Just wanted to take a minute to note what several people have reported anecdotally: that the French Broad River in Asheville saw a huge number of paddlers, tubers, boaters, etc. on July Fourth. The waterway was so busy that some said it resembled a traffic-jammed interstate.
A couple of factors were in play: a record-breaking heat wave; the extreme popularity of The Bywater; and steady interest in what’s happening down along the river in general. I don’t think one can under-estimate the influence of The Bywater.
The bar is now not only a driving destination, it is a boating destination. So much so that the bar, I believe, charges people coming in off the river a little fee. The bar is so popular there that it is difficult to find a parking place on week days and weekends.
Anway, it’s great to see the French Broad River in Asheville growing as a recreation destination. It’s always been on the radar of fishermen and paddling enthusiasts, but it’s clear that its popularity with the general population is on the rise.
we’re bywater members and were also one of the zillions on the river on july 4th. when we pulled out our raft at the bywater and went to get our wristbands, we were told they were at capacity and we had to wait. we couldn’t wait since it was a) 100 degrees and b) we have a toddler, but we were shocked at how many cars lined riverside drive.
lena, do you have any photos of the river that day? i would love to see what the scene looked like. it’s crazy how popular the Bywater has become.