Blog Seasonal Sports Unleash Your Adventurous Spirit in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Sylva, NC- Part One

Unleash Your Adventurous Spirit in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Sylva, NC- Part One

Updated: 06/23/2023 • Bernie Gilchrist

Seasonal Sports

Nestled in the heart of the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains, Sylva, North Carolina, offers an array of exhilarating activities for outdoor enthusiasts. From roaring rivers to majestic peaks, this charming mountain town provides a perfect playground for adventure seekers. If you're ready to embrace the thrill of nature, gear up for an unforgettable experience filled with river rafting, kayaking, ziplining, and spending the day on Bear Lake.

Get ready to kick up some dust and ride the wild currents of the Blue Ridge Mountains! Sylva, North Carolina, is the ultimate destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking an adrenaline rush. From heart-pounding river rafting and kayaking to breathtaking ziplining adventures, this mountain town has it all. And if you're looking to conquer the raging rapids with your family, look no further than Dillsboro River Company. Just outside Dillsboro, Sylva, and Bryson City, they offer family-friendly whitewater rafting trips on the mighty Tuckasegee River.

Imagine the rush of riding the Tuckasegee River, with its scenic beauty and meandering course through the mountains. The river is famous for its soothing curves and gentle rapids, making it ideal for first-time rafters and families with young children. Picture yourself navigating the bends and twists, feeling the cool spray of whitewater against your face as you conquer Class I & II rapids. Dillsboro River Company knows how to create an unforgettable experience, providing a relaxing river trip with warmer waters that will leave you with lasting memories.

But the adventure doesn't stop there! If you're craving a different kind of thrill, Smoky Mountain River Adventures has got you covered. This outfitter offers white water rafting for the whole family, including little ones as small as 40 pounds. You can choose between inflatable kayaks for a solo or tandem adventure or opt for the traditional rafts. The choice is yours! Feel the rush as you paddle through the roaring rapids, tackling the twists and turns with skill and determination. And if you're up for it, you can even go rogue and tame the rapids on your own, without a guide. It's all about embracing the spirit of adventure and making memories that will last a lifetime.

Now, let's talk about Tuckaseegee Outfitters—they know how to make a splash! Located at Barkers Creek Crossing, they offer thrilling solo or guided five-mile trips from Dillsboro. Brace yourself for the twists and turns of the "S" curve, as you embark on an epic journey along the Tuckasegee River. The rapids are beginner-friendly, perfect for families who want to experience the rush of whitewater rafting together. You'll spend around 2-3 hours on the water, immersing yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of the river and its surroundings. Whether you choose a kayak, a tube, or a raft, Tuckaseegee Outfitters has everything you need to make your adventure unforgettable.

But hold on tight because the adventure doesn't stop there! Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) is the name of the game when it comes to extreme river fun. They've been pioneers in the industry for over 50 years, taking more families whitewater rafting than any other adventure company in the Southeast. They've earned the prestigious title of "One of the Best Outfitters on Earth" by National Geographic ADVENTURE. So, you know they mean business.

When you visit NOC, prepare to be blown away by the majesty of the Nantahala River. This legendary waterway is a force to be reckoned with, and NOC has the expertise to guide you through it. They offer a variety of options for all thrill-seekers, including the opportunity to rent kayaks. Picture yourself gliding through the turquoise waters, feeling the rush of the river beneath you. But fear not, for NOC is there to give you the instructions you need to tackle the mighty Nantahala with confidence.

Whether you're a seasoned kayaker or a beginner ready to dive headfirst into the world of whitewater, NOC has got your back. Their professional guides are masters of their craft, providing expert instruction, insider knowledge, and, most importantly, a whole lot of fun. They'll make sure you're equipped with the skills and know-how to navigate the twists and turns of the Nantahala, ensuring you have a safe and thrilling adventure.

So, gear up and get ready to explore the untamed rivers of the Blue Ridge Mountains near Sylva, NC. Whether you choose Dillsboro River Company, Smoky Mountain River Adventures, Tuckaseegee Outfitters, or Nantahala Outdoor Center, you're in for an adventure of a lifetime. These outfitters know how to bring the excitement and make your heart race with their top-notch services. Get out there, embrace the thrill of the rapids, and let the rivers of the Blue Ridge Mountains wash away your worries. The kayaks await, and the Nantahala River calls you to embark on a journey you'll never forget.

Now on to Ziplining

Are you ready to take your Sylva adventure to new heights? Get ready to soar through the treetops and experience the thrill of a lifetime on world-class ziplines! The Blue Ridge Mountains offer a playground of excitement, and ziplining is one of the must-do activities for adrenaline junkies. Let me introduce you to a few zipline experiences that will leave you breathless.

First up, we have the Nantahala Outdoor Center Zip Line Adventure Park. Picture yourself racing on dual zip lines suspended over 550 feet in the air. But that's not all! Once you've conquered the zip lines, get ready to take on the multi-level ropes challenge course. With over 16 aerial obstacles, including wobbling sky bridges, nerve-racking tight ropes, tunnels, and a brand-new climbing wall, this adventure park will test your limits. The best part? It's a family-friendly activity, so everyone can join in on the excitement. Choose your own challenge level and pace as you navigate the course, thanks to NOC's state-of-the-art auto-belay system.

Next on our ziplining tour is Wildwater's Nantahala Gorge Canopy Tours. Prepare to be amazed as you fly through the air amidst the towering hemlocks and hardwoods of western North Carolina. This zipline canopy tour takes you through 20 acres of Falling Waters Adventure Resort, with thirteen thrilling zip sections and eight bridges. That's over half a mile of high-flying fun! Feel the rush as you zip through the treetops, taking in the breathtaking beauty of the surrounding nature. Please note that participants must be at least 10 years old and weigh between 70 to 250 lbs. And don't worry about being disconnected from the world during your adventure—WIFI is available to guests.

Last but certainly not least, my personal favorite is the Mountain Top experience with Nantahala Outdoor Center's Mountaintop Zipline Tour. This is the crème de la crème of zipline adventures in the Nantahala Gorge. Led by expert aerial guides, you'll embark on a thrilling journey through two miles of spectacular mountain-to-mountain zip lines. As you zip above the treetops, be prepared to be awe-struck by panoramic views of Fontana Lake and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The adrenaline will surge through your veins as you fly for nearly a minute on the half-mile Mega Zip, soaring 350 feet above the forest floor. For a truly unforgettable experience, why not try the exclusive Moonlight Mountaintop Zip Line Tour? Available on select evenings close to a full moon, you'll have the opportunity to fly under the stars, adding an extra touch of magic to your adventure.

So, my adventurous friends, get ready to add a whole new level of excitement to your Sylva escapade. Take to the skies, feel the wind rush through your hair, and let the thrill of ziplining in the Blue Ridge Mountains ignite your spirit. Whether you choose the Nantahala Outdoor Center Zip Line Adventure Park, Wildwater's Nantahala Gorge Canopy Tours, or the Mountaintop Zipline Tour, each experience will leave you with lasting memories and a newfound appreciation for the beauty of the mountains. So, strap in, hold on tight, and let the adventure begin!

And now let me tell you about my favorite place on earth…

After all the heart-pounding river runs and exhilarating zipline adventures, it's time to slow down and bask in the beauty of nature. Enter Bear Creek Lake, fondly known as Bear Lake, where tranquility meets breathtaking vistas. Picture yourself gliding across the pristine waters, soaking up the sun, and enjoying a day of boating, canoeing, kayaking or skiing. This hidden gem nestled amidst the mountains is a slice of heaven on earth.

As you embark on your Bear Lake adventure, prepare to be enchanted by the awe-inspiring backdrop of 100-foot waterfalls cascading down the mountains. It's a sight that will leave you speechless, a true testament to the unmatched natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. And when it comes to the water, you won't be disappointed. The crystal-clear lake is home to a plethora of aquatic life, including mountain trout, largemouth bass, catfish, crappie, and bluegill. As you paddle or glide along, the serenity of the surroundings will wash over you, creating a sense of peace and harmony.

And oh… the fresh air! Sweatiest air on earth! 

But that's not all that makes Bear Lake special. Keep your eyes peeled for the majestic black bear that often visits the shorelines. They don't call it Bear Lake for nothing! Witnessing these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat is a truly awe-inspiring experience. Just remember to admire them from a safe distance and respect their space.

Bear Lake is not just a destination; it's a haven where you can escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It's a place where time slows down, and you can truly connect with nature. Imagine spending a lazy afternoon with your loved ones, cruising into the sunset, the gentle lapping of the water creating a soothing melody. The stress melts away as you immerse yourself in this oasis of tranquility.

So, my fellow adventurers, if you're seeking a respite from the adrenaline-fueled activities, make your way to Bear Lake. Let the stunning mountain backdrop, the crystal-clear waters, the abundance of natural wonders, and the possibility of encountering a black bear envelop you. This is where you'll find me and my girl, embracing the beauty of the surroundings and creating memories that will last a lifetime. Come join us on the lake, and together, let's revel in the enchantment of Bear Lake. See you there!

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