Are you looking for the perfect place to tube with your family in Western North Carolina? We think that you should check out the Davidson River just outside Brevard, NC. Pick up your tube for a small fee at the entrance to Pisgah National Forest and a full day of floating fun awaits.
Looking for more? Here’s a giant list of places to go tubing near Greenville.
What to expect when you go tubing at Davidson River
The water is cool (chilly even!), the river is calm, the rocks are smooth, the depth is shallow (to your knees), and the forest scenery is beautifully serene. There is no need to worry about tumbling falls or sharp curves, with mom or dad nearby, even the littlest ones will enjoy the leisure ride. Expect minor bumps and the occasional need to get unstuck. We spent the afternoon making two trips down the river with four adults and five kids five-and-under. My boys had a blast in the small dips and spins! We giggled and thrilled the whole time, us first-timers, while the seasoned tubers gently spun and floated past. When we got to our exit point, it was unanimous: Can we do that AGAIN?!!
What You Need to Know About Tubing at Davidson River
Let’s talk logistics. Tubes come in several different sizes and options, including a cooler tube that has a bottom (great for a snuggly baby and parent) or a double tube (nice for a parent and a couple of kiddos, or two older kids). They can be rented at the entrance to the Pisgah National Forest, and you can hop into the river wherever you’d like and take a trip for as long as you want. Rentals are for 24 hours. It is best to take two cars – leaving one where you’ll start and one where you’ll end – to make shuffling people and rafts quick and simple. If you can’t take two cars, you could bring along a bike or scooter to leave at the bottom. That way, one lucky winner can bike their way back to the top and drive the car back down to do the shuffle.
Expect it to be wet and chilly – even in July! The mountain forest is already several degrees cooler than the Greenville area, plus it tends to drizzle. Bring along water shoes, plenty of towels, change of clothes, food & drinks, and Ziplocs or waterproof containers for your dry stuff.
More Summer Things to Do in Brevard, NC
There is so much to do in the area while you’re out there! The river flows right through the Davidson River Campground, if you camp there, you can keep your tubes with you and hop into the river any time you’d like! There are also hundreds of waterfalls, Sliding Rock, the Pisgah Ranger Station, the Cradle of Forestry, the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education (currently closed). Not to mention the delicious ice cream and dining options in neighboring Brevard, NC. Of course, we ended our trip with a stop at the ice cream shop, a memorable mecca we can’t wait to repeat.
Renting Tubes at Davidson River
Get your tubes at Davidson River Rafting Tube Rental, next to Dolly’s Dairy Bar.
Davidson River Tubing (opens Memorial Day weekend)
128 Pisgah Hwy, Pisgah Forest, NC
Open daily 10 am – 7 pm
Places to Stay in Brevard, NC
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Have you ever taken your kids tubing at the Davidson River?
Author’s tip! We went again last week for tubing round 2. I have some more advice to add to the tubing article: check the water levels before you rent tubes! This time, the forest had not had enough rain and the water was very low. This made for a bumpy ride and lots of places where we had to get out and walk over rocks. If you were to ask the tubing place, I’m sure you could get the low-down on the water levels. It was still fun – but a lot more stop and go.
Do you know if the phone number in this article is still correct for Davidson River Tubing? I keep calling but no one is answering. I’m trying to find out what their hours/days of operation are? Thanks!
How much are the tube rentals? Is there a place to find that info online?
“Occasional need to get unstuck”. That made me actually laugh out loud. There are several areas, that just getting off and walking are the best option. There is a lot of debris (fallen trees, etc.) in the river, as well.
July 2020 Update: The tube rental place by Dolly’s Dairy bar is closed this year 🙁
Thank you for this.