Active + Adventure

Adrenaline High

by Sarah Tuff

The dream: To sluice down the world's gnarliest white-water rivers
Go to: Bryson City, North Carolina
And enroll at: Nantahala Outdoor Center Paddling School

Don't know an Eskimo roll from an Eskimo Pie? No worries: The Nantahala Outdoor Center is nirvana for expert white-water kayakers—and those who'd like to become one. On the frothy Nantahala River, at the foot of the Smoky Mountains 80 miles west of Asheville, paddlers practice everything from getting inside a teacup-sized kayak to handling Class IV stuff. Want to learn how to roll? There's a half-day course, plus specialized women's courses. The NOC's outpost lies on a pristine stretch of the river, close to several other rivers, and is kid-friendly, too. Bunk down in a tent, a cabin, or the Nantahala Inn, all run by NOC. While you won't find Aveda amenities in the bathrooms, the Inn is plenty comfortable. And you'll need plenty of z's, for the pace is, well, rapid.
Full-day beginner sampler course, including lunch, $95; half-day private instruction, $175. Double rooms at the Nantahala Inn, $85

Nantahala Outdoor Center and Nantahala Inn
Tel: 888 590 9266

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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