We like to take a very scenic drive south into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to meander along the Nantahla River where lots of people go white water rafting. It is cool and refreshing here in summer even if the temps are high. We usually stop for lunch at one of the three great places to eat along the river and just enjoy watching the kayaks go by!
Since 1972, the Nantahala Outdoor Center or NOC has shared the outdoors with millions of guests on white water river rafting trips, with all varieties of kayak and canoe instruction, on mountain bikes and around the world with adventure travel trips. When you visit Nantahala headquarters, you'll also find a complete outdoor destination with lodging options, three restaurants and a pub, a fully-stocked Outfitter's Store, the Wesser General Store and Fly Shop and the Nantahala Welcome Center.
When we have had lots of rain the water can be running pretty fiercely! The word "Nantahala" is a Cherokee Indian word meaning "Land of the Noonday Sun." The name is appropriate as, in some spots, the sun only reaches the floors of the deep gorges of the national forest when directly overhead at midday
You can rent kayaks, take lessons or just enjoy the activity at the Outdoor Center. I am hoping this year I may be able to purchase a used kayak for myself at the end of the year sale they have in September! Big discounts on very nice kayaks. I am not into white water but would use it on the lakes nearby! I am not that brave!