Know Before You Go

Facts & Info to Know Before You Go…

We are very glad you have chosen to spend your time in the Smokies tubing the Little River with us!

The following information will help answer many questions and expedite your check-in process.

If your question is not answered on this page please feel free to Contact Us and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have!

Click Here for Water Level Information >>

We hope you enjoy your day with us on the river!



Inside you will find the changing rooms and check-in desk. Our staff will assist you in signing the liability waiver and paying for your wristbands. Wristbands will be given to everyone 6 years and older and must be presented to get your tube and return shuttle. Life jackets, tube rental and shuttle service are all provided with a wristband. Wristbands are not required for children two to five years of age.

Once you have taken care of your personal belongings and have your tube a staff member will direct you to the Rat Hole Tunnel. The tunnel leads you to the river and starting point.

Exiting The River

You will exit the river at the concrete traffic bridge. You will see a river rat sign and large paved boat ramp on your left. This is the only exit for River Rat customers. Please do not get out of the water anywhere else. This is the only place our shuttles can come get you. Everything down river is private property. Please respect the home owners and other businesses by staying in the river. A shuttle will be waiting to take you back to the River Rat.

Don’t Forget You Can Go Again!

Once you return to the River Rat you may go again FREE until daily last trip time.


Age Requirement

Family Float/Main Tubing Outpost: Everyone must be at least 2 years of age to tube the river. There may be an age restriction to apply due to high-water levels. Check in with us for more information.

Adventure Float/Upper Little River Section: Everyone must be at least 6 years of age to tube the river. There may be an age restriction to apply due to high-water levels. Check in with us for more information.

Average Trip Time

The average trip time is 2 hours however; your trip time will vary depending on the water lever. The levels fluctuate daily, so please check the information board at the front desk.


Free parking is provided in our 5 acre lot located behind the main entrance and retail shop. After parking gather your wallet and river attire. Proceed to the main building, entering through the back door near the restrooms.

Personal Belongings

After receiving your wristbands and signing the waiver you will take your belongings back to your car. Your car is your locker. Leave your belongings, dry change of clothes and towels in your locked car. Our staff will be happy to keep your keys at the Keyosk while you are on the river. This is not required, only a free service we provide.

Note: If you do not wish to leave your keys with our staff, please DO NOT take them on the river. It is very likely you will loose them. We do not recommend taking anything of value on the river.

Life Jackets

Children 12 and under are required by Tennessee law to wear a life jacket. You may use your own life jacket as long as it is coast guard approved.

Tube Options

We offer tubes with and without bottoms.

Tethering Tubes Together

The River Rat offers tethers to attach one tube to another. This is recommended when you are tubing with small children. We do not recommend more than two tubes tethered together. Please ask for a tether when paying for your wristbands. There is a $2.00 cash deposit for each tether. The $2.00 will be given back to you once the tether is returned to the front desk.

Tubing Safety Tips

Sit in the tube with your backside in the hole with your feet hanging over the front near the handles. Use your arms to paddle and direct your tube down river. Try to always looking down river while seated in your tube. Floating on your stomach is not recommended!


Don’t forget to apply sunscreen! You will be on the water for around 2 hours so it is recommended to apply sunscreen before each run down the river. If you forget to bring sunscreen we have some available in our gift shop.


We highly recommend wearing secure footwear, for your safety, while tubing down the river. If you forget to bring watershoes we have some available in our gift shop.

Items NOT Allowed

In order to keep our river clean and free from litter. Please do not bring the following items as we do not allow them on the river. Note: you may leave coolers in your vehicle for after the trip, they are just not allowed in the tubes or river.

  • Alcohol
  • Glass Bottles
  • Cans
  • Coolers

Gift Shop

Forget something? Our gift shop offers towels, watershoes, sunscreen, and more just in case! The gift shop also offers souvenir t-shirts to commemorate your adventure with River Rat!

Season Passes

If you are looking to spend more time with us during your visit, we offer season passes as well as white water rafting. Make sure to ask a staff member for more information.


Hungry or Thirsty? The Toobers Open Air Cafe has something for everyone! Try our awesome BBQ nachos, pizza, or hotdogs. And cool off with a slushie, soda, or ice cream.