The rugged, deep Green River Gorge is located near Saluda, about 38 miles southeast of Asheville. Find old-growth forests, steep ravines and some great whitewater fun as the river drops rapidly down the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The river is a top spot for tubing and kayaking. The Green River Game Lands is a state-owned 10,000-acre section for wildlife conservation for hunting, fishing and trapping per regulations. Most of the hiking trails are rugged and only recommended for experienced hikers.
The Green River offers a big variety of whitewater fun, from high adventure on big rapids to drifting calm sections on a tube. The three main sections of the Green River are The upper Green, The "Narrows" section and the lower Green. Most visitors go for the tamer fun on the Lower Green with a six-mile section of class II rapids. You can take an adventurous, guided inflatable kayak trip on the Upper Green for a thrilling four-mile ride of class II through IV rapids (and a 3/4-mile hike carrying your gear). Hard core experienced kayakers brave the Narrows with its powerful class V rapids. Unfortunately, it not easy to reach and watch the fun.
It's one of our top rivers for tubing! Wilderness Cove Tubing (3772 Green River Cove Road) is open seven days a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The river is dam-released, so they schedule tubing times to coincide with the best water level. Rent a tube (includes a shuttle) from $20/person! Bring your swimsuit and water shoes (no flip flops) and take a 1-6-mile float - complete with a rope and jump-off rock a couple of miles down river. Go to their website.
At The Gorge Zip Line Canopy Adventure, ride America's steepest and fastest zip lines with 1.25 miles of airtime via 11 lines that descend 1,100 vertical ft., all connected by a gravity-defying sky bridge.
Directions from Asheville (38 miles): From I-26, take exit 59. Turn left onto Holbert Cove Road for 2/10-mile. Turn left on Green River Cove Road (many switchbacks, drive slow, no large campers) and go 3.6 miles to Wilderness Cove Tubing - dropping about 1,000 ft. in elevation. For kayaking and ziplines, book a trip with Green River Adventures in downtown Saluda (111 East Main) and they will provide shuttles. See more things to do in Saluda.
Green River Lodging & Things to Do
How about a Waterfall Rappel? Descending a waterfall suspended by a rope, with experienced Green River Adventures guides. No experience necessary. After some practice, head to the 200-ft. Bradley Falls. Do not attempt to reach this waterfall without a guide.