With thrilling competitions for all ages, and an exciting series of events planned throughout the season, Nantahala Outdoor Center is the place for adventure this summer.

Nantahala Outdoor Center

Flickr photo via joiseyshowaa

Wild Adventures AtNantahala Outdoor Center

Named “One of the Best Outfitters on Earth” by National Geographic Adventure, Nantahala Outdoor Center is among the premier, world-class outdoor recreation destinations in the southeastern United States. With over 120 different river and land-based itineraries, Nantahala Outdoor Center offers adventures for every age and skill level. From whitewater rafting, to four aerial and zipline activities, in addition to mountain biking on nine miles of private trails, and stand-up paddleboarding on Lake Fontana, there’s plenty to experience at the 500-acre adventure center.

The Nantahala Games

The competition heats at the NOC’s Nantahala Games in late June when local paddling clubs compete against each other at this whitewater event open to all ages on the Nantahala River. While freestyle, downriver and slalom racers will battle on the waters, spectators can also enjoy the many family-friendly games and activities available. Stick around after the day’s competitions for the live music on Saturday night at 6:00 p.m. by Pioneer Chicken Stand band.

Sizzlin’ 4th of July Celebration

In between friendly competitions the Nantahala Outdoor Center invites you to join their Sizzlin’ 4th of July celebration that will be a blast for everyone. Big Wesser BBQ and Brew along the Nantahala River will rock the weekend with live music on Friday and Saturday nights. The band Grits and Soul plays Friday. Saturday Dr. Paul Constantine plays at 1:00 p.m. followed by Playing on the Planet at 6:00 p.m. There will whitewater rafting, zip lining, and activities to join throughout the weekend. Plus, check NOC’s Outfitter’s Store, where you can save on gear and apparel.

Whitewater Junior Olympics

In mid-July the Nantahala Outdoor Center will also host the Whitewater Junior Olympics at the Nantahala River. Paddlers ages 18 and under will compete in a fun Ducky Cross through the 2013 Wave, a Stand-up Paddle Board free play, a Giant Slalom kayak race, and off-the-water community events such as a run and other social activities to encourage camaraderie among participants, families and the broader community.

International Canoe Federation’s Wildwater Canoeing World Championships

Early August NOC welcomes the International Canoe Federation’s Wildwater Canoeing World Championships that provides juniors and young adults under 23 years of age with the opportunity to compete internationally in the wildwater discipline. Wildwater racing consists of individuals and teams racing from one point on the river to another point.

Nantahala Outdoor Center’s resort has two restaurants, plus lodging. And, if you’re looking for gear, then you have to visit their Outpost. Whether you want to learn paddleboarding, whitewater rafting tips, or are just looking for a great place to experience the outdoors, NOC is a must-see destination in North Carlolina.

Interesting Facts

Did you know that the International Canoe Federation’s Wildwater Canoeing World Championships is among the premier wildwater events that draws over 200 wildwater canoers and thousands of spectators from around the world to the Nantahala Gorge.

The Nantahala Racing Club is Nantahala Outdoor Center’s non-profit partner, which provides training to whitewater youth in the area. In their continuing efforts to support their communities, the organization host raffles and events to raise funds that benefit local youth.

To check out all the exciting events, schedules, and reservation options at Nantahala Outdoor Center, located at 13077 Hwy. 19 W. in Bryson City, NC, call 828-366-7502 or visit their website.


With a passion for travel and creativity, Journalist and Photographer, Melody Schubert let’s her imagination guide her as she explores the world. For her, everyday is an opportunity to embrace something new, and explore intriguing and overlooked destinations that express the heart of a region, and share these discoveries with readers of Travel Freak. She is also Editorial Executive for USA Travel Magazine - http://www.usatravelmagazine.com/ where she shares more of travel interests.


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