Nolichucky River Overview
Rafting: Nolichucky River, Tennessee
The Upper Nolichucky is one of the wildest and most scenic rivers in the Southeast. (courtesy, Cherokee Adventures)
Nolichucky River at a Glance
Price: $
River Rapid Class: II-IV+
Trip in Miles: 5 to 10
Trip Duration: 1 to 2 Days
Season: March-June (low-water, family-friendly runs also available June-November)
Raft Types: Paddle Raft, Oar Raft, Inflatable Kayak
River Sections: Poplar, NC, to Erwin, TN
Nearby Towns: Erwin, TN
Gateway City: Erwin, TN
Driving Times: Asheville, NC: 1.5 hours; Knoxville, TN: 1.5 hours

Many superlatives have been used to described the scenery in the Nolichucky Gorge. Most paddlers will be too busy trying to negotiate the many difficult and powerful rapids to notice the scenery. Make no mistake about it, the Nolichucky is a challenging river—but it is also a great piece of whitewater. Paddlers who enjoy an exciting whitewater adventure might want to schedule a trip with one of the outfitters that runs the river. This option provides the best of both worlds—the thrill of the ride with the opportunity to enjoy the view. Experienced paddlers can test their skill level by trying to run the river themselves. Although most of the 110-mile length of the Nolichucky can be paddled, the 30-mile section from Poplar, NC, to Embreeville, TN, is the prime section. This section can be broken into three smaller runs depending on your skills and time available. The run from Poplar to the railroad bridge near Erwin is nine miles of Class III-IV whitewater. From the railroad bridge to Highway 81 you can enjoy ten miles of Class I-II water. Another ten-mile run from Riverview to Embreeville is a nice Class II paddle. The milder water of the lower sections is good canoeing water. Erwin is about 15 miles south of Johnson City, TN, on Highway 19 or Highway 19/23 north out of Asheville, North Carolina.

Published: 28 Apr 2011 | Last Updated: 25 Aug 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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