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.

  • Carolina Bound Adventures Kayaking

    Contact Name: Mark Van Osdal
    Address: P.O. Box 61
    Almond
    NC
    28702

    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 Outdoor Center

    Address: 13077 Hwy 19 W
    Bryson City
    NC
    28713

    Phone Two: TF: 800-232-7238
    Phone Three: Fax: 828-488-0301

    Logo / Image:

    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!

  • Endless River Adventures

    Address: 14157 Hwy 19 W
    Bryson City
    NC
    28713

    Phone Two: TF: 800-224-RAFT
    Phone Three: Fax: 828-488-2259

    Other Address:

    Mailing: PO Box 246, Bryson City, NC, 28713

    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.

  • Bryson City Outdoors Kayaking

    Contact Name: Ben King or Brett Hackshaw
    Address: 169 Main Street
    Bryson City
    NC
    28713

    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!

  • Nantahala River Gorge – Home of the 2013 World Freestyle Kayak Championships

    Video recap of the championship finals
    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.

    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

    Free 2018 Travel Guide to the Smokies — Includes the Official 2018 All Aboard for the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.

    SHARE THIS PAGE

    FOLLOW US ON

    TRANSLATE

    M