The owners of Blue Heron Whitewater are three friends who have been in the outdoor recreation business for decades. That's decades each, so they bring a wide-ranging skill set and a level of experience that shows in their attention to the guest experience and the details of running a top-notch river trip. 

Meet the team


the Owners

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Fritz

Fritz has been an outdoor professional for over thirty years. She grew up in New Orleans and after a stint guiding trips in the bayous of Louisiana and the Grand Canyon she found her way to the mountains of North Carolina.

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Sandy

Sandy got bit by the rafting bug when she was in college. She would leave her home in Ohio and drive to West Virginia where she would guide on the Gauley and New rivers. Eventually, she too, made her way to the mountains and rivers of Western North Carolina.

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CIRo

Ciro came to the rivers of Western North Carolina by way of the rivers and hills of Northern Alabama where he led canoe and backpacking trips. A rafting trip on the Rio Usumacinta in Mexico led to a photography job on the Nantahala River and he's been running rivers and taking photos ever since.


GUIDES & STAFF

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Kim

Kim is an awesome teacher in Asheville and comes to us from the University of Florida. She is also an awesome raft guide, kayaker, mtn biker, and runner. At the moment she's an ok skier.

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Carly

Carly is a multi-talented person. She keeps the store running, takes reservations, greets our arriving guests, keeps the plants fed and happy, and has an overall calming influence. She is also an awesome guide and photographer.

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Wags

Wags. "Like a dog wags its tail". Thomas Wagner grew up in Chicagoland and spent many years working for Outward Bound before joining us here at Blue Heron Whitewater.

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caroline

Caroline is from Virginia and is a long time raft guide, mountain biker and expert kayaker.

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Doug

Doug has a background in engineering and has his own business called Right on Time that manages the timing of races.

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Josh

Josh is an Asheville native and was our first guide. When he's not on the river he is teaching off-road driving or getting Astral PFDs and shoes out in the paddling world.

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Jackie

Jackie does it all. He guides, he drives, he's a bus mechanic, welder, master carpenter, musician and farmer. He keeps BHW rolling.

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kaye

Kaye was a speech therapist with the Asheville school system for years. During the summer we are lucky to have her join us with her years of guiding experience.

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Alexis

Alexis is from Wild & Wonderful West Virginia. She decided to follow her big brother to NC, and like Ian, guide with BHW. She is an intrepid traveler, and always up for river adventures.

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Eric

Eric can paddle just about any kind of boat and is a construction guru. One of Eric's many artistic contribution's to our building is the river-rock pillars out front.

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Laura

Laura is from New York City and teaches wilderness first aid when not guiding. She and her husband, Ed, live near Chattanooga, TN in the off-season and can also be found guiding on the Ocoee River.

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Ed

Ed is school teacher in Tennessee and one of the original Ocoee River guides. He and his wife Laura have been known to retreat to the Florida everglades over school winter breaks.

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Drew

Drew has an impressive kayaking resume, and is possibly the only human who has ever paddled on the Appalachian Trail. Ask him about it sometime!

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tyler

Shortly after graduating from Madison High School Tyler became a guide for BHW. Now a student at Western Carolina University, we are  happy he returns to the river over summer breaks.

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paul

Paul went from leading wilderness canoe camping trips in the Boundary Waters to guiding rafts on whitewater. He seems to really like moving current...

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Patrick

Patrick already had a relationship with the French Broad River when we 'discovered' and recruited him at the Madison High School Career Day. When he's not on the river he's teaching math.

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Sam

Sam is our resident world traveler. This past winter he was in Guatemala, and the winter before that is was New Zealand. He'll have some great stories.

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Jordan

Jordan comes to from Davidson college where he led wilderness canoe and backpacking trips for incoming freshmen. Davidson has been a great source of guides for us for many years.

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Jack

Jack grew up along the banks of the French Broad River in the community of Stackhouse. Here he's holding an ancient mumified bowling ball used before the town  was destroyed in the 1916 flood.

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Haiz

Haiz is a canoeist and has spent some time working with non-profits. Now he works as an app developer.

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Kiana

Kiana is from Hot Springs, NC and is part of a whitewater river running family. She grew up with the French Broad River running through her veins.

 

 

 

Contact us

 

 

 

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Blue Heron Whitewater is operating under permit by the USDA Forest Service. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in it's programs on basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.