Nantahala Travel Guide

  • Appalachian Trail Sign
    Appalachian Trail Sign
    by jmpncsu
  • View from Jump-Up Lookout
    View from Jump-Up Lookout
    by jmpncsu
  • View from Lookout Tower - North
    View from Lookout Tower - North
    by jmpncsu

Nantahala Things to Do

  • OUTDOORS

    Rafting on the Nantahala River is great for beginners. The rapids are sometimes Class 3, but for the most part they are calm. Its really cold even in the summer b/c the trees hang over the river and keep it shaded. It is alot of fun with 4-6 people.

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  • Family Time

    There is so much to see and do at Nantahala, but for us the number one priority when we come here is to spend time with family. With 12 brothers and sisters, our children and grandchildren, all living in scattered cities, there's always lots of catching up to do.The first time I ever brought Karen here it was just the two of us together. That...

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Nantahala Restaurants

  • Eat Overlooking the River

    The best thing I like about River's End Cafe is that it sits right on the Nantahala River, near the point where rafters and kayakers end their runs. It's a great place to celebrate with your friends, or just have a luscious burger with a fantastic view. I love their cheezeburgers. The River's End is also known for it's fresh homemade breads and...

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  • Don't Miss the Rainbow Trout

    Every year we enjoy two or three meals at the Nantahala Village Restaurant and it is always a memorable experience. The atmosphere is great, the food is excellent, the service attentive, and the view superb. There is a dining room with a large fireplace at one end, and also a spacious sheltered dining porch with a panoramic view of the mountains....

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Nantahala Shopping

  • Gear for the Outdoors Enthusiast

    If you are in the market for camping, backpacking or whitewater gear, the Nantahala Outfitters Store stocks one of the best selections you will find anywhere. Can't get to Nantahala? They also offer their merchandise online. Check it out by clicking the web link below. If it has anything to do with kayaking or backpacking they probably have it.

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  • Souvenirs and Sundries

    Nantahala is for lovers, families, and outdoor enthusiasts. It's not your best venue for shopping. However, Nantahala Village does have a General Store where you can pick up a few items that you might need. It is directly across the highway from the lodge and offers a limited selection of groceries, sundries and souvenirs.

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Nantahala Warnings and Dangers

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Oct 20, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Tens of thousands of people shoot the rapids on the Nantahala every year without a problem, but an unfortunate few have drowned here. Some of the rapids rate a class III, although most of the river is more gentle. Never go onto the river without a life jacket, and if you are in a Kayak, wear a helmet as well.

    Also, never go beyond the normal disembarkation point just below Lesser Wesser Falls. Only .2 mile downriver from there is the Wesser Falls (sometimes known as Worser Wesser). It is extremely dangerous and if you ignore the warnings and go over it your chances of survival will be slim.

    A Kayaker Getting Swamped at Lesser Wesser Falls
    Related to:
    • Water Sports
    • Kayaking
    • Rafting

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Nantahala Off The Beaten Path

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Oct 20, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    For a unique experience that you will not soon forget take a ride on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, pulled by an authentic old steam locomotive. Excursions are offered throughout the year from Dillsboro to Bryson City, North Carolina. Some of the trips include a stop at the Nantahala Outdoors Center. The main station is about 10 miles north of Nantahala in Bryson City.

    The 53 mile route includes the most scenic section of the Nantahala River Gorge. There are two tunnels and 25 bridges along the way.

    Departures and rates vary with the season, so check the web link below for more details.

    Great Smoky Mountains Railroad along the Nantahala
    Related to:
    • Trains

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Nantahala Sports & Outdoors

  • Take a Hike on the Appalachian Trail

    The world famous Appalachian Trail passes right through the heart of the Nantahala Gorge. Follow the white blazes from here and you can go south to Springer Mountain, Georgia, or north to Mount Katahdin, Maine - more than 2,174 miles in all.Over the years I have hiked approximately half of the Appalachian Trail, including sections in all but one of...

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  • World Class Whitewater Rafting

    The Nantahala River is famous for its whitewater rafting and kayaking. There are numerous outfitters which offer trips, or you can bring your own craft and go down the river for free. Whitewater sports are extremely popular and thousands of people will shoot the river on a summer weekend. Crowds are a little less during the week and earlier or...

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  • Take a Trail Ride

    One of the activities we especially enjoy at Nantahala is taking a trail ride. There are stables at the Village with guided rides available by the hour, half day, or day. The trails lead through majestic wooded mountains with wonderful views of Fontana Lake, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the far shore.The horses are gentle and well...

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Nantahala Favorites

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Oct 20, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: An active family will never have to be bored at Nantahala Village. There is a playground for the children, a game room, vollyball court, tennis courts, shuffleboard and minature golf, as well as horseback and hiking trails. A short distance away are numerous other activities, a casino and shopping in Cherokee, and the historic sites and natural splendor of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

    Children's Playground at Nantahala Village
    Related to:
    • Family Travel

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