flatwater near Asheville?

I’ll be driving from MA to visit my daughter in Asheville NC from 22-27 April and will have time for brief flatwater paddling [1-4hr], if such is available within a reasonable distance. Should I car-top my pack canoe or leave it home? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Lake Jocassee is about an hour south
and west. Prettiest flatwater in the eastern US.


Look up Devil’s Fork State Park, South Carolina.

Second for Jocassee
but wish I knew more about the French Broad…looks like a nice float. I know nothing about access or water levels to run or hazards however…just how pretty it looked near Asheville.

Along with the above suggrstions
Lake James is about an hour away too.

There are a couple of good flat sections on the French Broad River right in Asheville, but they require a shuttle. -there is a outfitter right on the river that provides shuttles, and I think that would be your best bet.



Lake James is close

– Last Updated: Apr-13-09 7:04 PM EST –

I haven't been on Lake James, but I have heard it is nice and it has quite a few public access points on it.

Nice flat-water float on French Broad
About 10 years ago when passing through that area I put in on the French Broad for a day paddle starting at the town in Tennessee where the Appalachian trail crosses the river, not far from North Carolina. Upstream from there was a whitewater section. Since I was traveling alone I didn’t want to try the whitewater, but downstream was a very pleasant float. I think it was around 10 or 12 river miles, but it’s been awhile and I’ve forgotten the details. I stopped at a local outdoor store and arranged for someone to shuttle me back to the put-in after leaving my car at a campground downstream.

I paddle Lake James all the time.
It has the clearest water in NC.

It has 75 miles of shore line, and the whole north side is wooded and is state owned.

There are five free access points with multiple ramps that have good parking and a couple of them have rest rooms.

The only draw back is like all the other lakes in NC and SC and that is on the weekends in the summer it is crowded.

Most week days you can go into some of the back coves, and only see an occasiuonal fisherman.

  • Will be paddling there either Thursday or Friday.



re flatwater near Asheville
Thank you all!

Jocassee directions
I-26 toward SC ; US 25 toward Greenville; SC 11 west for at least 20 miles. When you cross a lake(Keowee), you are close.Look for the Devil’s Fork State Park sign on your right just past a gas station.

Lake Santeeliah
Big, beautiful lake with plenty of islands to visit. Down by Robbinsville

Santeelah Lake
Santeelah is a gorgeous lake, but a good couple of hours from Asheville.