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Nantahala River, North Carolina

     The Nantahala River is located between two towns, Murphy, and Bryson City, North Carolina. The Nantahala river is also near The Great Smokey Mountains National Forest and a Cherokee Indian reservation. The Nantahala River offers rafting for families, kayaking, canoeing, and camping. The Nantahala Outdoor Center is also located here which has many different outdoor products, including cycling, backpacking, kayaking, canoeing, and camping equipment.

     The recreation area along the Nantahala River is inside the Nantahala National Forest which is a half-million acre forest. "Nantahala" an Indian name translating to "Land of the Noonday Sun," is a fitting name for this forest, as the sun only penetrates the floors of its deep valleys and beautiful gorges when directly overhead at midday.

     The Nantahala National Forest was first explored in 1540 by Spanish conquistador Hernando DeSoto, the Nantahala National Forest was established in 1920. It is the largest of the four national forests in North Carolina, with elevations ranging from a high of 5,800 feet, to a low of 1,200 feet.

     For mountain bike riders the area offers Pisgah National Forest, which is next to the Nantahala National Forest, offers many challenging trails around the Pisgah Mountain. Pisgah also has a campground with showers facilities, this is a fee area but you can camp on the many areas along the small road leading up to it. Pisgah alternates trail usage with horseback riders and bikers so you should check with the forest rangers for the scheduling.

Nantahala Links:

Nantahala National Forest
Pisgah National Forest