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Paddle, Raft & Hike in the Great Smoky Mountains

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Program #17425RJ

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6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
While all of our learning adventures offer extraordinary value, our "Best Value" programs were rated by our participants themselves who thought their dollar went particularly far.
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. Minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding, and rewarding, programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Theodore from Oreland, PA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 08/14/15 - 08/19/15
This was a great program. I had never done any whitewater kayaking and only once had gone whitewater rafting on a rather mild river. I learned a lot, had fun doing it, and tried some new and challenging activities. As long as you are comfortable in the water and able to paddle, on and off, for a couple hours, you too can do this. Jump in.

Mitzi from Cincinnati, OH Number of programs attended: 0
Date attended: 08/14/15 - 08/19/15
What a great adventure! There was a unique experience on the water each day and the two hikes were delightful. I was challenged to exert myself and learn new skills and I loved it. I enjoyed the other participants as they all stretched themselves to experience the program to the fullest. The location was great- outdoorsy yet providing enough comforts to make it a pleasure.

Judith from Durham, NC Number of programs attended: 7
Date attended: 06/07/15 - 06/12/15
Best RS trip I have been on. Excellent instructors, accommodation and food. We had fun!

Robert from Whispering Pines, NC Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 06/07/15 - 06/12/15
Nantahala Outdoor Center is the top of the ROCK! Consistent water levels support the program along with top notch instructors, state of the art gear and great lodging. If you can't enjoy yourself here you can't anywhere. This is white water and you will be paddling in any weather conditions. Be prepared to paddle for 4 hours a day but at easy levels. Can I give this a 10 rating? REW

Mark from Moraga, CA Number of programs attended: 34
Date attended: 08/17/14 - 08/22/14
Credit for the superb experience already reported by members of our group must be given to Will & Jimmy who each in the best teaching tradition, acted as " the guide at the side , rather than the sage on the stage ," never being intrusive but always there to improve and correct our performance; something usually difficult for such expert athletes to exhibit. Although they always kept track of their charges one never felt regimented. The progression from day to day of instruction and exposure to various crafts and conditions well prepared us for our culminating white water experience in "rubber duckies". I anticipate more such experiences in the future. Food prepared with love by culinary artists Jeremiah and Doug with fresh produce and savory meats was much better than I expected. Our group bonded well, all being very friendly and cooperative, traits also exhibited by all the NOC staff I encountered, insuring a most delightful total experience. And of course the Smokys and the Nantahala area in particular are exceptional. . .

Celine from St Augustine, FL Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 08/17/14 - 08/22/14
This program was "summer camp" for grown ups, fun and full of activity. Everything was taken care of by the Nontahala Outdoor Center (NOC) staff including large meals,transportation to the various sites, and management of the needed equipment (kayaks are heavy!). The kayak instruction was excellent from Will and Jimmy. I learned so much in just a few days. Hope to see all the participants again on another trip someday. I would return to the NOC again for further instruction.

Bob from Stuart, FL Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 08/17/14 - 08/22/14
The experience exceeded expectations in the both the learning and enjoyment. Will Norris has the knowledge and experience along with the ability to convey the training necessary to function in many different kayaks. The wet water exit was achieved along with many other skills. The hikes were worth the effort, the equipment was in good condition, the dinner meals by Doug and Jeremiah were outstanding, as were the meals and service at the restaurant. The quality of the service by all the personnel was fabulous. I have posted pictures at: https://kayakersdelight.shutterfly.com/?toaddress

Tom from Vienna, VA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 08/17/14 - 08/22/14
Ex summary: This was a great time! The goal of the week was to get people with some or little kayak experience used to kayaks and white water. I think it was successful for everyone who attended. Physical Plant: We stayed in facilities that were very close to main operating camp locations on the river. The walk to and from living quarters was hilly. I would recommend a plan to use a car, because it is helpful to have a change of clothes for afternoon activities right at the center of the camp. The individual rooms were adequate. There is wifi available in the main part of camp, but wifi is only sporadically available in the living quarters. The rooms were small with limited personal storage available, but there is a large common room with kitchen, which contributes to meeting and talking to others on the trip—I liked it. There are other rooms that are about a mile from the center of the camp…I’d opt for the ones on the camp if you have a chance because of convenience. Personnel: We had two of the most experienced people we could have asked for. They were also great instructors, able to teach what was important without pushing anyone beyond his or her limits. I also want to mention the food preparers’ great attitude (I’m serious, here). They let us know they were ready to do whatever they could to make our meals to our satisfaction. The NOC has a nice “family” feel to it. Food: I would describe it as delicious American comfort food. As mentioned above, the staff was always ready to help with special food needs. Breakfast was a hearty cook to order affair in the camp restaurant. Lunch was often a bag lunch on the road. Dinner was in a private camp restaurant, and every dinner was great! Other thoughts: - A good waterproof camera (with lanyard) would be a good item to have on this trip - Bring some good hiking shoes for the hikes - When the staff recommends wearing (for example) a wetsuit, consider the recommendation seriously.

Bob from Thorold, ON Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 08/17/14 - 08/22/14
Bob from Thorold the kayaking programme was a blast.Our guides Will and Jimmy had so much to share and did not push us farther than we could go the hikes were great and the programme area was beautiful .Those smokey mountains are something else .The meals were well planned out and the other guests were great and can not wait to go again .I had a great time even if I did see the bottom of the river hanging upside down in a kayak

Barbara from Hendersonville, NC Number of programs attended: 12
Date attended: 08/17/14 - 08/22/14
I had no prior experience with a kayak before this program. The guides, Will and Jimmy, gave good instructions, and were always helpful and encouraging. A great adventure!!!

Judith from Moraga, CA Number of programs attended: 33
Date attended: 08/17/14 - 08/22/14
It was quality time, a terrific learning experience to take ordinary kayaking to the next level. Everyone gets single kayaks; there are no "doubles". So that you can really learn to handle different kinds of boats in moving water. The instructors are patient teachers, inspiring confidence one step at a time. The raft trip was also fun! All equipment and instruction was very good. Food was good: breakfast ordered from a menus, dinners buffet style including fresh local produce, lunches packed according to our choices.

Ralph from Huntsville, AL Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 08/17/14 - 08/22/14
Our guides, Will and Jimmy, for this program were "All In"! There was no lack of commitment on their part. They have " been there, done that". The other participants were a joy to be around during these outings. Also, I was honored to bring home the first Eddie Haskell Award!!

Nancy from Bisbee, AZ Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 08/17/14 - 08/22/14
This is a fantastic program to get a chance to explore various ways to paddle rivers and lakes, and to learn about the history and ecology of the Great Smoky Mountains. I would recommend it to anyone who has always wanted to experience the thrill of paddling in white water.

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"Final Exam - We went over in this with no problem." Uploaded By: Theodore
"Final Exam - We went over in this with no problem." Uploaded By: Theodore

"Three Types of Watercraft" Uploaded By: Mark

"Breakfast with Will" Uploaded By: Bob

"Our Leader Will Norris" Uploaded By: Bob

"Lunch by a waterfall prior to hike to Tellico Gap" Uploaded By: Sharon Attended: 05/16/10 - 05/21/10

"Dinner at Relia's Restaurant" Uploaded By: Sharon Attended: 05/16/10 - 05/21/10
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"Camp Nantahala" Uploaded By: Mark
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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
5 nights of accommodations
14 meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
6 Field trips
8 Hands-on experiences
1 Performances


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