It’s summertime in Tennessee and the rivers are ready for business! This year, maybe you’ve decided to take the plunge and dip your toe into the world of tubing. What could be better? A relaxing float through the scenic Smokies coupled with adrenaline-pumping rapids and cool, refreshing swimming holes. We know you can’t wait to start your tubing adventure, but here are 6 things you should know before you dive in!
Choose Your Adventure
Every river has its own personality and the Smokies are no exception. Our river in Townsend, TN has routes that are easy going and family-friendly, but other sections are made for thrill seekers. For your first time, we recommend starting on the lower route to get your “river legs” before moving up. This relaxing route offers a few thrills, but keeps calm and allows you to take in the breathtaking view of the surrounding Smokies.
Plan Out Your Trip
Between arriving at our outposts, enjoying your adventure, and packing up, expect your tubing experience to take some time. Our two routes vary in thrill level and in length. On average, the lower route takes 2 hours depending on water levels. For our daredevils, the upper route runs about 1 hour from start to end. While you could do one trip and leave, why not take the day off and enjoy the river? With our day passes, you get unlimited access to both routes. So take in the views and ride the rapids until you’re all tubed out!
Bring Your Gear
While we provide the essentials like tubes and lifejackets, there are a few items you should bring with you. Lockers are not provided so bring a vehicle where you can store your personal belongings. Our staff will hold your keys for free while you’re on your adventure so no need to call a locksmith if the rapids steal your ride. River Rat also provides access to hot showers and changing rooms so bring a change of clothes and a towel. We also recommend bringing a bag to place your wet clothes when you’re ready to say goodbye!
Wear Your Sunscreen
The blistery Tennessee sun is not forgiving, so protect yourself from burns with adequate sunscreen. For tubing, it is especially important to apply generously around your knees and shoulders. To go the extra mile, reapply before every route to maintain coverage and keep the good times rolling!
Cover Your Feet
While swimming is normally considered a bare feet activity, shoes are recommended for our tubing adventures. Rocky Top country is exactly that – rocky! The path to the outposts can have rocks and bumps that would put a serious damper on your trip. Wear waterproof shoes that can be tightly secured for the duration of your tubing adventure. Forget your shoes? No worries! Water shoes are available in our gift shop to make sure you’re fully prepared to ride out the rapids.
Check Your List
The Smokies are a beautiful natural resource and we are dedicated to protecting the integrity of the river. Because of this, we prohibit certain items to cut out litter and keep our river clean. Items that are prohibited from River Rat Adventures include:
- Glass Bottles
Now that you’ve got the basics, you’re ready to be a River Rat! Whether you’re looking for a day pass or want the ultimate cabana experience, we have it all. Visit us online or call today to start your next adventure.