NOC to open high-end bungalow accommodations

The Nantahala Outdoor Center unveiled its newest lodging, The Hemlocks by NOC. 

Paddle the Glacier Breaker

Start off the year with an early-season slalom race Saturday, Feb. 17, on the Nantahala River at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. 

NOC welcomes Santa

Meet Santa at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in Swain County at one of three events coming up next month. 

Go to raft guide school

Learn how to raft guide with a three-day clinic Friday, Oct. 6, through Sunday, Oct. 8, at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in Swain County.


The curriculum is suited for everyone from beginners to experienced paddlers seeking to solidify their skill and confidence on the river. Professional instructors from NOC will meet participants at their skill level and ensure they leave with newfound knowledge, technique and confidence.

Cost starts at $550. Participants must be at least 18 years old. Learn more or register at

GAF returns to NOC

A weekend of riverside games, whitewater rafting, adventure films and gear deals will liven up the fall Sept. 22-24 at Nantahala Outdoor Center in Swain County.

Wild guests to visit NOC

Delve into the captivating world of wildlife during a 60-minute interactive experience starting at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 2, at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in Swain County.

Women’s Paddlefest returns to NOC

Nantahala Outdoor Center will hold its Women’s Paddlefest Friday, June 2, through Sunday, June 4, hosted by inspirational paddler Anna Levesque.

Tourism businesses engage in legal battle

Two of Swain County’s largest tourism brands — Nantahala Outdoor Center and Great Smoky Mountains Railroad — are engaged in a lawsuit regarding right-of-way access over the railroad tracks. 

No sight required: Summer camp spurs blind youth to outdoor adventure

When Sam Chandler heard that the summer camp he’d been attending for years planned to launch an adventure camp, he was sold. Chandler — who at 17 is a rising senior at Tuscola High School in Waynesville — was quick to sign up for the week of ziplining, hiking and whitewater rafting at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. He came back for a second year, and, when he’d maxed out the two-year cap on adventure camp attendance, returned this year as a counselor.

It would be a common story of summer camp memories and corresponding summer camp allegiance, but for one simple fact: Chandler, like the rest of the teens embarking on these outdoor excursions, is mostly blind. 

Telling NOC’s story: Book shows early years of outdoor center through the eyes of staff, leaders

It was 1972, and the world of whitewater paddling was changing. Americans were just about a decade into experimenting with kayaks and it had been only three years since the first whitewater race in the South and the passage of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. That year’s Summer Olympic Games in Munich would be the first to include whitewater paddling among its events.

Amid all of this, Horace Holden, Payson Kennedy and Aurelia Kennedy decided to start a new rafting business in Swain County, to be called the Nantahala Outdoor Center. 

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