The Top Summer Activities Near Bryson City, NC
Bryson City is a small town in North Carolina known as a gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Located about 70 miles southwest of Asheville, this quaint mountain town is a paradise for outdoor and nature lovers, surrounded by beautiful mountains, streams and waterfalls. With endless activities and breathtaking views, Bryson City is the ultimate summer getaway. From rafting to railroads, here are our top summer activities near Bryson City, NC.
Raft on the Nantahala River
Bryson City is the gateway to America’s favorite whitewater playground. During your stay in Bryson City, make sure to get splashy and book a whitewater rafting trip on the Nantahala River. The Nantahala River is perfect for beginner rafters, thrill-seekers, groups and families alike. Experience eight miles of bouncy class I and class II rapids on Wildwater’s fully-guided rafting tour.
Zipline over the Nantahala Gorge
The Nantahala River carves out an eight-mile gorge, so deep that many parts only see direct sunlight for a short period of time a day. In fact, the term “Nantahala” is derived from a Cherokee word that means “Land of the Noon Day Sun.” Experience the beauty of the Nantahala Gorge from the treetops by taking a zipline tour with Wildwater. The original zipline canopy tour in Western North Carolina, Nantahala Gorge Canopy Tours offers 11 different zip lines and 7 sky bridges. Wildwater’s two highest platforms have unbelievable views of Clingmans Dome, Fontana Lake, and waterfalls.
Go on a Jeep Tour
Wildwater offers 2 hour Jeep Adventures at our Nantahala River Adventure Center. Our Jeeps have been specially modified to provide a comfortable open-air ride, and each trip is led by knowledgeable guides who will introduce you to the cultural and natural history of the area. The Nantahala tour features some of the spectacular waterfalls in the Smoky Mountain region. On these trips we have seen wildlife including deer, wild turkeys, birds of prey, and sometimes even bears!
Take a Ride on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
Experience the beauty Western North Carolina by train during your trip to Bryson City. The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad travels up Nantahala Gorge over Fontana Lake. Travelers will enjoy a one-hour layover by the river. Best of all, you can pair your Great Smoky Mountains Railroad trip with a rafting, zipline, or jeep tour with Wildwater.
Go Tubing on Deep Creek
Nestled on the outskirts of Bryson City in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is Deep Creek. This area is known for its waterfalls, hiking, and tubing. During your visit to Bryson City, make sure to grab a tube and float down Deep Creek. Visitors will have the option to go lazy or whitewater tubing. The lower section of Deep Creek offers a smoother, wider ride, which is appropriate for smaller kids. The upper section is a wild, bouncy ride that often separates the rider from the tube. While tubing in Deep Creek is free, you will need to rent or bring your own tubes. For a list of tube rental places in Bryson City, visit Great Smokies.
Explore the Road to Nowhere
The Road to Nowhere is a scenic mountain highway that takes you six miles into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and ends at the entrance to a tunnel. On a map, this road is called Lakeview Drive but is known to locals as “The Road to Nowhere.” This beautiful drive offers an overlook of Fontana Lake and access to numerous hiking trails. Walking through the quarter-mile-long tunnel takes you to Goldmine Loop, Forney Creek, Lakeshore Trail, and other hiking trails.
Reservations are filling up, so make sure to make your reservations soon. Our Flexible Cancellation Policy gives you total freedom to change your mind and not worry if you have to change or cancel your Wildwater adventures or lodging.