Nolichucky River TN and NC: Wild and Scenic White Water Rafting on the Nolichucky in North Carolina

The Wild and Scenic Nolichucky River...

The southeastern United States used to be a lot more wild and scenic than it is today, but even now there are plenty of places that you can get away for a while and experience what life must have been like 200 years ago… One of these places if the wild and scenic Nolichucky River in North Carolina, which is one of the largest canyon rivers with mountains rising up to 3,000 feet on either side of the river! It’s a very beautiful location, and a perfect one to enjoy with a stretch of white water rafting, North Carolina style!

The Nolichucky River is probably the best white water rafting experience that you can have in North Carolina and the most majestic too. It’s a wilderness area, so it takes a little work to put in your rafts for your trip on the river, but once you are all set up and floating you’ll have the time of your life, and one that you’ll remember for many years! There are many great rafting companies that offer this trip, and one good one in particular is Cherokee Adventures in North Carolina. They have been in business for many years, and have sufficient size so that you’ll have backup in case your raft gets into trouble at some point during the day. The rapids are not that bad on the Nolichucky River, but there are mostly Class III’s and IV’s on the Upper part of the river which makes it still a challenging rafting river.

Lower Nolichucky River, in Tennessee...

I would definitely suggest doing the full day trip, which takes you through the most scenic parts of the canyon and you’ll enjoy a very nice smorgasbord lunch about halfway down when you stop by the side of the Nolichucky River for a rest break. Some companies will also offer a quick half day trip if you just don’t have the time for all day, and this is good in a pinch. Trips tend to fill up quickly during the summer because it’s such a popular river, so make sure you find a good company and book early if you’re interested in doing this trip!

The North Carolina part of the river is probably by far the best white water portion and the most scenic, but there is also another section in Tennessee called the Lower Nolichucky River that is very good for families and younger children. It is still a very scenic section, but only has Class I and II rapids, with a Class III toward the end. That pretty much makes it about equal to the Nantahala River in North Carolina for difficulty level. So if you are very inexperienced or just looking to enjoy the day with children, this part of the river may a good fit for you.

Nantahala Outdoors Center on the Nolichucky RIver...

Upper Nolichucky River...

If you would like to extend your stay in the Upper Nolichucky River area for an extra day or two, there are some great campgrounds around that you should enjoy. There is nothing better than camping out in the wild if you have young kids, and it’s usually a trip that they will remember for the rest of their lives! Enjoy the campfires, fishing in the nearby lakes, nosey raccoons that come out at night, and the fireflies! Everyone should experience a good camping trip at least once in their lives, and your rafting tour company may even have a campground located near the river. A lot of companies will have one located right on the river, and they use it to lodge their rafting guides for the summer, which makes it real down and homey!

If you do the Nolichucky River rafting trip, be sure to bring a good waterproof camera for those awesome scenic shots on the river! It would be a shame to leave your camera behind in the car because it’s not waterproof and then miss out on some incredible shots! I know that you‘ll love the Nolichucky River trip, mainly because of the location, but also because of the sizeable rapids along the way. They are big, but not too big, for those looking for a little moderation in their lives… Get out into wild and scenic North Carolina, and experience life as the Cherokee Indians knew it long ago in the southeastern U.S…

I hope you have a little more knowledge about the Nolichucky River now and that you will start planning a trip real soon, but there are also some other great rivers in North Carolina and nearby Tennessee! For a milder trip with warmer water, try the French Broad River NC. For a really wild ride, give the Ocoee River Tennessee a go! This is a more advanced river though, so be ready… Lastly, the Chattooga River Georgia is another wild and scenic river with some great rapids that you will definitely love. Have fun!

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