A Choice of Whitewater Or Flat Water Kayaking

kayakWestern North Carolina is home to hundreds of miles of whitewater rivers and mountain lakes making it a favorite destination for kayakers.

For whitewater enthusiasts the variety of rivers-- from Class I to Class V, offers great options for kayak instruction for all skill levels. Here you will find individual adventure seekers, families learning to kayak together and Olympic-bound athletes all training and enjoying the rivers of our area.

lake-kayakingFor outdoor enthusiasts seeking verdant scenery and glimpses of wildlife, the flat water trails through the mountain lakes of western North Carolina offer all that and more. The rivers and lakes and the availability of quality kayak instruction are what has given Swain County the title of "the Whitewater Capital."

The book "101 Best Outdoor Towns" named Bryson City the nation's third best whitewater paddling town. "If you can't find something exciting to do in Bryson City, you're not breathing," it says.

Paddler Magazine named Bryson City one of the "best paddling towns" in the US. Along with the multiple spots for great paddling, they focus on Tsali mountain bike trails, area adventure races and canoe camping on Fontana Lake.

More fun activities on the water near Bryson City.

Kayaking Outfitters in Nantahala and Fontana Area

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Endless River Adventures

14157 Hwy 19 W
Bryson City, NC 28713
View Additional Addresses
Phone 828-488-6199
TF 800-224-RAFT
Fax 828-488-2259
Offers whitewater rafting on the Nantahala, Cheoah, and Ocoee Rivers. Ocoee rafting package includes transportation from our Nantahala Outpost, saving you the extra driving. Kayak instruction from the beginner to advanced level and kayak/mountain bike trips to Costa Rica and Ecuador. Lake touring offered for half-and full-day trips. Also, fly fishing instruction & guide service with drift boat option.

Fontana Guide Service - Kayaking

Contact: Kyle Fronrath
3336 Balltown Rd.
Bryson City, NC 28713
Mobile 828-736.2318
Local 828-488-9793
Fontana Guide Service - Kayaking Let us show you the Great Smoky Mountains from the water. Half and full day fishing or touring trips available, or customize your own. Our professional guides provide river & lake trips from our Jackson kayaks & paddle boards year round. A quiet & relaxing way to enjoy sunsets, waterfalls, fall colors & wildlife. Double-seated kayaks available. We provide everything & accommodate any age or skill level. HD photos & videos of your trip available upon request.

Nantahala Outdoor Center

13077 Hwy 19 W
Bryson City, NC 28713
Local 828-488-6900
TF 800-232-7238
Fax 828-488-0301
Nantahala Outdoor Center Rated "One of the Best Outfitter's on Earth" by National Geographic Adventure, NOC has been the leader in the rafting industry since 1972. NOC offers family friendly adventures rafting and paddling the Nantahala River, as well as riverside dining, lodging, shopping, mountain bike rentals, lake kayaking, wilderness medicine training and our world famous Paddling School. There's something for everyone so come see for yourself why NOC is a legend in the outdoors!

PaddleFish Basecamp

Contact: Joe Rowland
59 Depot Street
Bryson City, NC 28713
Phone 828-488-8797
PaddleFish Basecamp provides sea kayaking tours (PaddleFish Kayaking), hiking excursions (American Hikes) and multi-day expeditions (High Rock Expeditions) in the Great Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee. Two hour, half day, full day and multi-day trips are available. No experience is necessary. All ages welcome. Reservations are required. Call us, or book online 24/7.

Swain County's Nantahala River Gorge has secured its reputation as a world-class whitewater venue by hosting the 2013 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Championships. The Gorge was selected by the International Canoe Federation, the sanctioning body for all world championship and Olympic canoe and kayak events.

The Championship Wave feature on the Nantahala River (created for the World Championships) is attracting kayakers and spectators alike. Stop by the River for a look at the wave feature in action. And for kayakers, it's a free park and play area.

More information is available on the website; and on the Nantahala Gorge 2013 Facebook page.


Bryson City - Swain County
Chamber of Commerce

210 Main Street
P.O. Box 509
Bryson City, NC 28713


Karen Proctor Wilmot
Executive Director

800-867-9246 toll-free
828-488-3681 local
828-488-6858 fax