Ridge Mountains in Mitchell County NC. A unique bonus when paddling the Toe River with NC Outdoor Adventures is we boast no bumper boats, NO CROWDS. This means guests can enjoy increased chances 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!
NC Outdoor Adventures offers 2 whitewater options providing experiences for guests of all ages & experience levels. Our Toe Gorge whitewater trip is perfect for ages 12+. If you are looking for a more mellow whitewater experience or have young children, we recommend the Penland Boulder Garden paddle. Details below!
NCOA uses inflatable kayaks, also known as funyaks or duckies. The boats are very forgiving and hard to flip so they offer great stability. We offer guests a wide range of kayaks/duckies to choose from a selection you will not find anywhere else! including the new ducky “play boat” known as the Tributary Tator: a ducky that is a sporty, fun ride that’s sure to put a smile on your face while on the river.
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 Gorge
TOE GORGE Whitewater Trip
Join us for this guided whitewater express trip! This section features a mile of back-to-back class two rapids along the Toe River. Trip includes a dip in a swim hole before paddling a long section of flatwater to the take-out. The trip wraps up at 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.
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.
When & Where:
Tuesday-Sunday, starting April-October 1st. The trip's start time is 9:00 AM and remember we float rain or shine! Adventure Tour times depend on water levels, but guests should expect a 3-hour trip. Please arrive 15 minutes early at NCOA’s river outpost and store at 1173 Whitson Branch Rd. Bakersville, NC 28705.
$78 for adult or youth ducky. 2023 brings about the Tator, a kayak option for those looking for a wilder ride in a smaller kayak!
Our whitewater trips have a three-person minimum to book. If three spots are not booked, guests can choose to purchase the open spots, move to a date with more bookings, select another trip option or receive a refund.
Important Trip Notes:
SHOES REQUIRED! FLIP FLOPS NOT ALLOWED! Most of the items to bring can be purchased at our river outpost store. Please bring swimsuit, sunscreen, towels, waterproof camera, water shoes, sunglasses with a retention strap, extra contacts if you wear them, any medicines you might need and water. To keep items dry you can always use baggies or purchase a dry sac at our store.
FYI 😀 we have unique farm stay lodging too!!
Option 2: Penland Boulder Garden Whitewater Trip
Fill out this trip inquiry form to book! Simply click the button above to message us and our staff will reply in 24 hours or less!
NC Outdoors’s Penland Boulder Garden Paddle takes place in the NC Blue Ridge Mountains. This section offers several 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. Great family experience!
Our guides treat guests on an adventure exploring old dams, Swiss Cheese jump off boulders, surf holes, and the Penland Swim Hole.
Great for everyone! Ages 5+. No paddle experience needed.
When & Where:
Starting 2023 this trip will require advanced booking and will run as a privately guided tour. River season runs April-October (RAIN OR SHINE) on the Toe River in Bakersville NC. Please understand trip times depend on water levels but guests should expect a 3-hour trip.
Please arrive 15 minutes early. Trips meet at NCOA’s outpost at 1173 Whitson Branch Rd. Bakersville, NC 28705.
$86 for adult, youth Kayak (ducky) or play boats. Children under 80 pounds must be in the boat with a parent/guardian, that cost is $60. 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 notes: 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! This Adventure trip has a three-person minimum to run. If three spots are not booked guests can choose to purchase the open spots or move to another trip option.
We have group kayaking rates, starting for groups of 12. Please message us for details.
**Alcohol prohibited on all NCOA trips