This month we talked to French Broad Adventures. French Broad Adventures is where Asheville comes to play since 1981. They are proud to offer the best family-friendly outdoor adventure experiences in Western North Carolina.

1. Could you provide an overview of French Broad Adventures’ mission and its connection to the Outdoor Business Alliance?

As a family-owned and operated outdoor adventure provider, one of our most important priorities is conserving our natural resources for future generations. We offer people the opportunity to visit pristine and relatively undisturbed natural areas in a low-impact way, while conserving natural resources and sustaining the well-being of the local community. Our goal is to foster environmental stewardship by providing positive outdoor experiences that help raise awareness and sensitivity to the fragile nature of our ecosystem.

Our connection to the Outdoor Business Alliance goes back to the beginning of the organization. Our Marketing Director (and current OBA Board Member) was involved in the first public showcase and creation of the Outdoor Business Alliance (formerly known as OGB), and we have been business partners of former OGB Board Chair Laurel Scherer of Status Forward. We joined OBA in 2022 and have helped grow the mission of the organization and help spread the word of the outdoor business in WNC.

What specific products or services does French Broad Adventures offer for outdoor enthusiasts? What do you hope participants take away from these experiences?

As an outdoor tour provider, we take people out in several ways.

We began as a whitewater rafting operation, grew our business into adding a zipline course, a climbing tower, then started to offer canyoneering tours in Pisgah National Forest. Last year, we developed an e-bike tour that takes guest from Pisgah National Forest into Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee. We utilize and partner with other OBA members for equipment (Cane Creek, M2S bikes) and spread the word about adventures beyond what we do.

We hope to encourage all guests to know and understand the larger outdoor community and to appreciate the amazing ecosystem in WNC and Eastern TN.

3. Could you share any significant collaborations or partnerships your company has undertaken with fellow Outdoor Business Alliance members?

Our longest collaboration with Outdoor Business Alliance members has been with Status Forward. Laurel Scherer, Founder of Status Forward, has helped us grow and stay competitive within the evolving outdoor industry. By keeping us with a fresh perspective and amazing web presence, we have been able to stay nimble as outdoor adventure seekers change in how they recreate. Laurel and the Status Forward team has been amazing to work with and have been like an extension of our business.

Additionally, in the last couple of years we have collaborated with other friends in the OBA community. Wrong Way Cabins has been a great lodging partner.

Last year when we introduced our e-bike tours, we partnered with Mountain 2 Sea Bikes and purchased our feet of e-bikes. They have been outstanding to work with.

In addition, Cane Creek Cycling Components has been an amazing partner in outfitting our e-bikes with Thudbusters for extra support and comfort with our bikes. Beyond these direct partnerships, the innumerable opportunities for networking and learning from OBA members has been the central highlight of our membership.

4. What exciting developments or plans does French Broad Adventures have for the future within the outdoor adventure industry?  

The most exciting plans for our company is to continue to provide enjoyment in the outdoors for locals and visitors alike into the future. Our company is over 40 years old and we plan for future generations of the family and employees to sustain into the future. By supporting local employment opportunities we will naturally continue to grow. About every 7-8 years we have expanded our operations, and we look forward to expanding our tours each season.