Holston River Outfitters
Great Places | read time 3 minutes
An Amazing Tucked Away Place to Have One of Your Best Days.
I am always looking for great family owned businesses…usually it’s for cheeseburgers…but I never expected to find one in Blaine, Tennessee. I usually only go there to drop my kid off at the grandparents and get Grainger County tomatoes. When I was told about this little place called Holston River Outfitters,I honestly had no idea what to expect. I drove down a country road looking for this gem. I was half-expecting an old bar with some kayaks made out of old lawnmowers and milk jugs, but needless to say…that…is not what I found.
Tucked Away Gem
As I was probably going to fast on this wonderfully winding country road, I almost passed the place, but its brilliant blue exterior and half a kayak stuck on the side of the store- it caught my eye. While the outside of this beautifully remodeled old country store was very appealing, I was still not ready for what I would find inside.
As I opened the door I was blown away with how well curated everything was. There was a large assortment of really nice kayaks in a showroom setting. The showroom looked as though they hired a professional decorator and told them…”make this perfect” and they nailed it. They are one of, if not the only licensed dealer for Vibe and Feelfree brand kayaks in the area. These are not Mall Mart specials. They are really nice sit-on-top kayaks equipped to the gills for fishing (see what I did there). These kayaks are not only amazing, but are for sale at very reasonable prices. Many of them are also available as day trip rentals. I will say that I wasn’t just blown away by the look of the place and the quality of the kayaks, but more than anything…the outstanding quality of the staff.
Often when people talk about the south, they speak of the warmth and hospitality. That has never been truer than at Holston River Outfitters. It’s A family owned business that happened almost by accident when David and Terrie Arnwine decided to give it a shot in 2015. They really weren’t sure if it would work at first but, they sold 17 kayaks their first day and people were coming in from all over the country. They realized the line from Field of Dreams…“If you build it, they will come” was genuine. They are truly great people from the area. They wanted to share their love of being on the water with other people. They were quick to show me around and make me feel at home. In the past, kayaking had a reputation of being only for experts or for a certain type. It’s understandable to be skeptical of going into a kayak store and worried about being talked down to because you have no clue about the sport. That just won’t happen at Holston River Outfitters. These folk are just too nice to even conceive of being pretentious. The kayaks and equipment they have also won’t send you into a price-induced heart attack. They aren’t cheaply made pieces of plastic junk like some kayaks are. These are really well-made solid yaks and are reasonably priced. If you’re only wanting to test the waters (see I did it again), then you stumbled into the perfect little place. Their guided trips take all the hassle out of it, and they make it really easy to get in the water without taking a bath.
Dip Your Toes In the Water Without Fear
If you’re concerned with logistics or have fear of well…anything, this is an absolutely perfect place to literally get your feet wet. They offer 3 different guided trips ranging from 2 hours to 4.5 hours and priced from $30 to $50 per person. This includes shuttle service and kayak rental. You can get more information about the guided trips here. On top of that, the area of the river they will take you on is one of the most picturesque in all of East Tennessee, and it’s not uncommon to see bald eagles in the wild while you paddle down the river smiling ear to ear.
You Owe It To Yourself to Try It
If you have ever seen people on the water in kayaks and thought “well that looks fun,” don’t wait another day. You owe it to yourself to give it a shot. It’s so peaceful, healing, and infinitely cheaper than a therapist. So don’t wait another day! Contact Terrie and David at Holston River Outfitters today.
Tue: 10am – 5pm
Wed: 10am – 5pm
Thu: 10am – 5pm
Fri: 10am – 5pm
Sat: 10am – 5pm