Bywater header
Home          Our Taps          The French Broad River          Photos         Links         Events


Wilma Dykeman wrote the book The French Broad (1955) about the river. The book brought public attention to concerns about the polluted condition of parts of the river. Current conservation groups include The French Broad Riverkeeper.

The French Broad River flows 213 miles (343 km) from near the village of Rosman in Transylvania County, North Carolina, into the state of Tennessee. Its confluence with the Holston River at Knoxville is the beginning of the Tennessee River.
The French Broad River was named by white settlers centuries ago because it was one of the two broad rivers in western North Carolina. The one which flowed into land claimed by France at that time was named the "French Broad River", whereas the other, which stayed in land claimed by England – the Colony of North Carolina – was named the "English Broad River". (The latter was later renamed simply to the "Broad River"). The name of the French Broad River in French was the Agiqua River, but nobody seems to know what the Native Americans of this area – the Cherokee Indians – called these two rivers. However, the Cherokees did name the Tennessee River.
The French Broad River begins just west of the Eastern Continental Divide, and from there, it flows northwesterly through the Appalachian Mountains. The river follows a general northwesterly direction as it flows through Transylvania, Henderson, and Buncombe counties. In Buncombe County, the river flows through the city of Asheville, where it receives the water of the Swannanoa River. Downstream of Asheville, the river proceeds north through Madison County, where it flows through its county seat of Marshall. Next, the French Broad River flows into Tennessee.

copyright 2010

Copyright 2010 Bywater LLC All Rights Reserved