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River Rafting and Kayaking
Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC). Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) guides more than 30,000 rafters every year on the Nantahala and six other rivers: the Chattooga, Cheoah (for the more advanced and experienced rafter), French Broad, Nolichucky, Ocoee, and Pigeon. Rates vary depending on the length of the trip and the river; half-day trips on the Nantahala are $38–$50. Raft rental starts at $22 for a half day. NOC also rents kayaks, ducks, mountain bikes, and other equipment. The bustling NOC complex on the Nantahala River is virtually a tourist attraction itself, especially for young people, with three restaurants, cabin and campground rentals, a zip line, an inn, a fly-fishing shop, and a stop for the Great Smokies Railroad. 13077 Hwy. 19 W, Bryson City, NC, 28713. 800/905–7238. www.noc.com.
Wildwater, Ltd.. Based in South Carolina but with a location in the Nantahala Gorge, Wildwater, Ltd. offers rafting on the Chatooga, Ococee, Nantahala, and Pigeon rivers. It also has a zip line and offers jeep tours. Almond, NC, 28702. 828/488-2384, 828/488–2384, 866/319-8870, or 866/319–8870. www.wildwaterrafting.com.
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