The French Broad is a free-flowing river with a wide variety of water levels. It is one of the oldest rivers in the world and has calm, shallow sections and steep, narrow rapids.
The French Broad is also warm, meandering and majestic. Those who raft the French Broad for the firs time are often pleasantly surprised at how much warmer the water is in comparison to other rivers in the area.
The French Broad river was named by settlers centuries ago who were impressed by how wide it was, especially compared to many of the other small creeks and streams in the area. Another nearby river, now known simply as The Broad River was similar in size but not in direction. Unlike most rivers in the United States the French Broad River travels north. At the time it was originally named, the French owned the land north of the river. So the derivation of the name is literal – the river is a wide, or “broad” river that flowed into the “land of the French” – a French “broad” river.
Before the new settlers arrived here though, this area belonged to the Cherokee. They not only fished in the river and played in its’ waters, they considered it a meaningful part of their livelihood and religion.
Facts about the French Broad River:
- The French Broad River got its name because the river flowed north toward French owned land and because the river is so broad (wide).
- The main stem of the French Broad River is in Rosman, North Carolina.
- The French Broad River is one of only a few rivers in the United States that flows North.
- The French Broad River flows 210 miles through Asheville, North Carolina, then north to Tennessee and eventually into the Mississippi River and then into the Gulf of Mexico.
- The French Broad River is a free flowing river that includes plenty of small mouth bass and catfish, which makes for a great day of fishing.
- The French Broad River is one of the oldest rivers in the world with only the Nile and New river predating the French Broad.