is the current level of the river. This is measured in cfs (cubic feet per second) and the current level can be found on our River Level Page. The higher the level, the faster the natural speed of the river will be.
Another factor is the nature of the section of river you are on. If the section you are on is wide and deep, it will move more slowly then a narrow, shallow section.
Finally, the last factor is your personal fitness and experience level. If you paddle weekly as part of your workout, you can expect different mileage than if you haven’t canoed in a few years and don’t work out often.
So there is no easy answer to this question. As a vast generalization, 2 miles per hour is a place to start, but this by no means a hard number. Take these factors into consideration when planning your trip.
– Oscar Blues: Oscar Blues does not have a river access of their own, but are supporters of the French Broad Paddle trail. The closest access point to them is at the Wilson Road takeout in Brevard, about a 30 minute walk away.
– Sierra Nevada: A company representative has told FBO that as of now, there is no river access to the brewery. They have been talking about opening one in the far distant future, but currently have no active plans to do so due to liability and safety concerns. They ask that you please do not attempt to bushwhack your way to the brewery (which even then is around a 30 minute whack) as you will just find a locked gate. The closest river access point is at Westfelt, which is about a 45 minute walk from the brewery’s main entrance.
– New Belgium: New Belgium Security has asked us to tell all of our guests that they do not have a river access point and that they do not allow people to access them from the river. They have been strict about this and will ask you to leave. The closest river access point is at the Craven Street Bridge, on the opposite side of the river, about 20-30 minute walk away from New Belgium’s public entrance.
– Anything you don’t want getting soaking wet or potentially lost forever.
– Glass: No glass containers of any kind are permitted.
Equipment Rental FAQ:
I am not using your shuttle service, will you help me load the equipment into/onto my personal vehicle?
Weather and Safety FAQ:
– Strainers: Downed or fallen trees and in stream objects are a serious threat. Keep clear of side channels and overhanging banks. Be alert!
– Sharp Rocks and Uneven River Beds: Shoes are required on all trips. While uncommon, uneven river beds can create foot entrapment opportunities. If the water is swift, do not try to stand up.
– Bridge Pylons: These are easy to avoid, but make sure to not hit these with your boat as it will cause you to fall out. It can potentially pin your boat against the structure and destroy it.
– High Water: FBO will cancel trips if the water is too high, but even a small increase in level can result in floating debris and tangled shorelines. Be alert.
– Weather: Abrupt changes in weather can create special problems, be prepared.
– Alcohol: FBO has a no alcohol policy