Nantahala River (via Turkey Creek Campground)

Location: Western North Carolina
Trip Starts: Nantahala River Put-In
Trip Ends: N.O.C – Wesser, N.C.
Total Distance: 8 miles
Hike Type: One-Way, Shuttle Hike
Hike Difficulty: Moderate
Trails Used: Nantahala River
Trail Traffic: Heavy
Trip Type: Day or Overnight Trip
More Information:

Nantahala National Forest
Wayah Ranger District
Franklin, NC 28734


This section of the Nantahala River is very popular with both kayakers and rafters and was once used for summer events in the 1996 Olympics. The eight mile river route starts at the put-in thirteen miles west of Bryson City on Highway 19/74. It ends at the Nantahala Outdoor Center or N.O.C. in Wesser, N.C (which is also the access point to the Appalachian Trail). The N.O.C. is a very popular place particularly in the summer months and the river is typically mobbed with both kayakers and rafters in the late morning and early afternoon hours from June through August. There are over twenty named rapids on the damn controlled Nantahala River and a large number of commercial outfitters offer both guided and self-guided kayaking, rafting, and duckie trips. Wesser Falls, a Class III rapid a short distance from the N.O.C., is the largest rapid in this section and there is a wooden platform nearby where many people stop to watch all the action.

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