From the first trip I made there; I loved the Buffalo river in Arkansas. I prefer doing multiple overnights/ 100 milers. Staying out of campgrounds and restaurants, and doing gravel bar camping. Preferably with river somewhat higher than normal, and done on weekdays to avoid crowds.
Honorable mention: Natahala river, Bryson City, N.C.
Stay a in secluded campground; occasionally visit restaurant.
Make early morning trip &/or late afternoon trip to avoid rafters.
Great way to end the trip; after running the falls, hang out & practice with throwbag.
Plenty of swimmers will appreciate your effort; the ones that really need it are easily recognized.
Did 5 day Intermediate Level 11, whitewater solo class there.
Did Advanced Swiftwater Rescue Instructor refresher course there twice.
Wife did Beginner Whitewater Solo class there.
Wife & I played tourist & took raft trip there twice; followed that on the Ocoee twice, and finished with Section 3 & 4 of the Chattooga in "small raft.
Lots of nice rivers in that area. Summer showers in the afternoon are welcome. Paddling in the fog(low visibility); not so welcome… NOC has great instructors! I love their gear store.
Payson Kennedy is a gentleman & a great conversationalist(& BSer). He met our Rescue course one day on the river; talked with us for over an hour about river running, and took group photos with us. Wanted to hear feedback about everything!
Soloed the Nantahala twice. Got humbled one time at the falls. Portaged back upstream & did it again successfully, to restore a little bit of lost confidence. Had run it on probably 20 occasions in a row w/o issue. Soloing whitewater is definitely different than paddling with 3 or 4 of you buds…
Time, age, injuries, and buds who fell by the wayside have slowed down my whitewater history. I miss it, a lot, but have great memories.