Rafting the Nantahala River

by Stewart McKenzie
(Albany, GA)

The Nantahala River is a combination Class 2 with one Class 3 drop near the take out point. If ever there was a river the entire family (8 years and up) this is it!

The river is located near Bryson City, North Carolina off of Hwy 19. The river runs through the Nantahala Gorge and a typical trip can take about 2 to 3 hours (depends on number of stops). When we tell you that this is one river the entire family can enjoy, we mean it. We took my father down for his 85th birthday, and the only problem he had was that he got cold. The water never gets above 45° F and if we had been thinking, we would have had him put on a wet suit.

The rafts can be rented at Wildwater Rentals located downstream of the take out point. They will give you a quick safety class before you go and if you aren't comfortable taking a raft down the river yourself, they will put a guide in your raft.

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