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Our Story — All About Rapid Expeditions

Welcome to our site, and thanks for stopping by! The Rapid Expeditions story is quite simple. An entrepreneur with a passion for outdoor adventure decided to make his dream a reality by opening a one-of-a-kind Smoky Mountain whitewater rafting and kayaking outfitter. Soon after, Rapid Expeditions took shape in the beautiful town of Hartford in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. Visit our NEW SALES OFFICE IN GATLINBURG. Register for whitewater rafting in Gatlinburg at our booth in the Ober Aerial Tram office. Located in downtown Gatlinburg at traffic light #9.

Hartford is located a short drive from Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN. Just off I-40, halfway between Knoxville, TN and Asheville, NC, you'll find Rapid Expeditions—a quaint outpost decorated with colorful kayaks and located directly on the banks of the Pigeon River. The raft take-out is just steps from our front door, which means our guests can jump off their boats and not worry about any bus rides in their wet clothes. Instead, we suggest a nice hot cup of coffee from the restaurants next door or simply relaxing on our covered patio area with picnic benches and beautiful views of the mountains and river.

Meet the Owner

Rapid Expeditions Rafting & Kayak Outpost in the Smoky MountainsRapid Expeditions whitewater rafting and kayaking is owned and operated by Dave Crawford of Knoxville, TN. His love for everything outdoors led to the purchase of an abandoned rafting outfitter, which with the helps of friends and family, was resurrected into arguably the finest looking rafting outfitter in Tennessee. Go ahead and click the photo — you'll be impressed!

Dave's outdoor experience goes back... way back. In fact, he's been involved with outdoor adventure sports as long as he can remember. A veteran kayaker, mountain biker, skier, snowboarder and overall outdoorsman, Dave excels at introducing and instructing novices to the world of whitewater rafting and kayaking. As a certified kayak instructor, he'll make sure that you leave Rapid Expeditions with a smile on your face and the confidence and skills needed to master whitewater. During the off-season, Dave is head of ski patrol at the Ober Gatlinburg ski resort.

Rapid Expeditions' Rafting Philosophy

Above all, our guests are here to have fun. It is our primary goal to show men and women of all ages an absolutely wonderful time whitewater rafting, no matter what their skill level. From beginners who have never stepped foot in a boat to advanced paddlers who are looking to hone their skills in a particular area, choose Rapid Expeditions for your next Smoky Mountain rafting or kayaking adventure ... right here in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee!

Further, we understand that the sports of whitewater rafting and kayaking are a natural experience — one that should not be rushed. While others may push as many people down the river as possible to maximize profits, we take a more relaxed approach and allow our guests to stop along the way to enjoy the scenery, challenge themselves in the rapids, or cool off with a nice swim in the river. In a nutshell, you won't feel like you're on a conveyer belt or assembly line when rafting with us. Instead, we'll give you a one-of-a-kind whitewater rafting experience with just a bit of Southern charm. We know that your happiness will lead repeat business, and more importantly, marketing via word of mouth. We know that when we show guests a good time they'll be sure to tell their friends at school or work all about it come Monday morning!

Dave Crawford instructs a beginner kayakerDave Crawford
A young paddler enjoys a private kayak lesson with Dave (left).
Dave Crawford enjoying some trails in the Pisgah National Forest (middle).

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Rapid Expeditions, LLC 3605 Hartford Road Hartford, TN 37753 • 888-504-RAFT

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