In April I was riding in the park on my way to Townsend and I saw many folks in kayaks as I often do in the spring. I stopped by the side of the road to watch these people. They had to portage some of the boats and patiently waited for until everyone was ready before heading downriver. This was just about 2 miles east of Townsend.
It was fun to watch them. The fella in the orange kayak stopped to talk to me about his adventure. They were heading to Townsend and he agreed the water was VERY cold this time of year! But they were wearing a kind of wet suit for kayaking. I was on my motorcycle so he explained it was similar to the rain suits we have for biking. It looked like a real adventure, but I’d have to be much younger to try this anymore!
There are outfitters in Gatlinburg area that will teach you how to kayak and rent you the equipment. Otherwise if you have your own kayak, take it along on vacation and enjoy the water. But be careful out there, rivers and rapids can be dangerous.