Rafting Near Charlotte, NC


Best Whitewater Rafting near charlotte

Charlotte has so many options nearby for enjoying the fun, splashes and adventure of white water rafting. These three rivers, the Chattooga National Wild and Scenic River, the Pigeon River, and the Nantahala River are all within 2+ hours of Charlotte. These rivers offer white water rafting trips for first-timers and beginners all the way to adventure enthusiasts. Trips range from easy going Class 1-2 floats for ages 5+ to exciting Class 3-4+ adventure for ages 12+.

There is also white water rafting in Charlotte on a man-made, concrete recirculating, whitewater river at the U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC). This river is a lot of fun, and also really different from the natural rivers of the Chattooga, Pigeon and Nantahala. The USNWC experience is about a 1 1/2 hour fun introduction to rafting on a course with concrete river banks and man-made rapids using concrete structures to create waves, drops, and more. There are rafting course options for ages 8+, 11+, and 16+.  The USNWC is also a training site for whitewater slalom racers, in addition to having a host of other activities to enjoy at their location.

What’s the Difference Between Rafting on Man-Made Rivers & Natural Rivers?

White water rafting on a man-made whitewater course and on a natural river is different in several key ways.

  • The USNWC course trip is 1 1/2 hours, the natural river trips are from 2 1/5 to full day trips.
  • Full day river trips on natural rivers have lunch on the riverbank with time to explore nearby scenery like waterfalls.
  • You are likely to see wildlife like eagles, great blue herons, river otters, and fish on a natural river.
  • Rafting trips on natural rivers include opportunities for swimming & floating in the clean river.
  • Swimming in the man-made river course is not encouraged because its a recirculating, closed loop water system with filters and chemicals disinfecting the water regularly.

The conclusion: Whitewater rafting experiences on natural rivers and on man-made courses are loads of fun, but very different.  Be sure to pick the experience that matches your group’s ages and adventure appetite.  As younger rafters grow – more rivers and trips are available to them – it’s healthy, outdoor, active fun for everyone all through the years.  Try them all!

Address

71251 Academy Road
Long Creek, SC 29658

Phone

Reservations #: 866-319-8870

About

With twenty-six miles of the best and most challenging white water in the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountain region, this wild and scenic river is an experience you won’t want to miss. Famed as the location of the movie Deliverance, the Chattooga offers something for everyone from bouncy class rapids on Section 3, to the epic challenge of Section 4’s famed Five Falls.

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Distance
CityMiles
Charlotte167 mi
Quick Details
  • Chattooga Section 3 – ages 8+, full day, riverside lunch
  • Chattooga Section 4 – ages 12+, full day, riverside lunch
  • Chattooga Mini Trip – ages 8+, 4 hours, snack on river
  • Chattooga Overnighter
  • Raft & Zip Packages- Add Ziplining
  • Yurt & Cabin Lodging Available
Address

3555 Hartford Rd.
Hartford, TN 37753

Phone

Reservations #: 866-319-8870

About

Wildwater runs trips on both the Upper and Lower Pigeon. On the Upper Pigeon river you’ll experience five miles of non-stop class 3 and 4 rapids with names like Big Rock, Roller Coaster and Double Reactionary! On the Lower Pigeon, you’ll have a peaceful float, with small class 1 and 2 rapids, and plenty of time to splash and play. 

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Distance
CityMiles
Charlotte171 mi
Quick Details
  • Upper Pigeon River – ages 8+, 2 hours
  • Lower Pigeon River – ages 4+, 2.5 hours
  • Raft & Zip Packages- Add Ziplining


Rafting Center Address

10345 Highway 19 South/74 West
Bryson City, NC 28713

Phone

Reservations #: 866-319-8870

About

The Nantahala’s eight miles of pristine clear water and bouncy waves have made this one of America’s favorite rivers for generations. Come learn to raft with us on one of our fully-guided trips, or if you have some experience, rent a raft or ducky and take on the river at your own pace. There’s excitement for the whole family here, starting as young as 8!

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Distance
CityMiles
Charlotte189 mi
Quick Details
  • Nantahala Rafting – ages 7+, 3.5 hours
  • Nantahala Raft Rentals – ages 7+, 3.5 hours
  • Nantahala Duckies – ages 7+, 3.5 hours, 1 & 2 person inflatable kayaks
  • Raft & Zip Packages- Add Ziplining
  • Yurt & Group Lodging Available

Your Best Adventure Getaways in the Smoky Mountains Start Here

We are ready to guide you to the perfect mix of white water rafting, ziplining and other outdoor adventures, matched with unique yurt or cabin lodging and plenty of connection time with family & friends. We've been helping guests enjoy fantastic adventures in the Smoky Mountains since 1971.