Nantahala Outdoor Center

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About Nantahala Outdoor Center, Bryson City

The Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) is a commercial outdoor guide service and retail store. It opened in 1972 when Payson and Aurelia Kennedy and Horace Holden Sr. took over the old Tote 'N Tarry Motel. NOC is based in western North Carolina near Bryson City, near the Great Smoky Mountains on the Nantahala River. NOC is surrounded by Nantahala National Forest. The Appalachian Trail passes directly through the heart of the NOC, crossing the Nantahala River on a bridge next to the outfitter. NOC operates whitewater rafting trips on eight Southeastern rivers: the Chattahoochee, Chattooga, Cheoah, French Broad, Nantahala, Nolichucky, Ocoee, and Pigeon. The NOC also teaches people to paddle in its canoe and kayak paddling school. They also offer mountain bike rentals, group programs, outdoor retail, restaurants, ropes courses, kayak touring, fly fishing and hiking. Former NOC president John Burton (who, until recently, was an owner/operator of nearby Nantahala Village Resort) was a member of the original 1972 Olympic slalom team. His teammate Angus Morrison, currently a head guide for Nantahala River Guided Trips, was also on the Olympic team that year, as well as in 1976 and 1980. More recently, Olympians Lecky and Fritz Haller, Horace Holden, Jr., Wayne Dickert (currently head of NOC Instruction), Joe Jacobi, Scott Strausbaugh and Scott Shipley have all trained with the Nantahala Racing Club at NOC on the Nantahala River. Jacobi and Strausbaugh, paddling C-2, are the only Americans ever to have won an Olympic gold medal for the US in whitewater, which they did in Barcelona in 1992.


Overview of Nantahala Outdoor Center

Check out detailed information of Nantahala Outdoor Center which resides in the Bryson City. Don't expect lot of visitors to Nantahala Outdoor Center since it is not a popular tourist spot in Bryson City.

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Address: 13077 W Hwy 19, Bryson City, NC 28713, USA

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Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

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Share your experience - Rate Nantahala Outdoor Center, Bryson City

  • First time out on the white water was very happy we went to the Nantahala the river was running fast from the Dam being open it was great! My wife was so happy we did the river we are now getting ready to reschedule and do a new trip with the kids thank you so much and a special thanks to Mark Freeze super nice guy hope to see you again this vacation was one to remember we're going to try the train and raft in the near future. P. S. bring water shoes and a small bag with carabineer to clip the bag to the raft to store your water and stuff! THANKS AGAIN Allen

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  • Took a guided raft trip down the Nantahala on the morning of the Total Solar Eclipse, 8/21/17. Fantastic! Our guide Simon was truly superb, one of the finest young men it's been our privilege to have become acquainted with. We were last here in 2007 when our offspring were aged 11, 9 and 9 (identical twins!). Back a decade later and we had an even better time! Thanks, Simon!

  • The river was great and the staff was friendly. The only reason I'm rating it a 4/5 is due to the amount of time we waited on the bus to leave for the put-in. I certainly recognize we went mid-morning on a Saturday during their peak season and they were working with a large group. However, the group of 150+ people wasn't the reason for the delay - I was actually impressed on how efficiently and quickly the guests moved. The delay came from poor communication and efficiency from the staff. It may have been a one-off incident, but I could feel the patience of the patrons wearing thin. Suggestion to visitors: go during the week, if you can.

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  • I love going here to watch people kayak. Parking is a little hard because there are so many people. There are young and old alike. Go and enjoy.

  • Nice place to hang out, lots to do in a day. About $35 per person to rent raft. $55 per person to go with the guides. Get there early to find parking, it's a complete free for all. Don't park in the grass on a wet day you'll get stuck if you don't have 4x4. The river is running good so you have to paddle alot which makes it exciting but it's not too dangerous and there is many people around.

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