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Stand-Up Paddle Boarding – A Unique Way to Play on Water In the Smokies

Stand-Up paddleboarding (SUP), similar to canoeing, involves an oversized surf-style board and a long handled paddle, which you use to propel and steer through the water. Different boards types, shapes and sizes are used depending on the body of water you SUP.

Here in the Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina we paddle board the Tuckasegee River in downtown Bryson City (bring your own), and the placid water of Fontana Lake. A favorite spot – the finger lake area – is easy to access and there are no boats around to send wakes your way.

Check out these listings for local paddelboard rentals and tour companies.

More fun activities on the water near Bryson City.

  • The Sunny Day Adventure Co. LLC

    With services based on Fontana Lake and accessing all areas of the lake with its 32' pontoon boat, The Sunny Day Adventure Company guides standup paddle board and hiking tours to some of the most dynamic scenery Western North Carolina has to offer.
  • Bryson City Outdoors

    Rent a paddleboard at Almond Boat Park to enjoy on nearby on Fontana Lake! Our paddleboards are very beginner friendly and our knowledgeable staff can help anyone stand up on a paddleboard. Guided tours also available. Great fun for the whole family, reserve online or call today to book your trip!
  • Carolina Bound Adventures Paddle Boarding

    We offer guided paddle boarding or kayaking adventures as well as self guided rentals. 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 Paddle Boarding and we’ll make the reservations plus set up your itinerary!
  • Nantahala Outdoor Center

    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!
  • What to wear

    All rentals include board, paddle and approved life jacket. It’s advisable to be barefoot and to wear a bathing suit or shorts and tee shirt. Watches and loose jewelry should be left behind. And eyeglasses should be secured with a head strap. You should also bring towels and a change of dry clothes.


    Bryson City. A River Runs Through It.

    If you have a paddleboard, don’t overlook the Tuckasegee’s wide, smooth downtown section.

    Bryson City - Swain County
    Chamber of Commerce

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

    Karen Proctor
    Executive Director



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