Nantahala River

The Nantahala River runs through the Western North Carolina mountains in a shaded gorge, giving it the distinction of being the coldest whitewater stream in the Southeast. Averaging only 4 hours of direct sunlight per day, the water temperature averages a bone-chilling 45 degrees.

The classic class II-III run begins from the Nantahala River Launch Site, near Beechertown, N.C., and ends 8 miles downriver at Nantahala Falls. A shorter run starts 3 miles downstream at Ferebee Memorial Picnic Area.

The river is pushy, rocky, and Nantahala Falls is a challenge for all developing paddlers. It is highly recommended to do your first run with an experienced guide.

NOTE

The Nantahala is dam controlled and generally runs 7 days per week, except for November. In drought years, releases can be cut back more. Check Duke Energy Nantahala Dam Release Info before going, or call 866-332-5253.

Directions

Google Maps

Difficulty

Paddling

Hours and Cost

Open Daily: Sunrise to Sunset

Cost: $1 per person for a daily pass and $5 per person for an annual pass. Guiding services vary.

Pet Friendly

Yes, on a leash along the banks and in the Nantahala National Forest.

Contact

Nantahala National Forest

90 Sloan Rd.
Franklin, NC 28734
828-524-6441
Email: nantahalard@fs.fed.us

--

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

We use cookies to personalize content, to provide social media features, and to analyze our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you've provided to them or that they've collected from your use of their services. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use this website.

Close