Commuting via tube has a number of advantages: there are no traffic jams, there are no hitchhikers with hooks for teeth, and if you hit a deer it's definitely the deer's fault. Enjoy the liberty of maritimate traffic laws with today's Groupon: for $14, you get two individual tubing rides at Smoky Mountain River Rat in Townsend (a $26 value). Groupon holders can upgrade to a kayak for a $2 additional fee.
Smoky Mountain River Rat owners Shannon and Shannan Skidmore send buoyant adventurers down the Little River on 1.5-mile ripple-surmounting expeditions. Tubing treks begin at the main outpost on Wears Valley Road, where children aged 13 and younger receive life vests and antigravity pants before embarking on aquatic quests. During the 90-minute voyage, riders drift past lush greenery, sunbathing trees, and the silhouette of the nearby Smoky Mountains. After lazily cruising downstream, tubers reach the swinging bridge, where shuttle buses await to provide return transportation. Though shoes are not required, Smoky Mountain River Rat recommends encasing feet or cloven hooves in sandals and slathering skin in sunscreen beforehand.
Smoky Mountain River Rat
Back in 1995, fresh out of college, Shannon Skidmore and his fiancée, Shannan, leased a small 20'x20' building, an old Chevrolet van, and 50 tubes, and took over Smoky Mountain River Rat from its previous owner. Over the next five years, the “Shannons” gradually made the business their own by buying their own property, with Shannon using his contractor license and expertise to erect a new, larger building in just six weeks. Smoky Mountain River Rat has expanded to 500 tubes, two vans, and 20 kayaks, and the business now also offers whitewater rafting on the nearby Pigeon River. Meanwhile, its shuttles transport families up and down the Little River for unlimited daily rides, with customers as young as 2 years old floating down 1.5 miles of tubing-friendly, meandering waters as they trade off verses of old sea chanteys.
205 Wears Valley Rd.
Townesend, Tennessee 37882