Nantahala questions.

Can it be navigated with a 12’ rec boat and a 16’ Tarpon?From what I’ve seen , that shouldn’t be a problem.

Is it restricted in any way? I know it is dam controlled but restricted to type of boat?Where are the put-ins and take outs for a 10 mile run?

Depends on how much you like
swimming. Being extremely familiar with the Nanty, I think I could get my Necky Looksha Sport down OK. Rec kayaks try it, but some swamping is inevitable. Have fun. Maybe I’ll be there to pick up pieces if necessary.

Oh, it’s actually only 8 miles. Suggest
you bypass Pattons Run at the top. It is hard for a first timer to come around the bend and get set up in the right place to run without problems.

You can also shorten the run by putting in at Ferrebee. That cuts it to 5 miles.

There are no boat limits that would affect you. You will need to buy a day pass at one of the stores or campgrounds nearby.

I think the Nanty is underrated by those who spend most of their time on harder rivers. Some of the rapids called class 2, such as Bump upstream of Lesser Wesser, are really low class 3s if the ratings are strictly applied according to stated language.

We love the Nantahala
You can run it with any type boat that you want.

If you have a sink, you will need a skirt.

We run it all the time with our little 9 foot Keowees with skirts.

Also many times with our OT Disco with air bags.

You absolutely need a farmer john wet suit and booties. The water will freeze your croakies off.

After you put in, and get out on the main river, immediately head for the right hand bank before you get to the turn, or else you will either swim when you hit the rocks in the middle of the river or if you can keep your cool go by them backwards.

I wouldn’t advise going through the falls, (two eight foot drops near the end) unless you study them carefully.

If you do run them, stay on river left as you enter, and then head diagonally right across them.

There are many great wave trains that are a blast, and will keep you whooping and hollering all the way through them.

Don’t go on a weekend. It is a zoo.

If you want to go in the middle of the week, give us a shout, and if we have a free day we’ll join you.



Again, I strongly suggest putting in
BELOW Pattons Run. When you come around that bend, even if you are over toward the right, you get very little time to size up the situation and put your craft in the right place. Pattons Run hits people when they are not fully warmed up.

But then – you miss the whole experienc
If you had warned me thirty years ago, I never would have had that experiece of keeping the boat straight going through the turn backwards.




– Last Updated: Jul-20-09 12:38 AM EST –

Highway 74/19 runs along the Nantahala all the way from near the powerhouse down to the takout at the Nanatahala Outdoor Center, so you can put in or take out anywhere you can find a place to park your car, and there are multiple pull offs along the highway.

Make sure you do take out at NOC. You probably don't want to run Wesser Falls (AKA Worser Wesser) not to be confused with Class III Nanatahala Falls (AKA Lesser Wesser).

If you plan to run the river more than just one day, you may want to buy a season pass which is just $5 as opposed to the $1 day pass.

Before you take a 16 foot kayak on the Nantahala, I would ask yourself how skilled you are in boat control. You would certainly be able to negotiate the rapids in it, but the upper third or so of the Nantahala especially has pretty brisk current and quite a few rocks. The rocks are sometimes hard to spot and come up on you quickly, and turning a boat of that length to avoid them takes some skill in boat handling and water reading. A 16 footer can often be more effectively maneuvered around rocks by side-slipping.

The Tarpon is not the most
maneuverable boat, but usually, once I have the line,it runs little rapids pretty well without much guidance.It would be an interesting trip.

Running lines without much guidance
… and class III don’t go together, or maybe I just need a smarter boat …

Bring a Swifty, instead. I hear great
things about the Swifty and class 3. Other rec boats don’t have that level of street cred.


Were you there Sunday?
Saw a few rec boats on the Nantahala yesterday and they appeared to be doing fine. They weren’t close enough for me to tell what they were, but they did have spray skirts. They were near whirlpool rapid, didn’t see them go through the falls. I also saw “wreck” boats at the falls. With the usual summer crowd, many bodies and boats were separated there. There’s an easy place to stop above the falls to scout and/or takeout.

My first trip on the Nanty was in a 15’ Grumman aluminum canoe with inner tubes for floatation, and I probably bailed more than I paddled. If that boat can do it anything can, I sure would have appreciated a plastic rec kayak then. 30-something years later I’m in my Jackson 4fun. Just thankful I can still do it in any boat.

Believe me Jim…
You can do it in any boat that floats.

They put newbies who have never been in any kind of boat in their lives in “duckies” and they have a ball.

Like another poster said, just don’t go through the falls at the end unless you feel confident.

There is plenty of warning and a great place to take out just before them.

These posters that poo poo the rec boats doing the Nanty don’t have a clue as to how much fun it is in a 9 foot rec kayak with a skirt.