The Ultimate Guide To Asheville and the Western North Carolina Mountains
The Ultimate Guide to Asheville & the Western North Carolina Mountains

The Online Version of the Best-selling Regional Guidebook
 

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French Broad River

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   The third oldest river in the world, trailing only the Nile in Africa and the New in West Virginia, the French Broad River flows north through 117 miles of Western North Carolina from its headwaters in Rosman to Tennessee. In Tennessee it joins the Holston to form the Tennessee River and eventually reaches the Mississippi. Named by early explorers because it flowed toward French Territory to the west, it is a great recreational resource offering splendid scenery, perfect picnic spots, Class I through IV whitewater, and good fishing. It flows right though Asheville on its journey north.
    One of the Cherokee names was Tahkeeostee, “racing waters.” Others, frequently used for only a part of the river, were Poelico, Ariqua, and Zillicoah. By 1776 the present name French Broad River was in use. The name French Broad comes from the fact that this river used to flow into French Indian territory in Tennessee during colonial days.
    Riverlink, a local organization dedicated to the economic and environmental revitalization of the French Broad, has begun to turn a dream into reality. This organization, an association of recreation experts, garden clubs, city planners, businesses, economic professionals and private citizens has developed a vision for the future of the river as it flows through the
Asheville area.  Greenways and other river parks are currently also under development as part of Riverlink’s vision, including the Wilma Dykeman RiverWay, which when completed will link the French Broad and Swannanoa Rivers into a 17-mile continuous greenway with separate walking and biking trails.
    On its way through Asheville, the river is accessible at a number of places. These access sites are maintained by the  Buncombe County Department Parks, Recreation & Greenways and are listed below. The City of Asheville Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts Department also maintains a number of river parks on the French Broad River in the
Asheville area. One of these, the Jean Webb Park is located on Riverside Drive which parallels the river. This small park is convenient from downtown and a good spot for a picnic lunch. The major river park in the Asheville area  is the French Broad River Park, also maintained by the city of Asheville. One of Asheville's most beautiful parks, the park meanders alongside the tranquil French Broad River, and features a vast area of open green space with old trees, a wildflower garden, a paved trail, a gazebo, picnic tables and grills, an observation deck, and a small playground. Riverlink was instrumental in helping to develop this park, the Jean Webb Park and others. Riverlink's website has an extensive "River Guide" which has maps and directions to all of the access points on the river.
    If you are interested in
Whitewater Rafting, the French Broad River north of Asheville is home to a number of whitewater rafting companies. In Asheville, the Asheville Outdoor Center is conveniently located minutes from downtown. They offer gentle tubing, rafting, kayaking and canoeing trips, including ones that go through lands owned by  Biltmore Estate.

Location: West of downtown Asheville
Resources: Riverlink River Access Map
                 
Riverlink:  PO Box 15488, Asheville NC 28813; 828-252-8474
                  Buncombe County Department Parks, Recreation & Greenways:  828-250-4260
                  City of Asheville Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts Department : 828-251-1122
Directions: The French Broad River is accessible from many points in Asheville. To reach the Riverlink French Broad River Park, take Meadow Road west from Biltmore Village. This road eventually begins to parallel the river. Turn left at Amboy Road to access the park.



Buncombe County River Access Sites & River Parks
Park Address Directions
Bent Creek 1592 Brevard Rd.,
Asheville NC 28806
From Asheville take 26 East & take Exit 2 - go left at light on to Brevard Road & travel 2.4 mile - see the park on the left.
Jean Webb Park 30 Riverside Drive,
Asheville NC 28801
From downtown Asheville head west on Patton Avenue and turn left at South French Broad Avenue.  Turn right at Hilliard Avenue, turn left at Clingman Avenue and then turn right on Lyman Street.  Turn right at Riverside Drive and park will be on your left.
French Broad River Park 508 Riverview Drive, Asheville NC 28806 From downtown Asheville head west on Patton Avenue and turn left at South French Broad Avenue.  Turn right at Hilliard Avenue, turn left at Clingman Avenue and then turn left on Lyman Street.  Turn right on Amboy Road and the immediate right on Riverview Drive
Corcoran Paige 9 Pinners Rd.,
Arden NC 28704
From Asheville take 26 East & take Exit #6 - turn left on to Long Shoals Road & travel 1.8 miles - turn right on to Hendersonville Road & travel 1.4 miles - turn right on to Glen Bridge Road & travel 1.0 mile - turn left on to Pinner Road - see park on right.
Glen Bridge 77 Pinners Rd.,
Arden NC 28704
From Asheville take 26 East & take Exit #6 - turn left on to Long Shoals Road & travel 1.8 miles - turn right on to Hendersonville Road & travel 1.4 miles - turn right on to Glen Bridge Road & travel 1.0 mile - turn left on to Pinner Road & travel .5 mile - see park on right.
Hominy Creek 194 Hominy Creek Rd.,
Asheville NC 28806
From Asheville take I-240 West. Take exit #1B. At the end of the ramp, turn right. After about .1 mile, turn left onto Shelburne then left onto Hominy Creek Road & travel .7 mile - see park on left.
Ledges Whitewater 1080 Old Marshall Hwy,
Alexander NC 28701
From Asheville take 19/23 North & immediately take the Hill Street Exit - go left & travel .1 mile - turn right on to Riverside Drive & travel 8.1 miles - see park on left.
Walnut Island 3042 Old Marshall Hwy,
Alexander NC 28701
From Asheville take 19/23 North & immediately take the Hill Street Exit - go left and travel .1 mile - turn right on to Riverside Drive & travel 13.3 miles - see park on left.

 

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