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Rafting on the Nantahala River in the Great Smoky Mountains

Any vacation in the Smoky Mountains region of North Carolina should include rafting down the Nantahala River. Paddlers of all experience levels, including experts, families with children, or older generations, can enjoy unforgettable experiences on the spectacular waters of the Nantahala.

About The Nantahala River

The Nantahala is one of the most famous rivers in the Southeastern United States and a popular spot for rafters, canoeing, and kayaking. Its Hydroelectric dam-controlled flows mean you can always count on a fun trip. The river is part of an eight-mile-long scenic gorge that cuts through the Nantahala National Forest, the largest of the four national forests in North Carolina.

Commercial rafting of the Nantahala began in 1972 with the opening of the Nantahala Outdoor Center. Today, ten different outfitters operate on the Nantahala, bringing in thousands of paddlers annually.

Previously, the Nantahala has hosted the International Canoe Federation’s (ICF) Canoe Freestyle World Championships. While portions of the river are thrilling enough for expert rafters and the like to take daring trips, other spots are gentle enough for families with young children to enjoy.

Take A Trip Down River

Rafting on the Nantahala is one of the most popular activities at this outdoor recreation destination. As you travel down the crystal clear river, you’ll be treated to incredible views of this beautiful mountain gorge. Plus, rafting isn’t the only way to travel – you can canoe or kayak it as well! Discover for yourself why so many people come back year after year to play in this natural wonderland.

Other Outdoor Adventures In The Area

Hiking, mountain bikingfishing, and more can all be a part of your Smoky Mountains adventure vacation! Come where the shopping is unique, the adventures are exciting, and the mountain air is fresh!

Whether you choose to go gem mining, ziplining, explore a trail on horseback, or visit one of the many museums here in the Great Smoky Mountains, there are so many opportunities for fun and excitement, as well as plenty of culture and history!

Plan Your Getaway Today

We can help you find the perfect place to stay, great places to eat and drink, and other spectacular adventures to have on your trip! Start planning your vacation to Western North Carolina today, and remember, your summer trip would be incomplete without planning to raft down the beautiful Nantahala River!

Bryson city activities include the NOC and the Smoky Mountain Railroad