Emergency Closure for Nantahala Gorge

Due to hazardous conditions in the Nantahala Gorge from multiple landslides, the U.S. Forest Service is issuing an Emergency Closure Order prohibiting access to the Nantahala River. The closure is in effect for national forest land between Beechertown Launch Ramp and the Silvermine Take-out Ramp. This closure also applies to Ferebee Memorial Park.

Commercial Rafting and Kayaking Operations Suspended on Nantahala River

Hazards created by recent landslides into the Nantahala River within the Nantahala Gorge have resulted in a suspension of all commercial rafting and kayaking operations, and a recommendation that individual paddlers avoid the area.

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. 

Court dismisses majority of Mystic Lands claims

This story was updated Jan. 22, 2020.

Mystic Lands property owners may have prevailed in court over one issue — a paving contractual dispute — but the majority of the other claims made against developer Ami Shinitzky for fraud and financial wrongdoing were previously dismissed.

Wildfire impacts range from barely there to complete char, but true effects remain to be seen

It’s a warmer-than-average January day, the contours of the mountains visible from the highway beneath a thin covering of leafless tree branches under a half-blue sky. A U.S. Forest Service Jeep travels west on U.S. 74, bypassing Franklin and hanging a right for the winding road that leads to Wayah Bald. 

The vehicle pauses for a moment as it traverses a valley framed by Wayah’s upward-reaching face. The slope is mottled with patches of darkness that could almost pass for cloud shadows. 

Country crossroads: Boiling down the essence of humanity

travel mrpeanutHeading west out of Bryson City, just before the highway narrows into a twisting two-lane road, a small, ramshackle hut watches over the crossroads of Southern Appalachia — a last stop before descending into the remote Nantahala Gorge ahead, or the desolate beauty of Fontana Lake to the right. 

The shack, wedged between junk cars and a rundown trailer, has seen better days, on a property that has seen better years. But, upon closer inspection, a friendly face sits behind a counter filled with knickknacks and the wafting smell of boiled peanuts.

Freestyle Kayaking World Championships descend on NOC

kayak mainA destination for paddlers around the world, the Nantahala River is known for its complexity of rapids and consistent waters levels, ensuring a level of competition that can’t be found anywhere else in the United States. The world’s top paddlers will descend on the river for a week of competition, camaraderie and cold water during the 2013 International Canoe Federation’s (ICF) Freestyle World Championships Sept. 2-8. 

Balancing grades, world-class training no problem for SCC Early College student

out frBy Tyler Norris Goode • Contributor

Rowan Stuart’s favorite kayak maneuver is called the “Phonics Monkey” and involves spinning the vessel on its bow like a pirouette for a full 360 degrees then flipping the boat end over end.

There’s nothing easy about the trick, but Stuart’s ability to cleanly achieve it at high-level competitions is a big reason she’ll be competing in the Freestyle World Championships, the premier competition for freestyle paddling athletes, that start Sept. 2 in the Nantahala Gorge. 

What is freestyle kayaking?

kayak whatisfreestyleCombining an array of difficult tricks, precision paddling and finely tuned choreography, freestyle kayaking can be described as aquatic gymnastics.

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