Kayak Schools in Tenn & surrounding area

I am in Middle Tennessee and have been looking for a good kayaking school to attend. I want to be able to do this before I buy a kayak. I figure I will get to try different kayaks and techniques at the school which could help me in choosing the kayak I want.

Anyone know of any good schools close to this area. I will be willing to drive to a surrounding state for a good school.

I am basically interested in flat water kayaking (rivers, streams, lakes etc) but would like to be able to whitewater also (in case I ever need it).

Any information would be appreciated.

Try the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association http://www.paddletsra.org/index2.htm

I believe that they’re located in Nashville. They have classes.

How far are you from the …
Nantahala Outdoor Center?

They used to have one of the best schools going and I assume still do.

They are close to the Tenn, NC border.



NOC and
NOC is a good way to go for an “official” school. If you’re in or near Chattanooga, there is a fairly active club here that does conduct some intro level trips and such, but it isn’t technically a school so far as I know. There is also a good outfitter in town that does have some demo boats available.


– Last Updated: May-12-04 9:07 PM EST –

Nantahala Outdoor Center
Bryson City, North Carolina
They have all levels of kayaking classes from beginner to advanced.
You might get lucky like my wife did; one of the instructors in the class she took there was an Olympic paddler. Great place to start, and a great place to paddle different boats before you buy one.


two other schools
Sheltowee Trace Outfitters in the Big South Fork. Somewhat north of Crossville near the KY/TN border.


Hiwassee Outfitters on the Hiwassee. The other side of Chattanooga near the NC/TN border. Great learning river. This is where I had my initial instruction. I recommend them highly.


Kayak Schools in Tenn & surrounding area
thanks, I have contacted a couple of the schools to see when they have classes.

Viaje Outdoors
In the Cool Springs area (Franklin), Viaje Outdoors offers a free half day class about every couple months. I believe they meet on Percy Priest lake. I’ve never been to one, but probably should to brush up on some skills.