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There’s More To The Nantahala Than Rafting and Kayaking

Each Summer, thousands flock to the Nantahala River for the adventure of whitewater rafting, kayaking, and such headliner events as this weekend’s ICF Canoe Freestyle World Cup Finals — activities that have made the river one of the region’s most popular recreational destinations.

All that happens on the Nantahala’s last eight miles before it flows into Fontana Lake. But on the mountain above the rafting put-in, there’s another, quite different section of river known as the Upper Nantahala. Flowing out of Nantahala Lake — at 3000 feet elevation — the river drops almost 1000 feet before reaching the floor of the Nantahala Gorge. Along the way, it passes through a succession of waterfalls including the spectacular cascades (above) viewable from Wayah Road.

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