Nantahala – Winter Paddling Intro

 By Brian Swafford

On Sunday, October 15th, we will be paddling the Nantahala, which has been a benchmark intermediate run for over 30 years, and the establishment of Nantahala Outdoor Center was a large catalyst in the development of such a strong outdoor industry in the Southeast. It remains one of the best rivers to learn how to kayak, canoe, or paddleboard in the world.  The Nantahala River Gorge is ideally set up for intermediate paddlers. It has myriad small surf waves, forgiving eddy lines, and rapids with just enough power to challenge and entertain. There is also the capability to set up elite slalom courses through Nantahala Falls, and the playhole near NOC has been tweaked through the years, hosting the Freestyle Kayaking World Championships in 2013. Combine those resources with the class IV-V options upstream, and it’s easy to see why this area continues to be such a strong paddling destination.  The Nantahala is a river steeped in heritage.  For more information, including river info, directions, parking, etc., check out:



This trip will be for those who have already done the Nantahala or are pretty comfortable on class 2 whitewater .It is not a training trip or first timer trip. This is a wonderful time of year to do this run. There will be much less commercial raft traffic and the leaves will be changing. If we are lucky the water might be warmer as well depending on where the release is coming from. The weather can vary dramatically this time of year so you will need the proper gear depending on what it is. You can always check with me if you are not sure when we get closer to that time and have a better idea of what the weather will be like.



After we get off the river we will have dinner at Monte Alban mexican restaurant in Andrews. During dinner we will discuss winter/early spring paddling. We will talk about the additional hazards and gear needed to paddle this time of year. We will also talk about a few of the more popular class 2-3 runs in our area. We will plan to spend about two hours on dinner and the discussion. Bring a pen and pad with you if you would like to take some notes. Feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions about this trip.



Contact Brian Swafford @ 423-902-6699 by Wednesday October 11 to register.