The Southeastern U.S. offers some of the finest whitewater boating in North America. Whether by raft, kayak, canoe, or some other craft, a great diversity of whitewater adventures awaits, ranging from class II to class V. During the summer, the water is warm, and many outfitters offer trips to a variety of rivers.
Double Suck on the Lower Ocoee River, Tennessee
The Nantahala River in North Carolina is a true mecca for whitewater boating. Cold by southeastern standards, the Nantahala River is where many beginners learn the sport and perfect the basic maneuvers. Perhaps too tame for most rafters, white-water kayakers and canoeists have honed their skills on this river for decades. The Nantahala Outdoor Center features a large outfitters store, campgrounds, restaurants, and lessons. Other fairly beginner friendly rivers in the region include the Hiwassee (below the Appalachia Powerhouse), Cartecay, Pigeon and the Green (below the Narrows section).
Humongous on the Upper Ocoee River, Tennessee
The Ocoee River in southeastern Tennessee is a prime destination for immediate level boaters. Rapids are exciting and continuous, perfect for rafters and experience kayakers, although maybe too intense for all but strong canoeists. The “Olympic section” of the upper Ocoee was the site of the 1988 Olympic whitewater kayaking trials, and a center to commemorate this has been built alongside the river. Dam controlled releases are scheduled throughout the summer. Other intermediate level rivers in the region include Section III of the Chattooga, and sections of the Nolichucky, French Broad, and Tellico.
Jawbone on the Section IV of the Chattooga River, South Carolina
Go to p. 2