Kayaking in North Carolina

Everyone Can Enjoy Kayaking in North Carolina

You don’t have to be an expert to enjoy kayaking in North Carolina. With a number of rivers and outfitters to choose from, you can plan a trip kayaking in North Carolina to match any skill level. Whether you’re a true beginner who has never been on the river or ready for class 5 and 6 rapids we can help you find the best rivers in the best forests for your mountain kayaking vacation.

Let Smoky Mountain Host help you plan your trip kayaking in North Carolina. We would love to help add a variety of water recreation to your Smokies outdoor adventure including kayaking, rafting, tubing, canoeing, boating and more. Many trips are kid friendly, so you can make kayaking part of unforgettable family vacation! For senior citizens consider relaxing boating or canoeing on one of our may mountain lakes.

So Many Options for Kayaking in North Carolina

When planning your kayaking vacation in North Carolina, you can choose from trips on the French Broad River, Nolichucky River Gorge, Lower Nolichucky River, Tuckaseegee River, Ocoee River, Oconoluftee River, Little Tennesee River, Nantahala River, Watauga River and more. Each river has its own unique character, scenery and views—but what they are share in common is spectacular beauty. That is what makes Kayaking in North Carolina so special.

With so many different rivers to choose from you can go Kayaking in North Carolina every day of your vacation and have a completely different experience each time. And if you wanted to do a little fishing during your kayaking vacation, consult one of our expert North Carolina fishing guides. We have some of the best fly fishing waters this side of the Mississippi.

Kayaking in North Carolina: Come to the 2013 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Championships

The Nantahala River is such an awesome place to go kayaking in North Carolina, that the ultimate whitewater competition in the world will be hosted here. The International Canoe Federation (ICF) will host the Freestyle World Championships in the Nantahala River Gorge September 2-8, 2013.

The ICF calls the competition, “The X-Games for whitewater.” We invite you to come watch amazing athletes from around the world perform magical river tricks: cartwheels, loops, blunts and other unforgettable moves. You’ll never think of kayaking in North Carolina the same way ever again.

But you don’t have to wait for the competition to experience the thrill of kayaking in North Carolina. Kayak the Nantahala yourself and then come back to watch the experts.

Brookside Campground & Rafting
Brookside Campground and Rafting is a modern facility offering recreational camping and white water rafting. Brookside is located deep in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains with grassy campsites along the creek, complete hook-ups, hot showers and clean restrooms, picnic tables, covered garbage cans that are emptied daily, laundry facilities, a game room, pay telephone and playground. Brookside's country store offers snacks, drinks, and everything the average camper might need. In addition, there is whitewater rafting.
764 Hwy 19 Nantahala, NC 28781 (828) 321-5209 brooksiderafting.com Get Directions
Carolina Outfitters Whitewater Rafting
Experience whitewater rafting! Nantahala and Ocoee River family whitewater rafting adventures is located near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the majestic mountains of western North Carolina. Enjoy the scenic splendor of the Nantahala National Forest and thrill to the challenge and excitement of whitewater rafting on the most popular rivers in the Southeast. Experience unnecessary. Combine our rafting with gemstone mining, horseback riding, and scenic train tours. Vacation homes and cabins available.
715 U.S. Hwy. 19 Topton, NC 28781 (828) 488-6348 www.carolinaoutfitters.com Get Directions
Deep Creek Tube Center & Campground
Deep Creek flows out of the Great Smokies National Park and by our campground. We rent light-weight vinyl tubes for $6 (all day rental). Tubes are available at a discount to registered campers and groups. Life jackets are available for children. Our camp store also sells creek shoes and other tubing accessories and souvenirs. We have twenty-one rental cabins, from modern campground cabins to hand-hewn log cabins, plus a large house for small groups. More than 40 campsites, from creekside tent camping to pop-ups, travel trailers, RVs and mobile homes. Gem Mining: Pan for rubies, sapphires, quartz, topaz, emeralds and other colorful gems at the Deep Creek Tube Center Mining Company.
1090 West Deep Creek Rd Bryson City, NC 28713 (828) 488-6055 deepcreekcamping.com Get Directions
Nantahala Outdoor Center
NOC’s main campus is located at the intersection of the Appalachian Trail and the Nantahala River, just outside Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, NOC’s 500-acre campus boasts plenty of exciting adventures to keep your group happy & active. Whitewater raft, explore Fontana Lake in a kayak or canoe, zipline, or mountain bike and hike! Between adventures, check out NOC’s riverfront restaurants and retail stores, and even spend the night in a cozy trailside cabin.
13077 Hwy 19 West Bryson City, NC 28713 (828) 785-5082 www.noc.com Get Directions
NOC Paddling School
Voted “Best Place to Learn” by Outside Magazine, NOC’s elite team of instructors offer kayak and canoe courses for all ages and skill levels. Choose a weekend or weekday course and try something new or build on your existing skills! With 40+ years going into every course, you know you’re in great hands.
13077 Hwy 19 West Bryson City, NC 28713 (866) 297-5281 www.noc.com Get Directions
Come and enjoy nature at its best. We offer leisurely self guided kayak trips down the Little Tennessee River. The trips are 2 1/2 -3 hours long and we supply you with all your equipment needed. You will see along your trip river otters, beavers, deer and endless birds. It is a beautiful and peaceful trip to enjoy nature at its best. If you have your own equipment, we offer a "Drop and Shuttle service" so that you can use your own equipment and enjoy the river. Also, enjoy Gem Mining rain or shine in our Covered Outdoor Gem Flume along the Little Tennessee River. You will discover many different gemstones and fossils including topaz, rubies, amethyst, emeralds and many others. We help you to identify your gemstones. We welcome all rockhounds and treasure seekers, it’s great fun for the entire family. Your adventure and treasure await you!
155 Robin Lynn Lane Otto, NC 28763 (828) 349-1717 www.primitiveoutback.com Get Directions
Rolling Thunder River Company
Family-friendly rafting trips for over 30 years. Guided/Non-guided on the Nantahala River; guided only on the Ocoee River.
10160 Hwy. 19 West Bryson City, NC 28713 (800) 408-7238 www.rollingthunderriverco.com Get Directions
Smoky Mountain River Adventures
Great Family-oriented Whitewater Rafting Trip!!!! Rafting/Kayaking/Tubing/Canoeing
Wildwater Nantahala Gorge Adventure Center
We offer fully guided, guide assisted, and rental trips on the Nantahala, Ocoee, Big Pigeon, and Chattooga Rivers. Take advantage of the original Raft and Rail package at Wildwater Nantahala! Climb aboard the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad and enjoy a delicious deli lunch, followed by a guided 8-mile Nantahala River whitewater trip. All transportation is included to and from the Bryson City train depot. The Raft and Rail package is a great way for families to enjoy the two best adventures in the region in one day.
10345 Hwy. 19 W. Bryson City, NC 28713 (866) 319-8870 wildwaterrafting.com Get Directions