Warning! Section 9 Whitewater on the French Broad River

The French Broad Riverkeeper’s Guide contains the following warning:

The stretch of river from Barnard to Hot Springs is home to class III and IV rapids. This section of water should not be taken lightly and must be scouted by all boaters.

If it were just me, I could accept the possibility that I would be thrown from a boat and held underwater for some time by the current, after which I would surface and swim to a safe spot. However, it’s not just me on this trip on the French Broad River. My daughters ages eight and ten have been rafting too, and worrying about them in this section of river has kept my wife Megan and I up at night.

rafting, Marshall, Hot Springs, Section 9, Barnard

Thanks to Sandy and Blue Heron Whitewater!

We were relieved when Sandy, one of the owners of Blue Heron Whitewater, offered to guide us through this section of the river. At nearly the same time, we were excited to get an offer from Lee Thonus, an avid kayaker who has written about this section of the river for American Whitewater, to shoot some film of my family as we made our way through what is known to paddlers as Section 9.

Blue Heron Whitewater is located at the intersection of Highway 25 and Little Pine Road north of Marshall and south of Hot Springs, North Carolina. Click here to visit their website.

French Broad River, Section 9, Asheville, kayaking, rafting, Hot Springs, Barnard, Stackhouse

The Torgs on Section 9 of the French Broad River

Some of the still photographs of us on this section of the river were taken by Carly Sterne. Thanks to Lee and Blue Heron for supporting our project and helping us through this section of the river!

 

Miles 32 to 60: French Broad River Movie Update

This French Broad River Movie update combines two days on the river. We put in at the new Penrose Access Area at 170 Apac Drive, a street that doesn’t show up on Google Maps. We had to do a little driving around before we found it.

To get to the Penrose Access Area, turn onto Crab Creek Road from Highway 64 which is also called the Hendersonville Highway.

Penrose Access Area, French Broad River, 170 Apac Drive, Penrose, NC 28766

Turns to Penrose Access Area

Take a quick left on the Old Hendersonville Highway. Then Apac Drive is quickly on your right. Our mistake was continuing on Crab Creek Road over the river. When we crossed the bridge, we could see Penrose Access Area, but we couldn’t figure out how to get down there.

Penrose Access Area, Bent Creek, North Carolina Arboretum, French Broad River, Asheville

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Asheville River Clean Up With MountainTrue

I joined MountainTrue for an Asheville river clean up. Below is my video report of what happened:

My family and I are making a movie about the French Broad River, the people who use it, and the social and political issues that surround it. We Torgs are traveling the French Broad River from Rosman, NC to the Rankin Flats in Tennessee and using that trip as a narrative thread to “hang” all the other stories that we find along the way.

MountainTrue, Asheville, French Broad River, things to do, community service

Whew, thanks for digging in Anna!

Got questions, comments or ideas for our project?

Love to hear from you!

Please consider sharing this post via email or social media platforms.

Thanks for being interested in what we are up to at Torg Stories!