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.
In the Nantahala River Gorge
Seeing an average of only 4 hours of direct sunlight per day, the water temperature stays around a bone chilling 45 degrees.
The classic Nanty paddling 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.
At Nantahala Falls
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.
The Nanty is dam controlled and generally runs 7 days per week, except for November. In drought years, releases can be cut back more.
Class I-III whitewater rafting, camping, mountain biking, hiking, backpacking, road biking
Class I-III whitewater kayaking, canoeing, standup paddleboarding
Wesser, North Carolina
Distance from Outdoor Chattanooga
119 miles | 2 hours, 15 minutes
GPS Coordinates to U.S.F.S. Nantahala River Launch Site
GPS Coordinates to Ferebee Memorial Picnic Area (Lower Put In)
Sunrise to sunset
No dam releases in November (December)
Yes. Forest Service pit toilets.
Nantahala National Forest
Nantahala Ranger District
90 Sloan Road
Franklin, NC 28734