Bachelor TV star Tyler Cameron spotted at Rafting in the Smokies

Tyler Cameron at Rafting in the Smokies
Tyler Cameron of The Bachelor franchise was spotted at Rafting in the Smokies (photo courtesy of Rafting in the Smokies)

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Guests at Rafting in the Smokies got a special treat last week when they spotted The Bachelorette’s Tyler Cameron during their rafting adventure.  

“We may not have received a rose, but we were so happy bachelorette contestant @tylerjcameron3 chose Rafting in the Smokies for his adventure down the Pigeon River … and so were the girls who ran into him,” Rafting in the Smokies wrote on social media. 

For those who need a reminder (or do not know who he is), Cameron placed as the runner-up on Hannah Brown’s season of The Bachelorette. He remains in The Bachelor franchise spotlight as a friend of the upcoming lead, Matt James. 

Spotting a celebrity around the Smokies may not happen often, but celebrities have occasionally been known to grace us with their presence from time to time. 

Read more: Did Keith Urban, Nicole Kidman really spend Valentine’s at Dollywood? 

If you’ve never experienced Rafting in the Smokies, you should know there are several reasons you need to add this popular attraction to your to-do list — beyond hoping to spot reality TV show fan favorites.

Are YOU interested in trying it? Keep reading to find out how you can score free tickets!

Why you should visit Rafting in the Smokies

Rafting in the Smokies has served the area since 1978. 

They are family owned and operated as an eco-friendly, family-friendly and safety conscious business. 

Read more: Top 10 things to do in the Smokies this summer

While whitewater rafting is perhaps one of the most fun outdoor activities in the Smokies, it can also be an intimidating one. In case you’re not familiar with the rating system of rapids, it goes like this: 

  • Class 1: Easy
  • Class II: Moderate
  • Class III: Moderately difficult
  • Class IV: Difficult
  • Class V: Extremely difficult
  • Class VI: Extraordinarily difficult 

I’ve never seen a Class VI and I’m not sure I would ever want to. But the rapids at Rafting in the Smokies rank up to a Class IV, which means it’s not too intimidating for a beginner but still fun for an experienced rafter. 

For safety, an experienced professional guide comes along on every adventure. 

Guests can choose their own level of excitement on the river, selecting between whitewater rafting in the upper section of the Pigeon River (with bumpy waves) or the lower, scenic route (with gentle waves). 

Whitewater rafting
Guests enjoy Rafting in the Smokies (photo courtesy of Rafting in the Smokies)

The Upper Pigeon River Whitewater Trip 

The upper section of the Pigeon River has 12 Class III and three Class IV rapids. 

Riders will be accompanied by a professional guide as they explore rapids with nicknames such as Too Late, Vegamatic, Razor Blade, After Shave and Lost Guide. No experience is required.

  • What to expect: Big splashes, bumpy waves
  • Capacity: 6 people per raft (plus a guide)
  • Length: 5.5 miles or 1.5 hours in length
  • Minimum age: 8 years old or 70 lbs
  • Difficulty: Class III and IV 
  • Guests must be able to fit into 56’’ personal flotation device
  • Pricing: $42 per person (plus tax and fees) 

Rafting

The Lower Pigeon River Scenic River Float Trips

For a more low-key trip down the river, the lower section of the Big Pigeon River has calm Class I and II rapids. 

Guests will be accompanied by a professional guide as they travel down a calm, scenic part of the river that skirts around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee National Forest, Martha Sundquist State Forest and Appalachian Trail. 

  • What to expect: Gentle waves
  • Capacity: 6-7 people per raft (plus a guide)
  • Length: 6 miles or 2 hours in length
  • Minimum age: 3 years old 
  • Difficulty: Class I and II 
  • Guests must be able to fit into 56’’ personal flotation device
  • Pricing: $35 per person (plus tax and fees) 
Ropes course
The ropes course grows increasingly more difficult as the course progresses (photo courtesy of Rafting in the Smokies)

Treetops Ropes Course

Rafting in the Smokies also has a stationary ropes course in the trees. 

Guests are fitted with harnesses and attached to an overhead belay cable with ropes and carabiners. The course starts with mild difficulty and becomes increasingly difficult, but guests may exit the course at any time. 

  • What to expect: 12 activities across 4 skill levels
  • Minimum age: 5 years old (minimum weight: 45 lbs, maximum weight: 250 lbs) 
  • Difficulty: Starts mild and grows more difficult
  • Pricing: $33 per person (plus tax and fees) 
Ziplining at Rafting in the Smokies
Ziplining at Rafting in the Smokies (photo courtesy of Rafting in the Smokies)

Zipline Canopy Tour

The Zipline Canopy Tour is one of the best deals in the Smokies. 

Guests can zip through the treetops while enjoying views of Family Adventure Island and the Pigeon River.

  • What to expect: 6 ziplines and 2 sky bridges (total of 2400 feet long)  
  • Minimum age: 5 years old (minimum weight: 45 lbs, maximum weight: 250 lbs) 
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Pricing: $39 per person (plus tax and fees) 

Free activities at Rafting in the Smokies 

There’s something for everyone at Rafting in the Smokies, including an impressive list of free amenities. 

The 10-acre Family Adventure Island has a nature trail, barbecue grills, picnic area, beanbag toss games and a playground at the water’s edge. 

Family Adventure Island
Family Adventure Island (photo courtesy of Rafting in the Smokies)

How to score free rafting tickets

Periodically, Rafting in the Smokies posts trivia questions on their Facebook page for a chance to win free tickets. 

Previous questions have included topics such as, “Where did the Smoky Mountains get their name?” or “What percentage of adult American tourists are adventure travelers?” 

Correct answers are entered into a drawing for two free rafting tickets to use for the season. 

Best rafting in Pigeon Forge

Rafting in the Smokies has been voted the best place to raft in the Pigeon Forge area for three years in a row in the Best of Pigeon Forge awards. To help them win for the fourth consecutive year, cast your vote before July 31, 2020. 

Plan your visit 

The river outpost is located at 3595 Hartford Road in Hartford, TN. 

Rafting in the Smokies is located just 45 minutes from Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, and Knoxville, TN, and Asheville, NC.

Take Exit 447 to Hartford, off I-40 near the Tennessee/North Carolina border, and you’re there. Combo packages and group discounts are also available. For more information, visit raftinginthesmokies.com

Disclaimer: While we do our best to bring you the most up-to-date information, attractions or prices mentioned in this article may vary by season and are subject to change. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any mentioned business, and have not been reviewed or endorsed these entities. Contact us at [email protected] for questions or comments.

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