Big Creek Expeditions

Big Creek Expeditions – Enjoy Whitewater Rafting, Horseback Riding, and Ziplining in Pigeon Forge
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Big Creek Expeditions offers thrilling whitewater rafting experiences made to delight novices and seasoned adventurers alike. If that’s not your jam, they also have horseback riding and ziplining trips to get your heart pumping. No matter what you choose, you can go on your own or bring all your friends.

- The Local Expert Team

Are you craving exhilarating whitewater rafting adventures? If so, you need to sign up for a whirlwind trip down the Pigeon River with Big Creek Expeditions. Whether you have experience or it’s your first time, they promise to make you feel right at home on the riverfront. Prefer to stay out of the water? Try their ziplining or horseback riding excursions instead.

Jon Felderman launched this company in 2004, intent on treating people of all ages to memorable adventures. He assembled a winning team of experienced guides, ensured everyone was trained in CPR and first-aid, and invested in top-quality safety equipment. From there, it was just a matter of offering a variety of fun trips to people in Pigeon Forge and beyond.

If you want to join the fun, you just have to check out the adventure options on the website and then book your spot. You’ll only find whitewater rafting available from March to September, but the ziplines and horseback rides are available year-round. The only exception is when water levels and weather conditions get in the way of enjoying a safe trip.

To go whitewater rafting, participants must be eight years of age or older or at least 70 pounds. It doesn’t matter if you have experience or not. The crew will tell you what to expect and help you enjoy the trip to the fullest. You just have to bring an adventurous spirit and a willingness to learn.

Your adventure will start with a trip to the outpost to meet your guides. Once you arrive, you’ll get your floatation device on and review the safety rules. Then, it’s time to hit the river. Depending on the whitewater trip you select, you’ll spend three to five hours conquering class three and four rapids on the upper or lower Pigeon River sections.

If that’s too much excitement for your blood, you can select the scenic float trip instead. On that journey, you’ll travel down the river for about 1.5 hours, leisurely enjoying views of the Cherokee National Forest and the Smokies. You can paddle if you’d like or simply sit back and relax while soaking in the views. You’ll also get a chance to hop off the boat and swim around in the water at various times on the trip.

You’re also welcome to sign up for the zipline tours on Legacy Mountain or at the Adventure Park. The Legacy Mountain canopy tour takes you 450 feet in the air as you cruise over the trees on seven separate ziplines. It’s about two to three hours long in total, allowing you to fit many more activities into the rest of the day. If you’d like to go on a shorter trip, the Adventure Park ziplines only take about an hour and a half to finish.

When you want to see the sights but only have a small amount of time for fun activities, sign up for the Five Oaks horseback riding adventure. At only an hour, this six-mile trail ride will plaster a smile on your face without taking up much of your day. Kids as young as three years old can join the fun, making it an excellent activity for the whole family.

Insider Tips:
-Expect a phone call within three days of your whitewater rafting trip to learn about any changes to your plans. You may need to reschedule if the water levels or weather won’t cooperate. You can also cancel and get a refund if you won’t be in town much longer.
-Do not rely on GPS when traveling to the outpost to meet up with your tour guides. Instead, use the directions given over the phone or on the website.
-Have all your party members wear closed-toe shoes with a heel strap, whether you’re going horseback riding, ziplining, or rafting.
-The personal floatation devices only fit people with a chest measurement of up to 58 inches.
-A photographer will snap your photos on the scenic float trip. You can view the pictures in the office at the end of the tour and buy some prints if you’d like.