If you’re coming through Townsend, Tn during the summer and early fall months, you’re bound to see groups of people floating lazily down the Little River on inner-tubes, lounging the day away. It’s almost as if it’s a recreational sport in this part of country…. And don’t knock it till you try it cause tubing in Townsend is as much a pastime as baseball in this country.
There are a number of outfitters along Highway 321 and Highway 73 in Townsend, as well as close to the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, that offer inner tubes for rent, some even kayaks, to float down the Little River. It’s just another way of having fun and staying cool during those hot summer months in the Smokies. Of course, the big draw is getting in at the “Y” – a kind of “water hole” where sunbathers and tubers congregate just outside the National Park. And don’t worry if you don’t have you’re own tube, there are plenty of places to rent from around the river. Here are just a few:
River Rage, 8307 State Highway 73, Townsend, TN 37882 (865) 448-8000 – River Rage offers its own private access to the Little River, custom tubes, as well as go carts and a restaurant. The Rage facilities include outdoor showers and lockers, clean restrooms and changing rooms, and shuttles to transport you to various parts along the river.
River Rat Tubing & Kayak, 205 Wears Valley Rd. Townsend, TN 37882 (865) 448-8888 – River Rat offers tubing expeditions as well as whitewater adventures at its Townsend location. They offer a picnic area as well as amenities like changing rooms for guests.
River Romp, 8203 State Highway 73, Townsend, TN 37882 (865) 448-9743 – The River Romp is a family-owned Townsend attraction specializing in tubing the Little River. River Romp is located on the Little Pigeon River is less than a five mile trip to Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, yet it offers the majestic scenery and peacefulness of a secluded Smoky Mountain river.
Smoky Mountain Adventures Inc., 338 Old Cades Cove Road, Townsend, TN 37882 (865) 448-9914 – If it’s white water rafting in Tennessee you’re after, then Smoky Mountain Adventures will be your guide as you navigate through class 3 to 4 rapids.
Tube Junction, 8215 State Highway 73, Townsend, Tennessee (865)567-7647 – Tube Junction in Townsend, TN is a second generation tubing and kayaking outfitter that offers heavy guage, multi-colored tubes with handles for its river-goers. Though not mandatory, life vests are available to those who need them at no additional charge.
*It is prohibited to consume alcohol while tubing on the Little River according to the city of Townsend, Tn. If caught, you can be fined and/or placed under arrest. It is also unlawful to consume alcohol inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park unless you are at a campsite.