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North Carolina Rafting Trips


North Carolina rafting on the Nantahala River in Nantahala National Forest and bordering the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Cherokee and Bryson City, NC is the ideal beginner or family rafting trip.

Being a dammed-controlled river, the Nantahala River guarantees good water flows at all times of the year. Its eight miles of bouncy waves and lively current, makes the Nantahala a white water rafting delight for all ages with numerous Class I and II rapids and a Class III rapid delivering a white water finale at the end of your run. This destination is known as the North Carolina rafting center, with millions of visitors each year. Come join the fun on a popular North Carolina rafting trip today!


Nantahala River

Enjoy eight miles of constant waves and swift, clear currents make the Nantahala River a delight for all ages and groups interested in an exhilarating introduction to whitewater rafting.

  • Trip Length: Approximately 3 1/2 hours (2 hours on the river).
  • Minimum Age: 7 years or 60 lbs.
  • Season: late March - late November
  • Intensity Level: Mild to moderate. No previous whitewater experience needed

Nantahala Rental Rafts & Duckys

If you are confident with your paddling skills and want to go at your own pace, a rental trip may be just right. We offer 4 and 6 person rafts, as well as 1 and 2 person inflatable kayaks Wildwater provides all the gear, as well as transportation to and from the river.

  • Trip Length: Approximately 3 1/2 hours (2 hours on the river).
  • Minimum Age: 7 years or 60 lbs.
  • Season: late March - late November
  • Intensity Level: Mild to moderate. Previous whitewater paddling and steering experience recommended

Nantahala Raft & RailĀ©

You'll begin your trip in Bryson City, NC at the train depot, with a 2 hour railroad excursion over Fontana Lake and into the Nantahala Gorge. As you travel on the train, watch paddlers challenge the rapids you will soon be rafting. At the top-of-the-line, you will disembark the train and travel a short distance to the launch site. After a paddling orientation your group will raft the entire 8 miles of the Nantahala River on our Fully Guided raft trip. A picnic lunch is included, as well as changing facilities with hot showers and transportation back to your car at the train depot.

  • Trip Length: 6 hours
  • Minimum Age: 7 years or 60 lbs.
  • Season: Late March - Late October
  • Intensity Level: Mild to Moderate

Nantahala Gorge Canopy Tour

Nantahala Gorge Canopy Tours takes you through multiple ecosystems, past hemlocks, and into hardwood treetops. Take flight above the forest floor blanketed with mountain laurel, rhododendren, flame azalea, and other native plants. Share in the cultural history of the Nantahala Gorge.

  • Trip Length: 2 to 3 hours
  • Minimum Age: 10 years. 70 to 250 lbs.
  • Season: March - November
  • Intensity Level: Mild

Nantahala Gorge Jeep Tours

Join our skilled and knowledgeable local guides by following in the steps of the early explorers, visiting the back roads of the region and learning more about this beautiful region directly from North Carolina locals. This 2-hour tour takes you on a personal exploration up the mountain to some of the most spectacular waterfalls in the Nantahala area. Travel past beautiful lakes and up to the Appalachian Trail.

  • Trip Length: 2 hours
  • Minimum Age: Options vary - see details
  • Season: late March - late October
  • Intensity Level: Mild to moderate. We recommend if riders experience motion sickness, that they prepare in advance with the appropriate medication.

Nantahala, Falling Waters Resort

Located adjacent to the Nantahala Gorge, Falling Waters Resort offers unique at the Group Barn (sleeps up to 44 people within 6 rooms) and Yurts (sleeps up to 4 each)

  • Trip Length:
  • Minimum Age:
  • Season: March - November
  • Intensity Level:

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