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The Nantahala Rafting Season is Now Underway


April signals the beginning of whitewater rafting on the Nantahala River. From now through October, more than 200,000 paddlers will ride the eight mile course that snakes through the scenic Nantahala Gorge just west of Bryson City. With its Class II and III rapids, the “Nanty” is a family river, suitable for just about every generation (children must be at least seven years old or at least 60 pounds). Yet it’s challenging enough for the US Olympic Kayaking Team, which often trains there.

National Geographic Adventure and ABC’s Good Morning America’s “Vacationland” series named the Nantahala River the number one place to spend a wet and wild vacation in the US. Watch GMA video.

Trips can be scheduled with a number of Nantahala outfitters. A variety of trips are offered and each company seems to add its own personal touch. All outfitters provide approved life jackets and most provide a wet suit and/or paddling jackets during the cooler months. And like the family pictured above, all rafters are required to have safety instruction before they are allowed on the river.

Photo by J.R. vanLienden

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