Class II-III Nantahala River, NC

Nantahala River (FS Road 327 to Nantahala Outdoor Center)

The Nantahala River, below Nantahala Reservoir, offers rafting, canoeing and kayaking for all experience levels of whitewater enthusiasts. The Cascades (Class V) and Upper (Class III-IV) sections only run during a few yearly scheduled releases and natural flow, although the lower Gorge section (Class II-III) releases almost daily year-around. This is one of America’s most popular whitewater runs that hosted the 2013 International Canoe Federation’s Freestyle World Championships! (Source: Smoky Mountain Blueways)

Section Details

Trip Length Partial Day, 22.0 Miles
Fishing Yes
Camping Yes
Manager U.S. Forest Service, Nantahala National Forest
Wild & Scenic No
Water Trail No
Partner Information
Description American Whitewater
River Flow Information

This section of river is dependent on flow being released from an upstream hydropower dam.

The Nantahala runs almost all the time. Water is frequently, but not always, released most of the day. Except during floods, the Nantahala is either "on" (water being released at 586 cfs on the gauge just upstream of Ferebee Park) or "off."

Recreational amenities, gained from the power company's settlement while determining licensing of the the flow release, include access and viewing improvements to the Rocky Branch and Big Choga access areas. Parking, information kiosks, fishing and bathroom facility improvements were also made as part of the agreement.