Kayaking In Asheville, NC (Places, Rentals, Costs, Time, And Some Tips)

Fact Checked By James A Rockey | Post Updated On: November 30, 2022
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There are so many places for kayakers to explore in Asheville, NC, including the French Broad River with its many tributaries and the surprisingly challenging Nolichucky River. This kayaking destination also offers quite a few different options depending on your skill level and what kind of trip you are looking for.

Key Takeaways

  • Some of the best places to kayak in Asheville, North Carolina are French Broad River, Lake Lure, Sandy Mush, etc.
  • The French Broad River and Paddle Creek offer different types of recreational kayaking opportunities to those who visit Asheville and the surrounding area
  • If you are looking for gentle paddling on calm waters, then head over to Paddle Creek
  • If you are looking for adrenaline rush adventure then take on the rapids of the French Broad River with only your paddle and boat
Kayaking in asheville nc

Best Places To Kayak In Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville is one of the best places to kayak in the country. There are so many gorgeous views and sights to be seen that it is nearly impossible not to find something that you love.

Here are a few places where you can go paddling in and around Asheville:

1. Lake Lure

2. Sandy Mush

3. French Broad River

4. The Broad River

5. Shulls Millpond

Top Kayak Rentals And Kayaking Destinations Of Asheville

1. Asheville Outdoor Center, 521 Amboy Rd: The Asheville Outdoor Center is a canoe and kayak tour agency that offers customers a choice of experiences. The company uses the latest equipment and apparel, along with experienced guides to provide the best possible experience for groups or individuals.

2. French Broad Outfitters, 704 Riverside Dr.: The French Broad Outfitters is a Canoe and Kayak store in Asheville, NC. They offer a variety of different brands for all types of people. They have great prices and are conveniently located in downtown Asheville’s River Arts District.

3. Hike Bike Kayak Asheville, LLC Tour operator, Cumberland Ave: Hike Bike Kayak Asheville, LLC is a local tour operator offering guided tours of trails in Asheville and the surrounding area.

4. Waterways, Canoe & kayak store, 785 Haywood Rd: With a large selection of high-quality and affordable equipment, the waterways can meet all of your canoe and kayak needs. They carry both new and used equipment in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and styles. They also offer a full range of paddles for whitewater, lakes & streams, as well as stand-up paddleboards for surfing.

5. French Broad Outfitters – Hominy Creek, Raft trip outfitter 230 Hominy Creek Rd: The French Broad Outfitters is a rafting, canoeing, and kayaking outfitter located in Asheville, NC. The outfitter offers guided raft trips down the beautiful French Broad River for all levels of experience.

6. Wai Mauna SUP Tours and Paddleboard Rentals, 192 Riverside Dr: Wai Mauna SUP Tours and Paddleboard Rentals – Asheville offers a variety of water-based services for all skill levels. Whether you’re looking to explore the beautiful local waters or paddleboard down a river, they have the perfect tours for you.

7. BIG Adventures – Liquidlogic Kayaks, Bonafide Kayaks, Native Watercraft Fishing Kayaks Canoe & kayak store Fletcher, NC: BIG Adventures – Liquidlogic Kayaks, Bonafide Kayaks, Native Watercraft Fishing Kayaks is a kayak and canoe store in Fletcher, North Carolina. They provide sales of Liquid Logic Kayaks, Bonafide Kayaks, and Native Watercraft Fishing kayaks. Big Adventures also offer free delivery of kayaks within 150 miles of their location.

8. GreenflashWatersports: Greenflash Watersports 5.0 is the latest kayak tour company to enter the area. They offer a variety of trips for all levels of experience and are staffed with knowledgeable guides who are happy to share their knowledge as you explore the beautiful waterways.

9. Lazy Otter Outfitters, Mills River, NC: Otter Outfitters is a kayak and canoe rental company in the beautiful town of Mills River, NC. It is a family-owned business that has been operating for over 10 years. There are always experienced staff members to help with gear, instruction, and the environment. The company offers kayaking lessons for people of all ages.

10. Feelfree Kayaks, Swannanoa, NC: Feelfree Kayaks is the leading kayak store in Swannanoa, NC. With over 30 years of experience and a good reputation, we’re the go-to place for all your outdoor needs. Our team of experts will help you find the perfect boat to fit your needs.

nc outfitters french

5 Things To Know Before Kayaking In Asheville, North Carolina

1. Uniqueness Of Asheville’s Location

Asheville is located in Western North Carolina. It has become a popular destination for travelers and is known for its rich culture and arts scene. Asheville is the largest city in the state with 2,269,176 people living within the city limits, making it the second-fastest-growing metro area in Tennessee. The city’s population has grown by almost 8% since just 2010-2016 according to census data.

The scenic region of western North Carolina offers an enchanting landscape of forests, waterfalls, mountains, and lakes that can be enjoyed all year round. There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy including fishing, hiking, biking, or horseback riding that are available year-round. There are also a number of winter activities like skiing and snowshoeing that can be done year-round.

2. Types Of Kayaks Available In Asheville

Kayaks are available in a variety of sizes to suit the needs of many different users.

The smallest kayak size is called a paddle kayak. They are often used for fishing and hunting trips. They have two small seats with no back support and an open cockpit. These kayaks are narrow but they have a large surface area which allows them to cut through water easily and stay stable during high waves or choppy water conditions.

Another type of kayak is a recreational or sit-on-top kayak. These boats were made for people who want to do some fishing, hunting, paddling, or just enjoy the scenery along their journey. The seats are positioned on top of the boat instead of inside it like in a paddle kayak so the user can sit facing outwards while they paddle around

3. Safety Precautions For Aspiring Kayakers

If you’re going to take up kayaking in Asheville or anywhere in the USA, you should be mindful of the environment. It is a potentially dangerous activity and precautions should be taken.

Stay safe while on the water! Here are some safety precautions to take if you’re an aspiring kayaker:

1. Always wear life jackets

2. Practice your strokes in protected areas

3. Stay clear of inlets and submerged boulders

4. Paddleboard Rentals

Paddleboards are available for rent at the local kayak, canoe, or SUP rental company. They usually have multiple boards to choose from and offer a variety of different tours you can take. These tours are available for those who have never paddled before or who have been paddling for years. If you’re looking for a relaxing afternoon by the river, come rent paddleboards today!

5. What To Expect When Paddling In Asheville

Paddling in Asheville is a great way to explore the mountains and rivers of Western North Carolina. You can rent a kayak or SUP board from the local outfitters, or bring your own boat if you’re feeling adventurous.

As a great place to paddle, Asheville offers a variety of waterfalls, mountain rivers, and scenic paddles.

For those of you unfamiliar with the area, Asheville is a metropolis in western North Carolina and the largest city in the state. It’s most well-known for its rich history as a prominent center for medicine, art, and industry. It’s also an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise with over 100 miles of trails located within minutes of downtown.

Kayak Rental Cost In Asheville

There are several professional kayaking companies in Asheville that provide equipment and instruction for kayak rentals. Your options include renting a two-person kayak, which will usually cost around $40 an hour, or renting a single-person kayak, which is less expensive at $30 an hour.

What Time Is Best For Kayaking In Asheville NC And What Paddling Gear You’ll Need?

In order to kayak successfully, the paddling gear is essential. The gear often includes a life jacket, paddle, and a kayak itself. Although there are different types of kayaks on the market today, most beginners prefer an inflatable one because it is easier to use and transport.

The best time to go kayaking in Asheville NC is during early mornings or afternoons because these are times when there will be less sun glare on the water. Keep in mind that it’s always advisable to keep your drinking water close by and have some snacks with you so you don’t get too hungry or thirsty during a long kayaking session.

What To Do When You’re Not Kayaking In Asheville NC?

You can start Touring Biltmore Estate or Downtown North Carolina!

The Biltmore Estate is a beautiful and historic place that is worth visiting for its history and architecture. At the same time, downtown North Carolina offers many retail shops and restaurants to explore on the weekend.

The Biltmore Estate has been in operation since 1895. It was built by George W. Vanderbilt in celebration of his marriage to Edith Stuyvesant Dresser. The property spans over 8,000 acres of land, which includes the famous gardens, a winery, a hotel, and even a small town with its own post office!

Key Takeaway

Kayaking in Asheville NC is a great pastime for people looking for an adventure. The water is calm and the wildlife is abundant. The scenery on the water is breathtaking, and the kayaks are available for rental by anyone at a reasonable price.


  • https://www.ashevillebba.com/blog/sup-kayak-canoe-asheville-this-summer
  • https://www.exploreasheville.com/things-to-do/recreation-nature/water-sports/
  • https://www.romanticasheville.com/french-broad-kayak

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