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Get away from it all in the Great Smoky Blue Ridge Mountains!
Recommended Area Links: Surrounded by Six National Forests
Pisgah National Forest
Great Smoky Mountains National Forest
Nantahala National Forest
Table Rock State Park
Caesars Head State park
Chattahoochee National Forest
Minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway
White Water Rafting
Skiing, Fishing, Hiking, Sightseeing
Enjoy the Mountains of North Carolina

Relax and stay in our cabin, recharge...let the Appalachian's sink in
Line Runner Ridge Cabin
Tuck your family into the Two Bedroom Cabin. Sip a drink on the deck and watch the sun set before dinner and settle down with the glow of the wood stove...
Relax, you are in the mountains now....

Nantahala River

Rafting down Nantahala Falls, a Class III rapid on the Nantahala River, with Nantahala Outdoor Center

Nantahala River is located in western North Carolina in the United States, near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Some have said that the word "Nantahala" comes from the phrase "Land of the Noonday sun" in Cherokee. The river runs through a gorge where sun is strong only in the middle part of the day.

The river is popular with whitewater rafters and whitewater kayakers. The raftable part of the river (lower section below the powerhouse) is 8 miles long and has class two and three rapids. Rafters can choose to go with a commercial outfitter on a guided trip or rent their own raft. Commercial outfitters are permitted by the US Forest Service, which mandates that kids must weigh at least 60 pounds to raft the Nantahala (because of the hypothermia risk to anyone smaller). The raft trip begins above Patton's Run. Other notable rapids include "Quarry", "Surfers", and "Nantahala Falls".

A serpentine two-lane road (which was once part of the Trail of Tears) runs along the river with picnic areas next to the river. The flow of the river is controlled by a dam owned by Duke Power. This means that water levels stay fairly consistent throughout the year; Duke Power usually schedules dam maintanance for November, and the river is then "off." And because the water released comes from the bottom of Lake Nantahala, the river is a chilly 52 degrees most of the year. The Nantahala River empties into Fontana Lake just below Nantahala Outdoor Center.

The Upper section of the river (above the powerhouse) also runs along a two-lane road. This steep, narrow section of the Nantahala is called the Cascades by local paddlers. During high water (after a big rain), kayakers test their skill on Class IV-V rapids such as "The Horns of God". A tall waterfall cascades into the river.

Commercial rafting began on the Nantahala in 1972 when Payson and Aurelia Kennedy and Horace Holden Sr. opened Nantahala Outdoor Center in the old Tote 'N Tarry Hotel. The river is now one of the most popular rivers in the world, with over 250,000 paddlers annually. An entire outdoor recreation community has sprung up in this rural part of Swain County, which is relatively isolated from the rest of the state.

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