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Whitewater Adventure in the Great Smoky Mountains

Program Number: 17425RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/21/2014 - 9/26/2014;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Bryson City, North Carolina
Price starting at: $755.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Water Sports Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Get an invigorating outdoor workout with the country’s premiere paddling school, the Nantahala Outdoor Center, as you learn the basics of kayaking amid Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Experts provide in-depth instruction on water safety and paddling technique and then send you into the water to practice on placid Fontana Lake before tackling more rigorous water based challenges such as whitewater kayaking and rafting.




Highlights

• Instructors from the country’s leading kayaking school teach you the basics and point out what to watch for in your natural surroundings.
• Paddle down the Little Tennessee River and get lost in the beauty of the protected waterway.
• Join a professional folksinger and storyteller for a program of Cherokee songs, mountain tales, and banjo and dulcimer ballads.



Activity Particulars

Hiking up to three hours on easy to moderate trails on two of the days. Paddling kayaks or inflatables from three to six hours each day. Cabins and restaurant require walking uphill; terrain on campus is gravel but flat.



Kayaking experience not required. River trips supervised by a professional whitewater outfitter.




Bryson City

The seat of Swain County is a portal to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, several popular whitewater rafting rivers and beautiful Fontana Lake. Streams, trails and mountain views provide a spectacular backdrop to the many creative endeavors that visitors to Bryson City enjoy, from historic train excursions to discoveries of Cherokee heritage.



Accommodations
Large, comfortable mountain cabin nestled in the woods near river, lake and hiking trails.
Meals and Lodgings
   Nantahala Outdoor Center Mountain Cabins
  Bryson City, NC 5 nights
 Nantahala Outdoor Center Mountain Cabins
Type: Cabin
  Contact info: 13077 Highway 19 West
Bryson City, NC 28713 USA
phone: 800-232-7238
web: www.noc.com
  Room amenities: All rooms have fans and heat (no AC).
  Facility amenities: There is a TV with a DVD player and satellite in the lounge area, along with a courtesy phone. The rooms have access to a fridge, microwave and coffee maker. Coffee is not provided. There is a coin operated washer and dryer in the building.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: Most cabins have shared bathrooms.
  Additional nights prior: Call for rates Call for rates.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call for rates Call for rates.
  Check out time: 10:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check in is between 3-4:30 pm, followed by a walking tour at 5pm. You will be staying at Nantahala Outdoor Center Mountain Cabins that night.
  End of Program:
Check out is before 10:00 am. You will be staying at Nantahala Outdoor Center Mountain Cabins the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. NOC requires signatures on assumption of risk forms prior to participation in any of the water based activities.
  Parking availability:
Parking is free
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Bryson City, NC
  Nearest city or town:  Bryson City
  Nearest highway: US 74
  Nearest airport:  Asheville
  From End of Program
  Location: Bryson City, NC
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Asheville

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

None - Car Required

 
Driving Directions
  From Asheville, NC Take I-40 West toward Knoxville, TN. Take exit 27 onto US 74 West toward Waynesville. The Nantahala is located 50 miles down this road. Stay on 74 West. Eight miles west of Bryson City, the four-lane highway you are on will split into two 2-lane roads. Stay on 74, which is the left lane. Go another five miles. On the last descent you will see a yellow caution sign on the right indicating you are entering the Nantahala Gorge. Just after the sign you will see the Nantahala River, and NOC's Nantahala Outpost.
  From Chattanooga, TN Take I-75 North toward Cleveland, TN. Take the first Cleveland exit, which is US 64 BYPASS East. Go six miles and take the Ocoee Exit onto US 64 East toward Murphy, NC. At Murphy, the road number changes to US 74. Stay on US 74 going east toward Andrews. NOC is about 20 miles past Andrews. You will be following the Nantahala River for the last eight miles.
  From Gatlinburg, TN Take 441 South through Great Smoky Mountains National Park, through Cherokee. Just past Cherokee, get on Hwy 74 West. After approximately 15 miles, the road will split into two 2-lane roads. Stay on 74 W which is the left lane and continue 4.3 miles to Nantahala Outdoor Center.
  From east Atlanta Take I-85 North to I-985 North. At Gainesville, GA take 365 North to 441 North. Just past Dillsboro, NC, 441 merges with US 74. Take 74 West past all Bryson City exits. (Then follow directions from ASHEVILLE above.)
  From west Atlanta Take I-75 North to I-575 North. I-575 becomes State Hwy 5, which in turn becomes Hwy 76. Stay with this road until you reach Blue Ridge, GA, and then turn left onto Hwy 60 to Mineral Bluff, GA. In Mineral Bluff, turn right onto Hwy 60 Spur. Follow it into North Carolina to US 74 East, turning right toward Murphy and Andrews. Stay on 74 East. NOC is about 20 miles past Andrews. You will be following the Nantahala River for the last eight miles.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Check-in/Orientation/Program Overview/Social Time
(Sunday, September 21)
   
 Afternoon: Check-in between 3-4:40 pm, followed by an optional walking tour at 5pm of the Nantahala Outdoor Center facilities.
 Dinner: At 6pm the group will be dining together in one of our on site restaurants. Guests will enjoy a hearty meal that will include a meat or vegetarian option, drink and dessert.
 Evening: After enjoying a dinner with the group's program leaders, you will move to an area set up specially to go over the activities of the week with your instructors, teachers and guides as well as learn about some local history. At the end of this short session, guests can enjoy mingling at our Pourover Pub.
   
Accommodations: Nantahala Outdoor Center Mountain Cabins
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Lake Kayaking Basics & Eco-engagement
(Monday, September 22)
   
 Breakfast: Enjoy a hot breakfast before your day of adventure.
 Morning: The lake touring will be on a nearby lake where instructors will provide techniques for confidence and success. We'll start with a "classroom style" session reviewing the basics of lake kayaking and going over the necessary equipment to enjoy the sport. We will also introduce and study the ecology of our area so we'll being able to identify the ecology and wildlife that abounds in the Great Smoky Mountains as we explore in our boats.
 Lunch: We will take a break mid-day to enjoy a deli-style lunch.
 Afternoon: The afternoon will be filled with time exploring the rest of the lake. After we return to NOC, there will be plenty of time to shower if desired and enjoy some free time before dinner.
 Dinner: At 6:00 pm the group will enjoy another meal at one of our on site restaurants. This will provide everyone the opportunity to share stories about the adventures of the day.
 Evening: At 7:00 Lee Knight will do a program which would include Cherokee songs and stories, ballads, banjo and dulcimer songs and stories from the mountains. Lee currently works as a folk singer, story teller and outdoor leader, performing at concerts, workshops, Road Scholars, festivals, camps and schools.
   
Accommodations: Nantahala Outdoor Center Mountain Cabins
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Nantahala River Trip / Adventure Hike
(Tuesday, September 23)
   
 Breakfast: Enjoy a hot breakfast before your day of adventure.
 Morning: We'll head the Nantahala River for a morning of excitement! There will be an option to go along in a stable raft (with a guide included) for your introduction to whitewater.
 Lunch: We'll enjoy another deli-style lunch by the Nantahala River.
 Afternoon: For the young at heart (and body) we'll offer a guided hiking trip that takes advantage of the scenery, flora and fauna located in our beautiful Great Smoky Mountains. This session will end with time to shower and relax if desired and prepare for dinner.
 Dinner: Dinner included.
   
Accommodations: Nantahala Outdoor Center Mountain Cabins
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Introduction to Whitewater Kayaking
(Wednesday, September 24)
   
 Breakfast: Enjoy a hot breakfast before your day of adventure.
 Morning: In the morning we'll go to the lake to be introduced to more maneuverable kayaks that used for whitewater rivers. Your group will learn new maneuvers in these new boats, including the "wet exit," in preparation for a trip on a section of moving water. The group will then travel to a nearby river for a chance to paddle downstream and let the river do the work for us.
 Lunch: Enjoy your deli-style lunch with a mountain view, by the river.
 Afternoon: After lunch you'll continue to be fascinated by the scenery of this protected waterway and possibly see Osprey catching a fish on the river and a Great Blue Heron majestically keeping an eye on his domain. We might even have the opportunity for a surf session too! This session will end with plenty of time to shower if desired and prepare for dinner.
 Dinner: At 6:00 pm the group will enjoy another meal at one of our on site restaurants. This will provide everyone to share stories about the adventures of the day.
   
Accommodations: Nantahala Outdoor Center Mountain Cabins
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Nantahala River Trip / Adventure Hike
(Thursday, September 25)
   
 Breakfast: Enjoy a hot breakfast before your day of adventure.
 Morning: We'll return to the Nantahala River for more whitewater excitement! Today we will be going down the river in inflatable kayaks using our new skills for the best thrills of the week.
 Lunch: Enjoy your deli-style lunch with a mountain view, by the river.
 Afternoon: For the young at heart (and body) we'll offer a guided hiking trip that takes advantage of the scenery. Your guide will chose the best hike in our area to show off the flora and fauna located in our beautiful Great Smoky Mountains. This session will end with time to shower and relax if desired and prepare for dinner.
 Dinner: At 6:00 pm the group will enjoy a "farewell dinner" together in one of our on site restaurants. Every participant will receive a commemorative t-shirt before sharing stories about the adventures of the week with the rest of the group.
 Evening: Feedback Session - How are we doing?
   
Accommodations: Nantahala Outdoor Center Mountain Cabins
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Check Out
(Friday, September 26)
   
 Breakfast: Participants will enjoy a buffet-style breakfast to fuel up for your trip home.
 Morning: Check out of NOC lodging is 10:00 am.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Bryson City, NC Evening Activities
In the evenings, everyone can decide what to do with their free time. Popular activities include the large screen TV in the Paddlers Pub or watching entertaining, yet educational videos on the cabin's TV. For additional information, visit www.noc.com
  Local Area Attractions and Activities
Some of the activities/attractions available in the local area are: The Great Smoky Mountains National Park; Great Smoky Mountains National Railroad; Smoky Mountain Jet Boats; Cherokee Heritage Museum & Gallery;Fontana Dam;The Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center. For additional information, visit www.greatsmokies.com
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A History of Whitewater Paddling in Western North Carolina


Author: Will Leverette


Description: From the Chattooga to the Nantahala, the thrilling rapids and unparalleled scenery of Western North Carolina's rivers attract thousands of whitewater paddlers each year. Author and paddling instructor Will Leverette grew up in and around canoes. His grandfather, Frank Chief Bell, helped to popularize the sport through Camp Mondamin, the country's premier summer camp for paddling. Ride along with Leverette as he recounts the exhilarating adventures of paddling's pioneers from 1923 to 1980, both those who started the craze and those who guided it farther downstream.



A History of Whitewater Paddling in Western North Carolina: Water Wise


Author: Will Leverette


Description: From the Chattooga to the Nantahala, the thrilling rapids and unparalleled scenery of Western North Carolina's rivers attract thousands of whitewater paddlers each year. Author and paddling instructor Will Leverette grew up in and around canoes. His grandfather, Frank Chief Bell, helped to popularize the sport through Camp Mondamin, the country's premier summer camp for paddling. Ride along with Leverette as he recounts the exhilarating adventures of paddling's pioneers from 1923 to 1980, both those who started the craze and those who guided it farther downstream.



An Outdoor Guide to Bartram's Travels


Author: Charles Spornick


Description: An Outdoor Guide to Bartram's Travels reconstructs as closely as possible the original routes Bartram took. Featuring some fifty thoroughly tested and researched tours, the guide takes today's outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs along Bartram's path through what were once colonial towns and outposts, native kingdoms, and unspoiled wilderness. Some tours can be taken by car or bicycle; others can be taken only as Bartram himself would have traveled--on foot, by canoe, or on horseback. The tours are supplemented with more than 140 maps and photographs as well as informative sidebars and listings of nearby points of interest.



Basic Kayaking: All The Skills and Gear You Need To Get Started


Author: Jon Rounds and Wayne Dickert


Description: Wayne Dickert, NOC Ambassador, was the paddling consultant for this full color book that covers just what the title says; Basic Kayaking, All the Skills and Gear You Need to Get Started. Focusing on white water paddling, it is packed with information and features hundreds of full-color photographs and illustrations, providing clear, easy-to-follow instructions on selecting gear, getting your boat on the river, and mastering fundamental moves. Basic Kayaking won the National Outdoor Book Award in the Instructional category and includes step-by-step instruction on essential techniques, including all major strokes and rolls, a full-color gear guide, and chapters on safety and reading the water. For would-be day-trippers, river-runners, creekboaters, and even those aspiring to the world of extreme rodeo playboating, Basic Kayaking is where the journey begins to accelerate your kayaking progress.



Cherokee Nation-A History


Author: Robert Conley


Description: Cherokee Nation-A History, Robert Conley, 2007 The Cherokee Nation is one of the largest and most important of all the American Indian tribes. The first history of the Cherokees to appear in over four decades, this is also the first to be endorsed by the tribe and the first to be written by a Cherokee. Conley provides analyses for general readers of all ages to learn the significance of tribal lore and Cherokee tribal law. Following the history is a listing of the Principal Chiefs of the Cherokees with a brief biography of each and separate listings of the chiefs of the Eastern Cherokees and the Western Cherokees. For those who want to know more about Cherokee heritage and history, Conley offers additional reading lists at the end of each chapter.



Cooking on Hazel Creek: The Best of Southern Mountain Cooking


Author: Duane Oliver.


Description: These are tried and true recipes from the lost community of Hazel Creek, North Carolina that illustrate traditional southern mountain cooking, including some Cherokee Indian recipes. From homemade buttermilk biscuits to Shoo Fly pie, this food spans two centuries of hearty, stick-to-your ribs fare. Spiral bound for easy use.



Day Hiker's Guide To All The Trails In The Smoky Mountains


Author: Elizabeth Etnier


Description: This guide has excellent color-coded maps showing the hikes for each area and tables that list the trail sequence and total mileages for each hike. It also provides invaluable information for those who wish to explore a specific geographical area of the Park, who seek solitude and adventure by hiking in the more interior and remote sections of the Smokies, or who fancy a backpacking trip in the Park. Included are a list of available car or boat shuttle services for the more remote hikes, a handy checklist of all trails, and over 30 color photographs of the Smoky Mountains, wildflowers, and historic structures in the Park.



Fontana: A pocket history of Appalachia


Author: Lance Holland


Description: Lance's book is one of the definitive writings on the history and development of southern Appalachian culture. This study of the cultural and natural history of the area affected by the construction of Fontana Dam and Lake on the southern border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Western North Carolina reveals a historic picture that is representative of the history of all the Appalachians. Indians, explorers, soldiers, traders, settlers, loggers, railroaders, dam builders, and tourists are all characters in this informative and entertaining narrative.



History Hikes of the Smokies


Author: Michal Strutin


Description: For hikers who love history, this book is for you! It features in-depth narratives of the 20 most culturally-rich trails in the Smokies, including Little Cataloochee, Old Sugarlands, Bone Valley, Old Settlers, Boogerman, Cooper Road, Jakes Creek, and more. Here's your chance to learn the stories behind the cabins, barns, chimneys, stone walls, machinery, and other features so-often encountered on Smoky Mountain trails. Includes detailed trail maps, steepness profiles, and loads of historic photos. 352 pages; handy pocket size. Proceeds help preserve nature and history in the park!



North Carolina Hiking Trails


Author: Allen de Hart


Description: With more than 1,300 trails covering 3,500 miles, North Carolina is a hiker's paradise, boasting an incredible variety of terrain. This new edition of North Carolina Hiking Trails covers them all, from short family walks along the coast to long-distance treks in the mountains. You'll find coverage of trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and in Pisgah National Forest and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, plus trails in national wildlife refuges, state parks and forest, county parks, and much more. Each trail description details distance, difficulty, elevation, connecting trails, landmarks, scenery, and more.



Our Southern Highlanders: A Narrative of Adventure in the Southern Appalachians and a Study of Life Among the Mountaineers


Author: Horace Kephart and Ralph Roberts,


Description: Kephart shows the Southern Appalachian Mountaineers as they were, and in some cases, still are. Warts and all. A fair, truthfull account of his experiences while living among us, as well as the historical background for the area. It should be remembered that the book was first published in 1913 and revised in 1922, and while it is not an accurate picture of the mountains of today, if you would understand Appalachia, read this book.



Trail of Tears


Author: John Ehle


Description: The fascinating portrayal of the Cherokee nation, filled with Native American legend, lore, and religion—a gripping American drama of power, politics, betrayal, and ambition. Rich with Indian lore and religion, this monumental narrative is a gripping account of American power, politics, and betrayal. One of the many ironies of U.S. government policy toward Indians in the early 1800s is that it persisted in removing to the West those who had most successfully adapted to European values. As whites encroached on Cherokee land, many Native leaders responded by educating their children, learning English, and developing plantations. Such a leader was Ridge, who had fought with Andrew Jackson against the British. As he and other Cherokee leaders grappled with the issue of moving, the land-hungry Georgia legislators, with the aid of Jackson, succeeded in ousting the Cherokee from their land, forcing them to make the arduous journey West on the infamous ``Trail of Tears.''



Travels of William Bartram


Author: William Bartram


Description: In 1773, naturalist and writer William Bartram set out from Philadelphia on a four-year journey ranging from the Carolinas to Florida and Mississippi. Combining precise and detailed scientific observations with a profound appreciation of nature, he produced a written account of his journey that would later influence both scientists and poets.



Walking with Spring


Author: Earl Shaffer


Description: It was spring of 1948, and a young man from Pennsylvania had to work out of his psyche the sights, sounds, and losses of World War II; he took a hike. For four months. On August 5 of that year, Earl Victor Shaffer became the first person to solo-hike uninterrupted the entire length of the Appalachian Trail, from Springer Mountain in Georgia through 13 other states to Katahdin in the central-Maine wilderness...on more than 2,000 miles of footpath created in the 1920s and '30s by volunteers and maintained by volunteers ever since. Earl Shaffer, a woodsman, naturalist, and poet who still lives close to the Trail, went on to become one of those volunteers as a leader of the Appalachian Trail Conference as it worked to secure His simply stated story has served as an inspiration for more than 3,000 men and women who have since followed in his footsteps...and many thousands more who have tried. Or wanted to.



Waterfall Walks and Drives in the Great Smoky Mountains and the Western Carolina


Author: Mark Morrison,


Description: This book contains detailed route maps and driving directions leading to more than 125 waterfalls. There are over 70 topographic hiking maps with hiking directions keyed to them. It also has colored photos of many of the waterfalls featured in the book and a section on how to photograph waterfalls.





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