Your exciting white water ride at Rafting in the Smokies is courtesy of Duke Energy via the Waterville Dam. More than 150,000 folks per year benefit from the swift waters released from the dam for recreational activities (that means rafting!) These rushes of water make for faster rides, bigger rapids and may even change the course of your adventure down the Pigeon River. Guaranteed water releases are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturdays from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Located in a remote area of the Pigeon River Gorge, the power plant is a landmark at the North Carolina – Tennessee border. It was constructed in 1927 and was the brainchild of a group of businessmen from the area. The brick structure was awarded the state’s first Historic Civil Engineering Landmark designation.
Water from nearby Waterville Lake travel down a 6.2 mile tunnel to a 180×800 foot concrete dam twelve miles upstream from the power plant. The water release generates electric power for folks in Western North Carolina.
The water temperature in the Pigeon River averages 45 degrees. A splash from these swift refreshing waters are a welcome respite from the warm summer temperatures. So, come on, hang on and enjoy the ride!