The Nolichucky River is born in the springs of the Black Mountains, which have the highest peaks east of the Mississippi River.
As one of the last free flowing rivers in America the Nolichucky offers a magical, mystical experience. Its sandy beaches and islands are surrounded by Rhododendrons, Mountain Laural, 900 foot cliffs, and 4000 foot mountains.
The majority of the Nolichucky River is bordered by National Forest Land. White water runs through the mountains of Pisgah and Cherokee National Forest creating deep river gorges, world-class white water, premier trout streams, scenic waterfalls and reservoirs with undeveloped shorelines. Cherokee National Forest cooperates with Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) and local outfitter/guides to offer a variety of water-based recreation experiences. The name Nolichucky "Rushing Water" was given by the Cherokee Indian based upon the conditions on this rugged section of the river. In the Erwin area, the pace of the river becomes far tamer, but the mountain scenery continues to be quite impressive. Whether you are seeking white water adventure or relaxation, we hope that you enjoy the unique water-based mountain settings of Cherokee National Forest.
You will have the opportunity to see deer, huge osprey, geese and an assortment of other wildlife.
The Nolichucky has two diverse sections and we are lucky enough to be located right in the middle.
The Upper Nolichucky
The Nolichucky gorge is in an incredibly beautiful, deep, mountain gorge that offers lots of great play, especially within the first few miles. The Upper Nolichucky section begins in Poplar, North Carolina at a very nice Forest Service "put In". This section runs approximately 10 miles with class III and IV rapids to Chestoa Park, only 400 yards from our front door.
The Lower Nolichucky section begins at Chestoa Park. This is a wonderful family trip and a relaxing way to see this beautiful river. On this section you will have class I and II rapids. There are several "take out" sites from 6 to 16 miles downstream. You may experience one class III rapid, depending on the length of your trip and the water level. This is an easy "rapid" to walk around and may be skipped if desired.
Rafting: For information on additional rafting opportunities on the Nolichucky and other area rivers and lakes contact USA Raft (aka Mountain Adventure Guides) at: 1-800-USA-RAFT (1-800-872-7238)
Current flow rate of Nolichucky: