Nantahala River Reopens for Recreation

BRYSON CITY, N.C. — Effective today (Wednesday, Sept. 4), the US Forest Service has lifted the Emergency Closure Order that was preventing public and commercial access to the Nantahala River because of landslides that occurred on Aug. 24.The suspension of commercial rafting permits lasted for eight days.

After nearly one and a half weeks of clearing, evaluating, rebuilding and repairing, the US Forest Service was able to complete a final evaluation of the Nantahala River on Tuesday alongside key Nantahala Gorge outfitters, including several Nantahala Outdoor Center guides and instructors. After spending time removing debris and hazards from the stream bed, the Nantahala Gorge Association has made the recommendation that the river is once again acceptable for commercial and private operations. Early Wednesday morning the US Forest Service officially announced the immediate end of the Emergency Closure Order and suspension of commercial permits.

The suspension of commercial rafting permits on the Nantahala River is unprecedented and has caused significant interruption to businesses during a key visitation period. Nantahala Outdoor Center is appreciative of the N.C. Department of Transportation, USFS, local contractors, and local emergency management for dedicating time to the precious regional resource that is the Nantahala River.

About Nantahala Outdoor Center:
Nantahala Outdoor Center is the nation’s largest outdoor recreation company. Over a million guests visit NOC annually to embark on a diverse collection of more than 120 different river and land-based itineraries, learn to kayak at NOC’s world-renowned Paddling School, travel abroad with NOC’s Adventure Travel program, test the latest outdoor gear and shop at its LEED-certified flagship retail stores or enjoy NOC’s resort amenities such as its three restaurants and multi-tiered lodging. A privately held company, NOC is one of the largest employers in Western North Carolina and 26 Olympians including two Olympic Gold Medalists have called NOC home. NOC has been recently recognized by The New York Times as the “Nation's Premiere Paddling School,” “The Best Place to Learn” by Outside, and as “One of the Best Outfitters on Earth” by National Geographic Adventure.



Jan Wojtasinski

Suzanne Brown
Media Relations Manager
Veda Gilbert
Public Relations Manager
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