The Nantahala River Gorge, a nine-mile stretch of the Nantahala River that runs from Beechertown to Fontana Lake, boasts world-class whitewater, with continuous rapids and moderately high water flow during the summer. Commercial outfitters offer guided trips for the inexperienced rafter. Periodic releases of water by the Nantahala Power and Light Company produce the raging water needed for rafting or paddling the river. Whitewater slalom races are held on the river every winter and spring (February, March, and April). Businesses in the area offer a variety of services, including outfitting and guiding, boat rentals, instruction and clinics, restaurants, and overnight accommodations.

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Expert Review of Nantahala River Gorge

Parks and Outdoors Review of Nantahala River Gorge

Away Travel Expert: Johnny Molloy
ParksExpert Rating 4.0 out of 5 Recommended for:
Day Hiking,Freshwater Fishing,Outdoor Skills,Scenic Drives,Sustainable Travel
Parks and OutdoorsExpert Tips & Helpful Hints
  • From the Nantahala River launch site, canoers, rafters, and kayakers enter the river gorge for a nine-mile run of nationally known white-water floating. Commercial outfitters will accommodate inexperienced thrill-seekers who long to challenge the chilly, continuous rapids.
  • Hike the Bartram Trail, which passes alongside the river on its way to connecting with the Appalachian Trail.
  • The Nantahala Outdoor Center has become an icon on the river. Buy outdoors stuff, or just people watch.

Nantahala National Forest
c/o Wayah Ranger District, 90 Sloan Road
Franklin, North Carolina 28734

Visitor Information

Telephone Number: (828) 524-6441
The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

Review by Away Copyright © 2010 all rights reserved.