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Nantahala Outdoor Center


The Nantahala River, located in Nantahala National Forest, is one of America's favorite whitewater playgrounds. Its ideal location at the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, just a short distance from Cherokee and Bryson City, NC, makes the Nantahala River convenient to mountain vacationers.

Eight miles of clear water and rugged mountain beauty interrupted by twenty stretches of Class II rapids, beginning with "Patton's Run" and ending with the Class III beast, "Lesser Wesser". While the "Nanny" is a river to be respected, it is not fearsome. Constant waves and swift currents make the Nantahala River a delight for all ages and groups interested in an exhilarating introduction to whitewater rafting. The trip takes over 3 hours and all rafting trips are fully guided. Since the Nantahala River is a dam-controlled river, one can expect good water flows at all times of the year.

It is estimated that 160,000 individuals float the river annually. The Nantahala as we know it now, from its headwaters at Standing Indian on the Georgia state line to its mouth at Fontana Lake, is a nationally recognized river of recreation. With a wealth of rapids running the length of river, there's plenty of fun for rafters and boaters alike. Families are particularly fond of this river since by USFS rules, rafters only weigh 60 pounds. This lets most children participate in this unique family adventure.

Nantahala whitewater rafting trips begin and end at the Main Campus on the Nantahala River. This outpost is located in far Western North Carolina on US Highway 19, approximately 12 miles west of Bryson City, on the south side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Directions from Blue Ridge: From Hwy 515 go north, turn left onto Hwy 60 to Mineral Bluff, GA. In Mineral Bluff, turn right onto Hwy 60 Spur. Follow it into North Carolina to US 74 East, turning right toward Murphy and Andrews. Stay on 74 East. NOC is about 20 miles past Andrews. You will be following the Nantahala River for the last eight miles.

Nantahala Outdoor Center
13077 Highway 19 W
Bryson City, NC 28713