Nantahala River Tour & Scenic Train Ride is a one-of-a-kind adventure on the Natahala River in the Smokey Mountains. Sight-seeing and river-rafting are combined in one excursion which begins at Railroad Depot in Bryson City, North Carolina. A 2-hour ride on the Great Smokey Mountains Railway crosses Fontana Lake, created by a major power dam for the Tennessee Valley, the largest dam east of the Rocky Mountains. White-water activity on the Natahala is the consequence of power generation at the Nantahala Hydroelectric Power Plant since 1942. The train travels to the Natahala River Gorge, providing scenic views of paddlers in kayaks and rafts, maneuvering the Class I and II rapids. At the Rafting Center, visitors are provided with everything they need for the eight-mile river trip -- life jacket, raft, paddle, and a guide for every three rafts. There is an extra fee to guarantee a raft with a guide. A buffet lunch is provided at the picnic pavilion. Changing rooms and hot showers are available after rafting. Ground transportation is provided back to the Railroad Depot in Bryson City.
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