Whitewater trips

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Enjoy white-water (class II-III) adventures on the pristine Toe River located among the Blue Ridge Mountains in Mitchell County NC. NC Outdoor Adventures offers 2 whitewater trips, providing experiences for guests of all ages & experience levels. NCOA uses inflatable kayaks, also known as funyaks or duckies for whitewater trips. These boats are very forgiving and hard to flip so they offer great stability.

A unique bonus when paddling the Toe River with NC Outdoor Adventures is we boast no bumper boats, NO CROWDS. This means guests get to enjoy an increased chance to see common wildlife of Western North Carolina including trout, smallmouth bass, eagles, an early morning bear, osprey, deer, beavers, and perhaps even the elusive endangered Hellbender.

Fun fact: The Toe River is a world-class trout stream, it is the headwaters for the Nolichucky River and is one of the last free-flowing rivers in the USA!

Option 1: Toe River Gorge Trip

Join us for this whitewater express trip! This section features a mile of back to back class two rapids along the Toe River. We follow the trip with a brief stop to take a dip in the Red Hill swim hole before paddling a long section of flatwater. The end of the trip passes under one of the county’s last remaining, functional suspension bridges. The suspension bridge makes a great place to stop and get friends and family pictures before and after your trip. The bridge is 100 yards walking distance from the NC Outdoors Outpost.

When: Daily April-October on the Toe River at 3:30 PM

Please arrive 15 minutes early. The trip is around 3 hours.

Note trip lengths will vary based on water levels. Trips meet at NCOA’s outpost at 1173 Whitson Branch Rd. Bakersville, NC 28705. 

Who is this for This is the trip for those looking for the wilder ride! Ages 12+, with a minimum weight requirement of 80 lbs! Some paddle experience needed. Guests will find longer rapids that result in longer swims should you come out of your duck. Our guides will do a brief kayak instruction and safety talk prior to reaching any whitewater.

Cost: $78 for adult or youth ducky.

Book Option 1


Option 2: Penland Boulder Garden Paddle in the NC Blue Ridge Mountains. This section offers a number of short class II rapids spread out between sections of flat water. It is an ideal paddle trip for beginners with little to no experience and children. Time permitting, we make stops to explore old dams, Swiss Cheese jump off boulder, surf holes, and the Penland Swim Hole.

Trip can be extended another 2-3 hours by adding in Option 3 (details below).

When: Daily April-October on the Toe River at 9 AM     

Please arrive 15 minutes early. The trip is around 3 hours.

Note trip lengths will vary based on water levels. Trips meet at NCOA’s outpost at 1173 Whitson Branch Rd. Bakersville, NC 28705. 

Who is this for  Ages 5+. No paddle experience needed.

Cost : $78 for adult or youth ducky

Children under 80 pounds must be in the boat with a parent/guardian, that cost is $45. Youths 80-100 pounds should book a youth kayak. Parents must be confident in the ability of the child to paddle the duration of the trip. Important note when adding a child to your boat: the weights of the ducks should not exceed 300 pounds! If you have questions feel free to call or message us!


Book Option 2

Important Trip Notes:

Whitewater trips take place with a minimum of 3 participants. Trips usually are sold out on Thursdays-Saturdays during river season! If the trip minimum is not met we will reach out to you for additional booking options/refunds.

Items to bring: swimsuit, sunscreen, towels, waterproof camera, water shoes, sunglasses with retention strap, extra contacts if you wear them, and any medicines you might need, and water. 


If you do not have some of these items most of them can be purchased at our River Outpost and Tiny Hike Shop. We also offer unique farm stay lodging options! Our options include a restored historic 1890’s root cellar and new this year, May 2021 a stay in an 18 foot Sioux Style luxury tipi! Both lodging options sit on Whitson branch and are within walking distance of the Toe River. See more information here: https://ncoutdooradventures.org/shop-and-lodging

Book Option 1     Book Option 2   Book Option 3    

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NC Outdoor Adventures

NC Outdoor Adventures,
1173 Whitson Branch Rd.
Bakersville NC 28705
Email: ncoadventures@gmail.com
Phone: (828) 260-4505
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