Nantahala Outdoor Center
Since 1972, when NOC founders Payson and Aurelia Kennedy and Horace Holden opened a small rafting company on the banks of the Nantahala River, NOC has played a leading role in the outdoor recreation industry.
NOC has long been the home to many aficionados, the meeting place for friends and the vacation destination for many groups and families. NOC has been recognized by various media including Good Morning America, The New York Times, Outside Magazine, National Geographic Adventure and more. We appreciate these accolades, and we owe it to our dedicated staff of folks who bring their passion for the outdoors to work every day.
Through the years, NOC has expanded to include rafting on seven rivers in the Eastern US, as well as other guided outdoor adventures like hiking and fly fishing.
Areas of Service and Expertise
- 40 years of whitewater rafting on seven Southeastern rivers.
- World-class paddling instruction in whitewater and flat water.
- International paddling adventure travel.
- A leadership institute for wilderness medicine and river rescue.
- Fully-customizable group adventure programs.
- Guided activities like fishing, hiking, biking and climbing.
NOC holds a partnership with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, and practices Leave No Trace ethics in all its guided trips.
Smoky Mountain excursions can be booked through the LEED certified store in Gatlinburg - NOC's Great Outpost, located at 1138 Parkway in Gatlinburg, TN.
Pet Friendly Notes
Pets are able to accompany guests on guided hiking adventures only. Sorry, no pets on whitewater rafting trips or fly fishing excursions.
Booking your trip through NOC's Great Outpost in Gatlinburg? Pets are always welcome in our store while you plan your adventure.
Types of Experiences and Trips Provided
1. Fully-guided whitewater rafting trips on Tennessee's Pigeon River. All necessary gear is provided.
The Upper Pigeon River Trip provides big, bouncy wave trains and nearly-continuous Class II-IV rapids. This trip is sure to get active youngsters soaked and smiling, and is available to those 8 years (or 70 pounds) and older.
The Lower Pigeon River Trip is a family float trip available for kids as young as 3. Splashing and swimming is encouraged!
2. Guided Hikes in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Trips range from 1-5 hours and vary from easy to moderate levels.
3. Guided Fly Fishing in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
With NOC guides you gain access to hidden creeks, streams and holes known only to locals. NOC guides share casting tips or other skills if desired during your choice of an 4 or 8 hour excursion. All necessary gear is provided.