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For thrill-seekers and outdoor adventurers, whitewater rafting on the Nantahala River is a must-do. This river winds through the lush Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina and provides an action-packed afternoon of fun and adventure. With a combination of relaxing calm waters and thrilling rapids, it’s the perfect destination for a group of friends or family. In this guide, we’ll run you through everything you need to know about navigating the Nantahala River and having a fun and safe time on the water.

Navigating the Nantahala

The Nantahala River is a popular destination for whitewater rafting, offering a mix of fast-paced rapids and calm stretches of water. Starting at the Nantahala Gorge, the river winds through 8 miles of beautiful Appalachian scenery before emptying into Fontana Lake. The entire trip takes around 3-4 hours, depending on the rafting company you choose.

Before hitting the water, it’s important to assess your group’s skill level. The Nantahala features class III rapids, which are fun and exciting but require some experience. If you are a beginner, it’s best to stick to the calmer sections of the river.

Here is what you’ll need to hit the water safely and comfortably:

  • Lifejackets
  • Whitewater raft
  • Paddle
  • Oar
  • Helmet
  • Neoprene clothing
  • Sunscreen
  • Waterproof bags
  • First-aid kit

Exploring the Rapids

As you make your way down the Nantahala, you’ll be treated to some unforgettable views and thrilling rapids. Some of the most popular rapids are the Nantahala Falls, Broken Nose, and Whirlpool Rapids. Here are some tips for tackling the rapids:

  • Stay in the raft at all times – the currents can be unpredictable and dangerous.
  • Hold on tight to the paddle and oar to stay in control.
  • Listen to the guide for instructions on how to navigate the rapids.
  • Enjoy the ride – the rapids are an adrenaline-pumping experience!
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Enjoying the Journey

In between the rapids, the Nantahala River offers some beautiful and peaceful stretches of water. Here, you can take a break from paddling and take in the stunning Appalachian scenery. Here are some tips for making the most of your journey:

  • Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy while you drift down the river.
  • Bring a waterproof camera to capture some stunning photos.
  • Take a dip in the refreshingly cool waters.
  • Relax and take in the breathtaking views.

Whitewater rafting on the Nantahala River is an exciting and exhilarating experience. With its mix of thrilling rapids and peaceful stretches of water, it’s the perfect outing for a group of friends or a family. Just make sure you have the right equipment and listen to your guide to stay safe and have fun. So what are you waiting for? Grab your paddle and get ready to hit the water!