A 1902 photograph of where the Swannanoa River enters the French Broad in Asheville
Brett Meany, a guide with Headwaters Outfitters, fishes a stretch of the French Broad River near its origin in Transylvania County.
“The lack of accessibility goes back 30, 50, 75 years when the French Broad was more of a passageway for sewage and waste of all kinds. We turned our back on the river.” — Marc Hunt, former Asheville Vice-Mayor and Woodfin Greenway/rRverway advocate
The late Wilma Dykeman is widely credited with restoring faith and hope in the river via her seminal 1955 book.
Anglers are drawn to the French Broad’s abundance of fish, including trout, muskie, catfish, suckers, and white, spotted, and smallmouth bass.
The Tennessee Valley Authority faced opposition to its plans to dam key mountain rivers, including the French Broad, which would have flooded many neighboring lands. That gambit was ultimately scuttled by citizen groups after years of mailing campaigns, protests, and public hearings.
The Tennessee Valley Authority faced opposition to its plans to dam key mountain rivers, including the French Broad.
Kayakers take in a tranquil stretch of the river in Transylvania County.
The Great Flood of 1916 destroyed much of the industrial and transportation infrastructure surrounding the French Broad.
Today, at roughly the same spot in Asheville, New Belgium Brewery hosts its East Coast headquarters and supports sustainable river development
RiverLink’s founding director, Karen Cragnolin, helped usher in modern environmental stewardship of the waterway.
French Broad Riverkeeper Hartwell Carson spearheads efforts to monitor and protect the river’s water quality.
Outfitters like Blue Heron Whitewater in Madison County have become not only local economic drivers but also supporters of crucial nonprofits like RiverLink.
The Nantahala Outdoor Center’s French Broad Outpost, based in Marshall, operates some of the most popular rafting runs on the river.