“Spring,” according to Jake Frankel of the Mountain Express, ‘is a time of year when life is breathed back into the land. You can feel it in the air and you can see it on the mountains, but Spring is best experienced with a paddle in hand floating down the French Broad.”
For paddlers and visitors to Western North Carolina, the French Broad River is a premiere recreation spot with thriving wildlife and unforgettable scenery.
“The free-flowing river has delighted outdoorsmen for generations, providing the perfect location for rafting, canoeing, kayaking, fishing and simply enjoying the music of the many songbirds that populate the surrounding forests of flowering dogwoods, poplars, and mossy sycamores.”
The French Broad River flows 213 miles (343 km) from near the village of Rosman in Transylvania County, North Carolina, into the state of Tennessee. Its confluence with the Holston River at Knoxville is the beginning of the Tennessee River.
“There are over 2,500 species of wildflowers and flowering shrubs in the southern Appalachians, and many of these can be found somewhere along the French Broad River watershed. Thanks to a variety of microclimates and abundant rainfall, the French Broad hosts one of the showiest spring flower displays in the Appalachians. “
The "Signs of Spring" guided trip, offered each April, May and June by Headwaters Outfitters in Rosman, North Carolina takes full advantage of this spectacular beaut.
Although you can certainly see spring wildflower displays while hiking, Whitmire said, a canoe-eye's view offers several advantages for experiencing the new seasons' first blush.
The owners of Headwaters Outfitters elicited the support of Mr. David Whitmire as their conductor of their “Signs of Spring” guided tours.