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Nantahala River Gorge - Macon County - North Carolina
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Nantahala River Gorge and
Nantahala River White Water Rafting Information

Nantahala River Map

Nantahala River Whitewater Outfitters - Rafting Companies
Guided Trips - Raft and Canoe Rentals

Nantahala River
Nantahala River Gorge - Cabin for Rent by Owner near Nantahala River White Water Rafting

The Nantahala River, located in the USFS Nantahala National Forest, is one of America's favorite whitewater playgrounds. Its ideal location at the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, close to Atlanta GA, Knoxville TN, Greenville SC, Asheville NC and just a short distance from Murphy, Andrews, Robbinsville, Franklin, Cherokee and Bryson City, NC makes the Nantahala River convenient to mountain vacationers.

Over thousands of years, the swift currents of the Nantahala River have slowly carved an incredible gorge in the mountains of western North Carolina. The Nantahala River remained a remote trout stream until 1942, at which time a hydroelectrical plant was built that guaranteed downstream releases, the Nantahala River is today one of the most popular rivers in the U.S.

Flowing through the scenic Nantahala Gorge, the Nantahala River offers the thrill and excitement of riding the river rapids in a raft, canoe or kayak. Eight miles of clear water, constant waves and swift currents make the crystal clear Nantahala River the perfect river to enjoy with family and friends. The Nantahala River is delight for all ages (min. 60 lbs) and groups interested in an exhilarating introduction to whitewater rafting.. The trip takes a little over 3 hours and contains several class I and II rapids, with an optional class III at the end.  No matter if you go-it alone or with a guide, it will be a memory you'll treasure for a lifetime. Since the Nantahala River is a dam-controlled river, one can expect good water flows at all times of the year.

The Nantahala River is not a one-trip-a-year river, but one that can be enjoyed over and over again. It is a favorite destination of boaters of all skill levels, as well as adventure seekers looking for whitewater rafting. The river also draws vacationers who want to enjoy the beauty of the mountains, the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, hikers traveling on the Appalachian Trail, mountain bikers exploring the Tsali Recreation Area Mountain Bike Trails or one of the many other bike trails, and people who just come to relax. Whatever your interests, the Nantahala River Gorge area has something for you.

The Nantahala River serves as the first experience with whitewater for hundreds of boaters each year. Chances are, if you learned to kayak in the east, you started here. The neat thing about the Nantahala River is, no matter how long you’ve been paddling, the river still has something to offer you. It is not a very difficult or technical river, but has lots of places to learn, practice and play.

Revered by the Cherokee Indians, who migrated to this region more than 1000 years ago, the serpentine Nantahala River is associated with creatures prominent in Cherokee legends. The word Nantahala itself means “middle sun” or “midday sun” in the Cherokee language. There are places alongside the river where the high cliffs shut out direct sunlight until noon.

In addition to the Nantahala Rivers' whitewater activity, the Nantahala River also has a reputation for its excellent trout fishing. The Nantahala River offers different regulations for different areas. The area directly above the power plant is known for its Delayed Harvest waters, while the area below the power plant is Hatchery Supported waters. While stream habitat is managed by the Forest Service, the fishing is regulated by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

Access

The Nantahala river runs parallel to US Highway 19, which makes for easy access and scouting. The put-in is located about 21 miles west of Bryson City, NC on Highway 19 or three miles east of the town of Topton, NC. Topton is located near the intersection of US 19 and US 129. The put-in can be seen from the highway, but is located at the turn-off to go to the power plant where the river goes away from the road. The put-in is at a large parking lot maintained by the forest service. They charge $2.00 per person for a river usage fee.

An alternate put-in is located about three miles down river at Farabee park.

The take out is located on Highway 19 just above the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) restaurant on river right. Do not park here, the take out is for loading and unloading only. You can also take out at the NOC parking lot located on the river's left. To access the parking lot, cross the Nantahala river over the one lane bridge, just below the NOC store and turn left. Make sure not to park or take out in any of the commercial raft take-outs located on river right.

One shuttle technique is to park at the end of the river and try to catch a ride with a friendly motorist traveling back up river. You can hitch a ride by standing at the take out area, but keep in mind it is your decision to heed your mother’s warning about taking a ride from strangers.

Nantahala River Whitewater Outfitters - Rafting Companies
Guided Trips - Raft and Canoe Rentals

Adventurous Fast Rivers Rafting
14690 Nantahala River, 19W, Bryson City, NC 28713
800-438-7238 or 828-488-2386
Fax: 828-4886481
Contact: Steven & Susan Matz
Experience the beauty and adventure of whitewater rafting or funyaking on the pristine, crystal-clear Nantahala River. Your whitewater fun will take you through the world-famous Nantahala Gorge where you'll see the wonders of the Great Smoky Mountains in all directions. We are family owned and located directly on the Nantahala River. Our specialty is giving economical prices with the very best in personal service, equipment, facilities, and staff while offering the most options; when you paddle, what you paddle, and how long you paddle. No experience necessary. Guided & unguided trips available March through October. Walk-ins are welcome or call now to reserve your next adventure. We look forward to seeing you on the river with us.

Nantahala Outdoor Center
13077 Hwy 19 W, Bryson City, NC 28713
828-488-6900 or 800-232-7238
Fax: 828-488-0301
Established in 1972, NOC's outdoor adventure resort offers world-class paddling instruction, rafting on the Nantahala, Ocoee, Chattooga, French Broad, and Nolichucky Rivers, biking, hiking, lake touring, Alpine Tower and ropes courses, group programs, international adventure travel, lodging, riverside dining and a renowned Outfitter's store. Come experience employee-owned NOC for an extraordinary outdoor recreation vacation with your family and friends.

USA Raft
11044 Hwy 19 W, Bryson City, NC 28713
828-488-3316 or 800-USA-RAFT
Fax: 828-488-6108
At USA Raft we have specialized in providing affordable river adventures for over ten years. Whether you are seeking a relaxing escape from the crowds for your family or a heart-pounging wilderness adventure, we have the trip to suit you and your budget. Self-bailing rafts and duckies are available. Trips are offered on the Nantahala, Nolichucky, French Broad, Pigeon, and Ocoee Rivers. We also have a campground on our property.

Blue Ridge Outing Company
PO Box 86, Whittier, NC 28789
828-586-3510 or 800-572-3510
Trips are offered on the Tuckaseigee River, which provides Class I and II rapids. We are located on US Highway 74 between Bryson City and Sylva.

Carolina Outfitters Rafting Company
12121 Hwy 19 W, Bryson City, NC 28713
828-488-6345 or 800-GOT-RAFT
Offers guide-in-boat assisted, or non-guided whitewater rafting trips on popular and scenic Nantahala River. Inflatable funyak/ducky rentals. Excellent equipment, friendly staff, and comforable facilities. Great low prices and group rates available! Fully furnished vacation lodging rentals ranging from small simple "camping cabins" to large attractive vacation homes in the Nantahala Rive Gorge area. Convenient to all area attractions.

Endless River Adventures
PO Box 246, 14157 Hwy 19 W Bryson City, NC 28713
828-488-6199 or 800-224-RAFT
Fax: 828-488-2259
Offers whitewater rafting on the Nantahala and Ocoee Rivers. Ocoee rafting package includes transportation from our Nantahala Outpost, saving you the extra driving. Kayak instruction from the beginner to advanced level and kayak/mountain trips to Costa Rica and Ecuador. Lake touring offered for half-and full-day trips. Also, fly fishing instruction & guide service with drift boat option.

Wildwater, LTD Rafting
10345 Hwy 19W, Bryson City, NC 28713 PO Box 190, Almond, NC 28702
800-451-9972 or 828-488-2384
Fax: 828-488-9130
Fully Guided, Guide Assisted, and Rental trips available. A family-owned business since 1971, Wildwater runs on the Nantahala, Ocoee, Big Pigeon, and Chattooga Rivers. Offering the Raft 'N Rail® since 1988, this excursion combines a scenic rail trip with beginning whitewater rafting. All tranportation and lunch is included. Wildwater, the only outdoor provider who offers 100% quality service guarantee.
Wildwater also offers unique lodging at Falling Waters Adventure Resort. Yurt cabins offers the experience of camping with the comforts of home. Each sleeps up to 4 people. The Group Lodge handles groups of up to 44. Each room sleeps up to 8 in bunk-style beds with its own bathroom. A handicapped room sleeps 4. A kitchen may be rented separately.

Paddle Inn Rafting Company
14611 Highway 19 West, Bryson City, NC 28713
828-488-9651 or 800-711-RAFT
Fax: 877-265-7253
Contact: Mark Thomas
We offer "Guided," "Guide Assisted," and "Be Your Own Boss" (Rentals.) We have Funyaks (single and double), Pumas, Self Bailers and regular rafts. Come and enjoy our riverfront cabins, RV sites and group tenting areas. We are here to share our passion for the river with you and we take pride in our customer service excellence. At our business, you are our number one concern. 15 miles from Bryson City, Open April-Nov. Also open by advance reservation Nov. - April.

Appalachian Rivers Raft Co., Inc.
Highway 19&74, Topton, NC
800-330-1999 or 838-321-3815
Fax: 864-244-0168
Contact: John L. Griffin
Appalachian Rivers Raft Company has, since 1979, offered exciting and enjoyable whitewater activities for families and groups. We feature excellent equipment and a courteous, professional staff as well as very reasonable rates. We invite you to come and enjoy the river in one of our self-bailing rafts or funyaks. For the inexperienced, we offer guide-assisted or fully guided trips. The more adventurous may enjoy renting a raft. Contact us soon and join the fun!!

Rolling Thunder River Company
10160 Highway 19 West, Bryson City, NC 28713
828-488-2030 or 800-408-7238
Welcome to Rolling Thunder River Company. We offer guided and rental whitewater rafting trips on the Nantahala and Ocoee rivers. We offer lodging for groups in our bunkhouse, the Thunder Inn. There is also a campground and HOT showers. Great equiptment plus great guides add up to a very good family adventure at Rolling Thunder.

 

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Cabin for Rent by Owner close to Nantahala River White Water Rafting

Enjoy your get-away and your football - This cabin has  

'A Mountain Memory' is a quiet, secluded cabin offering two bedrooms, two baths, and easy access to the Nantahala River. This cozy cabin features a rustic decor with pine paneled cathedral ceilings and wood floors.

Relax in the hot tub and enjoy the peaceful surroundings on the large deck, complimented by a private picnic area and outside grill. Escape to the Smoky mountains for Nantahala River whitewater rafting, Nantahala River trout fly fishing, mountain biking and hiking, while enjoying all the conveniences of home.

This cabin is perfect for a honeymoon or anniversary with its cozy fireplace stove and romantic Jacuzzi in the loft; at the same time the spaciousness of the cabin makes it perfect for a small family.

Amenities include all-glass front wall facing the view, a rock faced fireplace stove with gas logs, Washer/Dryer, central Heat/Air, a well equipped kitchen with microwave, coffee maker and dishwasher.

Entertainment amenities include a four person hot tub on the deck, a large screen TV with Directv TiVo satellite system, DVD and VCR player.

Deck has two comfortable Lafuma recliners, two camping chairs and a charcoal grill. Bring your charcoal.

Hope you join us in the mountains.

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Motorcyclists please note: We had motorcycle riders stay with us several times, but some find the road to the cabin somewhat steep. The parking area is not large and it may be difficult to turn a trailer around.

'A Mountain Memory' Romantic Rental Cabin
Topton - Nantahala NC 28781
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Guest Comments

We are just about to leave the cabin and want to thank you for a wonderful stay! The cabin was just as beautiful as advertised and provided us with a peaceful vacation surrounded by the beauty of the Smokies. We took advantage of the nearby watersports, hiking and the Cherokee museum, and it was wonderful to come back and relax in such a beautiful setting every night.
Thank you for letting us stay in your wonderful cabin!! Best, Chrystal and Douglas, Nashville TN 7/12

The stay was wonderful! The location of the cabin was so close to the drop in zone for white water rafting on Nantahala! Thanks again. Bruce, Huntsville AL 7/12

We enjoyed our stay very much. The cabin was neat and very clean. It was very useful having internet service available – this helped us research and plan some activities. It was also great having a Jacuzzi tub as an alternative to the hot tub. We would definitely rent this cabin again. Thanks, Scott & April. Greensboro NC 7/12

We had a very peaceful visit to A Mountain Memory. We loved the proximity to the rivers and lakes and took advantage of everything we could. The cabin was very clean and we had everything we needed. Thank you for making this an easy rental experience.
Matt and Sarah. Marshall NC 5/12

This was the BEST anniversary my husband and I have ever had!! The cabin was spotless and cared for all of our needs. My husband even asked me to make sure we get the same cabin again next year too. The directions were awesome as they took us straight to the cabin. The scenery was AMAZING, and the river was so relaxing we didn’t want to come home…lol. Thanks again for providing us with a vacation we will never forget!! Star, Greensboro NC 6/12

My husband and I stayed in A Mountain Memory from May 30 through June 3 and we absolutely loved the cabin. Everything about it was perfect! When it came time to check-out we did not have any cash on us so we could not leave a tip for Bess. Can you please tell me where we may send it? She did a wonderful job and we would like for her to know that. Thank you,
Jennifer, Atlanta GA 6/3/12

Walt, YES! We thoroughly enjoyed our visit!!!!!! Thank you so much for everything. We cannot wait to return. It was the much needed break/R&R that we needed. We couldn't have found a better place in the mountains to stay. Everything we needed was right there at our finger tips, including the handheld mixer!  Even the wooden furniture was amazing, down to the kitchen chairs! I hope the cabin was found acceptable and clean. We went through and tried our best to leave it how we found it. Thanks again, Tiffany and Steven ****Things we loved: The beds and pillows were SO comfortable! Everything was so quaint and cute, definitely very clean! The hot tub was AMAZING! I'd have to say my absolute favorite was waking up to the fresh mountain air and having all those windows to gaze out of with my cup of coffee! HOW RELAXING!!!!! I swear we can't wait to return!

We had a wonderful time at the house. It was just what we needed, The place was very clean just an overall nice place to get a way for a while. Thank you, Cody, Asheboro NC 3/12

We had a wonderful time.  A Mountain Memory was so cozy, we felt very much at home the moment we walked in the door.  The beds were amazingly comfortable.  We will definitely be renting again! Mark & Wendy, Debary FL 1/12

We did enjoy renting ‘A Mountain Memory’ last week.  Thanks!  The cabin was very comfortable.  Loved the fireplace, Jacuzzi tub and the hot tub.  I was impressed by the nice furnishings and appliances.  I really appreciated finding the cupboards stocked so well with dishes, pans, etc.  I came with a cake on hand to make and expected to hand mix it, but was very happy to find the electric mixer in the kitchen instead!  I appreciated finding extra blankets too.  The TV set-up is also very nice… we really enjoyed the Direct TV, as that’s not something we have at home.  We were surprised to find a DVD player and wireless internet as well, because I don’t think those were listed in the amenities.  All around, a great vacation… Very relaxing!!!
Sheila & John, Piedmont SC 12/11

Joe and I enjoyed our stay. The cabin was outstanding! We have told family and friends about romanticcabin.com already.   We certainly plan on using you again. We have added you to our favorites list. Thanks for a wonderful comfortable and beautiful place to stay for our anniversary.
Karan, Summerville SC 8/11

The cabin was very nice! The pictures from the web site did little justice to the actual cabin. Other then the food we had to buy on the way in, everything was there. It was very clean. I was worried being a little close to the road if you could hear the cars and trucks but actually it was very quite at night. Overall it was very relaxing and cozy! The spa was clean and did take a little longer then expected to warm to desired temperature but once all set up it was the best feature! I also enjoyed having a washer/dryer combo there on site, it made our stay very smooth and plus I hate traveling back with smelly clothes. Thanks for the experience! The cabin was an easy find thanks to your directions. We will definitely be planning another trip in months/years to come. Thanks again!
David, Fort Worth TX 5/11

We had an enjoyable and memorable stay at Mountain Memory. The cabin was meticulously clean, quaint, and beautifully decorated. For us Floridians, it was cold, but you would never know it from inside our cabin. The central heat supplied us with ample amount of warm air, making us feel all cozy inside. We had a great time and look forward to visiting again soon. Sincerely, Jeremy and Lori, Bradenton, FL 12/10

Walt, we had a wonderful vacation!  "A Mountain Memory" was much more than we expected for the price!!!!  Our boys absolutely loved having a loft bedroom to themselves and their own bathroom.  My husband and I drank our coffee on the deck each morning, while listening to the sounds of nature and enjoying the cool mountain breeze. Thank you so much! Josh and Bev. Kentucky.

Our stay at the cabin was beyond my expectations. The pictures on the web some how don't do the cabin justice. My wife and I were both very impressed with how nice the cabin is. It was a truly wonderful stay that we hope to repeat in the future. Thank ya'll so much! Sincerely, Noah & Hannah p.s. See ya'll again soon!

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at your Mountain Memory Home.  The pictures really don't do your cabins justice once you cross the threshold.  We literally had to force ourselves out of the cabin it was so nice.  We have not decided were we are going this year for our anniversary but your place by far has been the best and well worth the 6hr drive from Greensboro, NC. Thanks again, JD

Your cabin was absolutely lovely and made our stay in North Carolina very, very pleasurable. Very clean and well equipped and the location was just superb for the things we wanted to do. My husband took his motorbike with us so we enjoyed many days of riding the tail of the dragon and even took several day trips to Tennessee. We rafted on the Nantalaha River several times, took a few day hikes on the AT, and did a few of the very challenging trails at Tsali. We also had a lot of fun visiting Asheville and the smaller towns. Great vacation! A fabulous vacation and we would love the rent your cabin on the lake next time. Bobbie

What a fantastic way to spend a honeymoon!  The cabin was more than we could have imagined.  Immaculate, romantic, completely relaxing and inviting.  The decor is perfect and the Jacuzzi and hot tub, well, what can we say?  Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this lovely retreat.  We hope to celebrate many anniversaries and special occasions in your "cabin in the sky". With warmest regards, James and JoAnne

I just wanted to say that my boyfriend and I loved "A Mountain Memory".  The pictures you had on your website really sold me on this cabin and once we got there we were not disappointed.  Thanks again and we will definitely be back!  Vic

Walt, Our family had a great week! The cabin was much more than we had expected. So wonderful! Everything from the towels to the hot tub were "top of the line". We will certainly be back. Take care and thanks again. The Cockrell clan

Shari and I had the most wonderful and beautiful time during our stay! We said over and over again to each other that our "Mountain Memory" was the best vacation either of us have ever had! We enjoyed it so much that we never left the driveway in the car during our entire time there! We did take a walk up the road (found out how out of shape we were...) but the rest of the time we just relaxed and enjoyed our time together in "A Mountain Memory." We are seriously considering renting there again. Thank You. John and Shari

Which is it? Smoky or Smokey?

We spell it both ways on this web site. So, if you're searching for honeymoon, anniversary or family vacation rental accommodations and log homes, cabins and cottages for rent in the "Smokey" mountains, you'll be sure to find us. Both are common spellings. But if you want to be correct about it, spell it the way the National Park Service does — the Great Smoky Mountains.
Smokey the Bear, on the other hand, spells his name the other way.
And if you're wondering about "Smokeys", "Smokys" or "Smokies," they're all correct.

If you searched for Ashville NC, you're not alone. Asheville North Carolina may be the only city name that is not spelled "Ashville".

Tail of the Dragon and Cherohala Skyway NC and TN Motorcycle excursion roads.

The Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap, with 318 curves in 11 miles, is America ’s number one motorcycle and sports car road. The nearby Cherohala Skyway is quickly becoming number two with its remote 60 miles of scenic mountain highway. The area also has other roads less traveled, but just as exciting. Come and discover them all.

This North Carolina Vacation Rental Cabin is near Nantahala River White Water Rafting, Nantahala Outdoor Center, Lake Nantahala and Nantahala River trout fly fishing, USFS Tsali Recreation Area Mountain Bike Trails, Appalachian Trail hiking, Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, Lake Fontana and Fontana Dam, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Excursions Train, Cherokee Indian Reserve, Cherokee's Harrah Casino.

Thinking of buying a vacation or 
retirement home, or investment property... 
Visit the
Appalachian Mountain Realty Guide
for a great selection of Mountain Real Estate.

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