FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. What are your hours?
A. Hours vary over the summer, with a weekend opening in April, a progressive roll-out of hours in May, a full Tuesday - Sunday schedule in June-August, and a slow reduction of hours throughout the fall. We are closed on Mondays.
Q. What are the trip times that we can go out on a canoe, raft, SUP, or kayak?
A. The Asheville Outdoor Center offers trips at 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM, and 2:00 PM, with check-in 45 minutes prior to your trip departure.
Q. How long does this trip take?
A. Our 7-mile float trip generally takes about 2-3 hours. Trip times can vary with water levels, wind, different boat types and individual paddling efforts.
Q. Where do I check in?
A. Check in happens at the AOC office, a small wooden building near the water, behind the picnic pavilion and next to the gem mine's water wheel.
Q. What is your refund policy?
A. All reservations require a form of payment to hold on file prior to the trip. We require a 24 hour notice of cancellation for any reason outside of weather in order to provide a 100% refund for your reservation. If someone makes a reservation and no shows, we will charge your card for the cost of the trip. In situations where weather becomes an issue, we accept cancellations up to the time of the trip and will refund 100%. As with other trips, if we do not hear from you or you do not show up as scheduled, you will be charged for the trip.
Q. How can I check the water levels and temperature?
A. You can find French Broad River information here.
Q. What are the age requirements ?
A. Children as young as four (4) years-old can participate on our float trip, provided they weigh at least 35 lbs and are accompanied by an adult.
Q. Can we pay by credit card?
A. Yes -- credit cards are welcome. Mastercard, Visa, Discover, American Express and Apple Pay are accepted.
Q. Are we allowed to stop along the river banks?
A. We ask all of our guests not to stop along the banks of the river. Both sides of the river bank are owned by the Biltmore Estate and are posted as no trespassing.
Q. Are we allowed to bring our pets?
A. Unfortunately, pets are not allowed on the AOC property. Make sure to leave them safely at home or with a friend prior to your trip.
Q. What should I bring?
A. Make sure to pack sunscreen, water, sunglasses (with a strap), footwear, a hat or visor, clothing you don't mind getting wet, and a towel (just in case you do). We sell snacks and drinks at the AOC, so feel free to bring extra cash to stock up while you're here.
Q. What's special about the French Broad River?
A. The French Broad River is the third oldest river in the world! The river begins near Rosman, NC and flows 218 miles into the Tennessee River, the Mississippi River, and the Gulf of Mexico. The French Broad River is thought to have the greatest population of Blue Herons in the world. Learn more about the French Broad River through RiverLink here.
NOTICE OF RISK & RESPONSIBILITY
As with all water related activities, a certain amount of risk is involved which could lead to injury or even death. It is the responsibility of the trip leaders to determine if the participants in their group have the skills and experience to paddle these types of rivers and the class rapids associated with them. All participants must fill out and sign a release of liability, acknowledgement of risks form prior to participation. ALL MINORS UNDER THE AGE OF 18 MUST HAVE PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN SIGN, and must have an adult accompany them on the trip. No trip leader or group coordinator may sign for those under 18 years old. These forms are available for download online or at check-in.
As an Outfitter we are comfortable running trips on the French Broad. As with any river there can be ecoli present. We always advise not drinking the water and not exposing any open wounds to water. The CDC states that people younger than 5 yrs old, adults over 65, and those with compromised immune systems are at a higher risk of being infected. We have had a large amount of recent publicity on the ecoli levels. The readings in question were taken during flash flood runoff which leads to a higher reading. We have spoken with Mountain True ( the organization that takes the readings) and are within a safe level to continue to run trips. There are many different types of ecoli with only a very small handful that are a threat to people. The testing done does not take that into consideration. The Asheville Outdoor Center has been running trips on this stretch of the French broad for over 25 years and have never had a report of someone contracting ecoli while on our trips.
Please feel free to contact us at 828-232-1970 to discuss the matter further if needed.