The Great Smoky Mountains National Park & It’s Broad Spectrum of Outdoor Activities

Whitewater rafting courtesy of Palojono's photostream on
Photo courtesy of Palojono on

The appeal of the Great Smokies and the surrounding area is multi-faceted.  Within each of these facets lies a multitude of different reasons that bring people from all walks of life and from diverse parts of our world.  When you focus upon an area of interest like outdoor activities it boggles the mind on how diverse the outdoors can be.  It spans a wide arena from outdoor observers like admirers of natural beauty in mountain vistas and bird watchers, to participants in outdoor interaction like hikers, hunters, mountain bikers and campers.

However, today our focus is on whitewater rafting and kayaking.  With the hot, muggy days of August upon us, the cool spring fed rivers of these magnificent mountains offer a refreshing way to enjoy part of your time here in the Smokies.  Whitewater rafting is similar to visiting a good amusement park.  It can be enjoyed by almost anyone and you really don’t need experience.  The critical factor comes in selecting the river or section of river that best accommodates your skills.  Rivers and portions of rapids on each river are rated on a scale from 1-6.  A  1-rating is an easy mellow journey even suitable for children three and up.  As you work up the scale to a class 6 rating you get into an experience that appeals more to the extreme sports enthusiast and thrill seekers.  At the higher level it becomes more physical and demands greater skill. 

The primary rivers in our area for whitewater rafting are; the Nantaliala, the Big Pigeon and the Ocoee.  Dams control parts of these rivers and trips can be scheduled to coincide with water releases.  Trips vary in length of time and can be chosen to fit your schedules. 

For those that like to canoe and kayak the Smokies have many places to explore using your own equipment, but there are also rentals for these items available. This area also caters to the family fun available in tubing a river in inner tubes.

No matter how you define fun; from the casual and easy float downstream in an inner tube, or hurtling down river in a heart pounding race through highly rated rapids in a kayak, there is something here for both extremes as well as river adventures in between. For more information visit .

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