Events

*Virtual* Guest Appreciation Festival (GAF)

Date: September 1- 30, 2020

Time: 8 am - 9 pm

Price: Free

Age: All Ages

NOC’s Guest Appreciation Festival has been a staple in Western North Carolina since 1982. Bringing together families, friends and the community to celebrate another season of outdoor adventure. In light of the challenges presented by COVID-19, we have made the decision to change up GAF for the 2020 season -- with a focus on a virtual appreciation event throughout the month of September and no in-person festival the weekend of September 25th - 27th. NOC's restaurants, retail store and adventures plan to be operating normally during this weekend and the recreational releases on the Cascades and Upper Nantahala are still scheduled as normal.

The festival format may have changed for 2020 — but the spirit is stronger than ever. Let’s celebrate another summer of (socially distanced) adventure with a month full of deals on new and used gear, apparel from the big brands, and last minute savings on fall adventures in the mountains. Here is what you can expect during GAF 2020 (the entire month of September!):

  • NOC's annual used boat sale
  • Deals on NOC Adventures
  • Discounts on gear from the Outfitter's Store (online AND in store)
  • Contest & Giveaways
  • Fundraising for American Whitewater

Want to be on the inside track? Sign up below to be added to our #GAF2020 list. We’ll be sharing additional updates soon and subscribers will be the first to know when the big deals hit.

If you are in the area or shopping online, please consider staying at or shopping at any one of our awesome local partners, who we will miss seeing in person at GAF this year:

While you are shopping Guest Appreciation Sales online, please consider making a donation to American Whitewater. As a national river conservation nonprofit, the mission of American Whitewater is to protect and restore America's whitewater rivers and to enhance opportunities to enjoy them safely. Anyone who purchases a new or used kayak from now until the end of September will receive an individual membership (worth $35) for one year. If you already have a membership, Nantahala Outdoor Center will make a donation of the equivalent amount on your behalf.

Directions

Nantahala Outdoor Center's main campus, the Nantahala River Outpost is located in far Western North Carolina on US Highway 19. 12 miles from Bryson City and on the south side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the outpost is nestled in the Nantahala Gorge. If you are on a Rapid Transit rafting/train excursions, the meeting place is in Bryson City at the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Depot.

From Asheville, NC: Take I-40 West towards Knoxville, TN. Take exit 27 onto US 74 West towards Waynesville. Stay on 74 West, the outpost is 50 miles down this road. 8 miles past Bryson City, the 4-lane will split into two 2-lane roads. Stay on 74, the left lane. You will enter the Nantahala Gorge and after 5-miles you see the Nantahala River and NOC's Nantahala Outpost.

From Gatlinburg, TN: Take 441 South through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and through Cherokee. Just past Cherokee, get on 74 West. After 15 miles, the road will split into two 2-lane roads. Stay on 74 W, the left lane, and continue the 5-milts to the NOC Nantahala Outpost.

From East Atlanta: Take I-85 North to I-985 North. At Gainesville, take 365 North to 441 North. Just past Dillsboro, NC, 441 merges with US 74. 8 miles past Bryson City, the 4-lane splits into two 2-lane roads. Stay on 74, the left lane. Continue 5-miles and arrive at the NOC Nantahala Outpost.

From West Atlanta: Take I-75 North to I-575 North. I-575 becomes State Hwy 5, and then Hwy 76. Stay on this road until Blue Ridge, GA where you turn left onto Hwy 60 towards Mineral Bluff, GA. In Mineral Bluff, turn right onto Hwy 60 Spur. Follow it into North Carolina to US 74 East, turning right towards Murphy and Andrews when the road ends. Stay on 74 East, NOC's Nantahala Outpost is 20-miles past Andrews. You will follow the Nantahala River for the last 8-miles.

From Chattanooga, TN: Take I-75 North towards Cleveland, TN. Take the 1st Cleveland exit, the US 64 Bypass Exit. Go 6-miles and take the Ocoee Exit onto US 64 East towards Murphy, NC. In Murphy the road number changes to US 74. Stay on 74 East, NOC's Nantahala Outpost is 20-miles past Andrews. You will follow the Nantahala River for the last 8-miles.

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