A Choice of Whitewater Or Flat Water Kayaking
Western 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.
For 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.
Check out our “Think Outside the Gym” 2-day vacation itinerary that includes kayaking.
Click or tap for more fun activities on the water near Bryson City.
Rent a sit-on kayak in downtown Bryson City on the river or nearby on beautiful Fontana Lake! Our kayaks are very beginner friendly and even hold multiple people to make for a great family adventure! Guided kayak tours are available and can be combined with a hiking tour!
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.
Nantahala Outdoor Center’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 since 1972, NOC’s 500-acre adventure campus boasts plenty of excitement to keep your entire group happy and active, whether you spend the day or a week! Whitewater raft, zipline, mountain bike and hike, and explore Lake Fontana in a rental kayak or SUP. In between adventures, check out NOC’s two riverfront restaurants, onsite shopping, and spend the night in a cozy trailside cabin!
Are you booking adventures like Kayaking plus multiple other Adventures while you’re here for vacation? Save time making reservations and do it all at one website! Our adventure planning and reservation concierge service consolidates your vacation research and planning in one place. Visit our website, choose your desired adventures like Kayaking and we’ll make the reservations plus set up your itinerary!
Nantahala River Gorge – Home of the 2013 World Freestyle Kayak Championships
Bryson City - Swain County
Chamber of Commerce
210 Main Street
P.O. Box 509
Bryson City, NC 28713
Karen Proctor Wilmot
Free 2018 Travel Guide to the Smokies — Includes the Official 2018 All Aboard for the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.
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