The story of Wrong Way has some history. There is a moment in the small business start up journey when an idea takes root and things start to shift. Born from a 20+ year friendship, Shelton and Joe didn’t know they were about to set off on a small business venture together when they started kicking the soccer ball around before an adult soccer match in 2019. Shelton was transitioning out of the craft beer industry, and Joe had been working a corporate job in healthcare services for the past 19 years. They talked about how they were both looking to do something more focused on the outdoors. They also reflected on all the changes that Asheville had gone through in the last couple decades, and how Asheville’s unconventional, outdoor-centered personality wasn’t well reflected by most of the existing lodging options in the area.
Both of them, being former whitewater raft guides, have a deep connection with the French Broad River and the vitality it brings to Asheville. They wondered if it was possible to create an outdoor-centered place to stay in Asheville where they could share the river culture that they were both so connected with.
They stumbled upon a 2.2 acre piece of land on the French Broad River Greenway in West Asheville. This dirt had been passed over for decades due to a long list of challenges that it came with... specifically, steep slopes, split zoning, and floodplain acreage. But Shelton and Joe saw the property's potential if those challenges could be overcome. Because what is more unconventional and outdoor-centered than an urban cabin campground on the French Broad River Greenway?
✅ Slope mitigation and retention walls?
✅ Vegetation buffer between zones?
✅ Structures constructed or elevated out of the floodplain?
Then sprinkle in a River Lodge and A-frame cabins built into the slopes... Boom! This is camping done the Wrong Way.
Besides sharing the river culture with guests and visitors, Shelton and Joe also intend to build a company that is values-driven, eco-friendly, and makes a positive impact on the guests, staff, and community. This means everything from the structures that are built, to the programs that are implemented, to the partnerships that are formed. We invite you along on the journey. Join us!
By the way, if you’re wondering about the Wrong Way Campground name, it is a nod to a local raft guide story about the French Broad River being one of only two rivers in the world, along with the Nile, that flow South to North... which is the ‘Wrong Way’. It's up to you to decide whether you will believe the story of a raft guide ;-)