News & Happenings

NOC News, Stories and Dispatches

See what's going on in whitewater and outdoor adventures in the Southeast. Get updates on events and special offers. Read tips from NOC instructors. Find out about our favorite outings. Comment here and send your own stories to lifestyle@noc.com.

NOC Paddling School in Chile

NOC Paddling School in Chile

November 10, 2016

Guides Tosh Arwood, Curtis England, Jonny Ortiz and Casey Jones from Nantahala Outdoor Center's renowned Paddling School have... Read More »
5 Fall Hikes in the Smokies with Amazing Views

5 Fall Hikes in the Smokies with Amazing Views

November 4, 2016

Yes, the leaves are changing and the days are getting shorter. Winter will be here soon. But before it arrives, there’s time... Read More »
2017 Best of the Blue Ridge Awards

2017 Best of the Blue Ridge Awards

September 29, 2016

Join us in voting for some of NOC's best guides and athletes in the "Best of the Blue Ridge Awards." Or if you've ever had a... Read More »
From Lemonade Stand to Custom Pink Kayak

From Lemonade Stand to Custom Pink Kayak

July 28, 2016

In June a young lady named Abby set up a lemonade stand outside of Robbinsville, NC, with a very specific goal in mind. She had... Read More »
2016 Olympic Canoe/Kayak Livestream Schedule

2016 Olympic Canoe/Kayak Livestream Schedule

July 12, 2016

Livestream Schedule NBCUniversal has posted its schedule for the 2016 Rio Canoe/Kayak livestreams on its official Olympic... Read More »
GAF 2016 T-Shirt Design Contest

GAF 2016 T-Shirt Design Contest

July 11, 2016

Design the 2016 GAF T-shirt! Designs can be submitted through August 22th, 2016. The winning designer will receive 2 free GAF... Read More »
NOC Day Trip Ideas: See Ours, Build Your Own

NOC Day Trip Ideas: See Ours, Build Your Own

July 6, 2016

It's summer! Pack the family up and hit the road. Time to make memories and explore the Southeast's great outdoors and small... Read More »
Memorial Day Weekend 2016

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

May 16, 2016

All of us have our unique ways to mark the beginning of summer. For me, nothing kicks it off quite like Memorial Day Weekend at... Read More »
Michal Smolen Heads to Rio as NOC’s 23rd Olympian!

Michal Smolen Heads to Rio as NOC’s 23rd Olympian!

April 15, 2016

When you arrive at Nantahala Outdoor Center in Western North Carolina, your path to adventure could lead you virtually anywhere... Read More »
Nantahala Racing Club Wins Fourth Grant for 2016 Season

Nantahala Racing Club Wins Fourth Grant for 2016 Season

March 25, 2016

Nantahala Racing Club, a Swain County non-profit organization dedicated to introducing youth and families to whitewater... Read More »
Meet NOC’s 2016 Ultimate River Family: The Wades from Atlanta

Meet NOC’s 2016 Ultimate River Family: The Wades from Atlanta

February 18, 2016

In January of 2016 NOC put a call-out for guests who consider themselves “The Ultimate River Family.” In a matter of weeks... Read More »
NOC Guests Donate $1,315 to Protect Western North Carolina Rivers

NOC Guests Donate $1,315 to Protect Western North Carolina Rivers

December 28, 2015

NOC marketing director Charles Conner presented French Broad Riverkeeper Hartwell Carson with a check for $1,315 on behalf of... Read More »
Tsali Adventure Triathlon 2015

Tsali Adventure Triathlon 2015

September 9, 2015

Join MedicForce on October 3, 2015 for the Tsali Adventure Triathlon—an off-road triathlon featuring 3-mile paddle, 5-mile... Read More »
“Even More Fun” Whitewater Rafting

“Even More Fun” Whitewater Rafting

August 6, 2015

For guests who love the guided rafting trip experience but want to take it to the next level, NOC’s rental trips are... Read More »
Wild Waters

Wild Waters

July 29, 2015

I’m incredibly honored to welcome the world’s fastest junior and under 23 whitewater paddlers to Western North Carolina for... Read More »
Guide Spotlight: Colleen Hickey

Guide Spotlight: Colleen Hickey

July 4, 2015

Meet Colleen Hickey. NOC Outfitter’s Store Manager, Master Guide, skilled paddler and 1st boat on the USA Canoe and Kayak... Read More »
GAF 2015 T-Shirt Design Contest

GAF 2015 T-Shirt Design Contest

June 26, 2015

Design the 2015 GAF T-shirt! Designs can be submitted through August 16th, 2015. Finalists will be selected and posted to NOC's... Read More »
Paddles Up for Dad

Paddles Up for Dad

June 11, 2015

Thirteen years ago, Olympian and World Champion kayaker Eric Jackson set out on a quest that most any Dad might do. That would... Read More »
Coming Home to NOC

Coming Home to NOC

June 5, 2015

Change in life happens. No matter how it’s initiated, change can be invigorating. New possibilities, people and experiences... Read More »
Olympian Joe Jacobi Describes His Favorite Event: The Merrell Adventure Dash

Olympian Joe Jacobi Describes His Favorite Event: The Merrell Adventure Dash

May 18, 2015

In the peak of my Olympic canoeing career when I was training at NOC for international whitewater slalom racing, the LAST sport... Read More »
A NOC Favorite: Spring Fling!

A NOC Favorite: Spring Fling!

April 3, 2015

There’s always something amazing going on in the great outdoors, but springtime at NOC is like nothing else. New guides finish... Read More »
Spring Break 2015: Destination River

Spring Break 2015: Destination River

March 5, 2015

With Spring Break just a few weeks away, it’s time to make your warm-weather daydreams a reality. NOC takes “fun” to new... Read More »
NOC Guides Share Off-Season Adventures

NOC Guides Share Off-Season Adventures

February 5, 2015

Adventure doesn't stop during the off-season for NOC guides. This fall and winter were no exception with NOC guides traveling... Read More »
Guest Blogger & Master Guide Brad McMillan on the Adidas Sickline Race

Guest Blogger & Master Guide Brad McMillan on the Adidas Sickline Race

December 4, 2014

If you asked me a few years or even a few months ago, I would have never thought I would be racing at the Adidas Sickline
Guest Blogger & NOC Master Guide Brad McMillan on the 2014 Green River Race

Guest Blogger & NOC Master Guide Brad McMillan on the 2014 Green River Race

November 5, 2014

It’s the first Saturday in November in Saluda, NC – my favorite time of year. It’s Green Race Day. For the past 19 years,... Read More »
Guest Blogger & Master Guide Brad McMillan on the 2014 Lord of the Fork Race

Guest Blogger & Master Guide Brad McMillan on the 2014 Lord of the Fork Race

October 28, 2014

The Lord of the Fork Race is a Southeastern tradition that showcases one of the area’s most stunning and challenging river... Read More »
500 Pumpkins, 30 Kayakers & 1 Beaver-shark. It’s NOCtoberfest!

500 Pumpkins, 30 Kayakers & 1 Beaver-shark. It’s NOCtoberfest!

October 27, 2014

Fall 2014 has been a season to remember. Colors in the southeast started appearing early and slowly improved each week. The... Read More »
Leaf Season is NOW!

Leaf Season is NOW!

October 16, 2014

The moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived—it’s the beginning of peak leaf season in the mountains—and... Read More »
Peak Color on the Horizon

Peak Color on the Horizon

October 8, 2014

Fall colors are gorgeous with any backdrop, but there’s something extra special about bursts of yellow, orange and magenta... Read More »
First of Fall: This Week’s Photos + Ideas for Sight-seeing

First of Fall: This Week’s Photos + Ideas for Sight-seeing

September 29, 2014

Fall has officially arrived, and we've been on the trails scoping out the best spots to enjoy the season as it goes from... Read More »
Top Fall Color Spots of 2013

Top Fall Color Spots of 2013

September 10, 2014

It’s our favorite time of year – or at least the most colorful. Autumn is creeping up on us in Western North Carolina and we... Read More »
More Than Just Paddling Lessons: NOC Women’s Adventure Getaway

More Than Just Paddling Lessons: NOC Women’s Adventure Getaway

September 8, 2014

This Fall NOC Paddling School is offering a week long women's getaway focused on adventure while building friendships and... Read More »
Meet Master Guide Ty Caldwell

Meet Master Guide Ty Caldwell

August 29, 2014

My name is Ty Caldwll and I am a Master Guide and Kayak Instructor at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. I have worked at NOC for... Read More »
Best Fall Activities in Gatlinburg

Best Fall Activities in Gatlinburg

August 13, 2014

With cooler weather, fewer crowds and breathtaking fall colors, autumn is one of the best seasons to visit the mountains. NOC... Read More »
NOC Hosts 2014 Whitewater Junior Olympics

NOC Hosts 2014 Whitewater Junior Olympics

August 12, 2014

On August 9-11, whitewater paddlers ages 18 and under converged on the Nantahala River for the 2014 Whitewater Junior Olympics.... Read More »
Fall Broadcasting Schedule for Freestyle Kayaking World Championships

Fall Broadcasting Schedule for Freestyle Kayaking World Championships

August 1, 2014

The freestyle kayaking world championships continues its national television broadcast through the end of August. You can enjoy... Read More »
Top 5 Things to do at NOC Before School Starts

Top 5 Things to do at NOC Before School Starts

August 1, 2014

With summer break coming to an end, NOC wants to wish you a happy back-to-school season! While there's always time for... Read More »
NOC & American Whitewater Present DamNation Film Screening

NOC & American Whitewater Present DamNation Film Screening

July 31, 2014

Produced by Patagonia, DamNation is a documentary film that addresses America's changing philosophies around dam construction... Read More »
What’s in NOC’s Famous Chattooga River Two-Bean Hummus?

What’s in NOC’s Famous Chattooga River Two-Bean Hummus?

July 22, 2014

What makes NOC Chattooga River Rafting Trips so special? Is it the exciting Class III-IV rapids? The untouched, serene... Read More »
NOC Master Guide Brad McMillan on the Nantahala Cascades

NOC Master Guide Brad McMillan on the Nantahala Cascades

July 18, 2014

Located above the commercial put-in for the Nantahala River, the Nantahala Cascades are a Western North Carolina kayaking treat.... Read More »
Guest Blogger & Master Guide Brad celebrates July 4th on the Potomac River

Guest Blogger & Master Guide Brad celebrates July 4th on the Potomac River

July 9, 2014

Saturday July 5th. The stage is set for the 26th annual Great Falls Race on the Potomac River in our nation's capital. The... Read More »
NOC’s Nantahala Games Rules Updates

NOC’s Nantahala Games Rules Updates

June 24, 2014

  2015 NOC's Nantahala Games Rules Slalom 101 Slalom is a race of speed and precision. Competitors strive to reach the finish... Read More »
Help Nantahala Racing Club Win $25K The North Face Grant

Help Nantahala Racing Club Win $25K The North Face Grant

June 20, 2014

Nantahala Racing Club (NRC), a non-profit partner of NOC based in the Nantahala Gorge, has a chance to win $25,000 through The... Read More »
Guest Blogger & Master Guide Brad on the Little White Salmon Race

Guest Blogger & Master Guide Brad on the Little White Salmon Race

June 6, 2014

It's a big year of races for NOC's Master Guide Brad McMillan, including the iconic Little White Salmon Race in Washington... Read More »
Father’s Day Adventures

Father’s Day Adventures

June 4, 2014

Summer weather is here, and Father’s Day weekend is around the corner—sounds like the perfect time to plan an outdoor... Read More »
Guest Blogger & Master Guide Brad McMillan Trades One Blade for Two!

Guest Blogger & Master Guide Brad McMillan Trades One Blade for Two!

June 3, 2014

It's a big year of races for NOC's Master Guide Brad McMillan. Currently training in the Pacific Northwest (and fresh off his
Top 5 Things to Do at NOC Gatlinburg

Top 5 Things to Do at NOC Gatlinburg

May 31, 2014

Located at the Gatlinburg entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NOC Gatlinburg is a popular summer destination for... Read More »
NOC Graduates Elite Master Guides

NOC Graduates Elite Master Guides

May 31, 2014

Innovative Program Invests in Advanced Training for Company’s Top River Leaders This May Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) named... Read More »
NOC’s 6 Best Memorial Day Adventures

NOC’s 6 Best Memorial Day Adventures

May 19, 2014

Here’s our short list of exciting rafting and zip line trips for the holiday weekend. Get ready for some serious fun! Remember... Read More »
Paddle with World Champion Michal Smolen Friday, May 9

Paddle with World Champion Michal Smolen Friday, May 9

May 6, 2014

Come out to paddle with World Champion Michal Smolen at 6 pm this Friday at the Nantahala Bridge Gates. This fun, free... Read More »
Gearfest 2014

Gearfest 2014

May 5, 2014

Join NOC Gatlinburg on May 10 for the premier of Gearfest. Celebrate the outdoor gear we love with experts in the outdoor... Read More »
Team NOC Completes Grueling Smoky Mountain Relay

Team NOC Completes Grueling Smoky Mountain Relay

May 2, 2014

On April 25-26, Team NOC raced in the grueling Smoky Mountain Relay. Team NOC ran from Brevard, NC to NOC's Nantahala River... Read More »
Freestyle Kayaking World Championships Begin National TV Broadcast

Freestyle Kayaking World Championships Begin National TV Broadcast

May 1, 2014

The freestyle kayaking world championships begin a month-long national television run on May 4. The broadcast will expose... Read More »
NOC’s Summer Live Music Series

NOC’s Summer Live Music Series

April 30, 2014

Its warming up in the Nantahala Gorge and that means its time for NOC's Summer Live Music Series! Join us at Big Wesser BBQ +... Read More »
Nantahala Racing Club Announces New Look and 2014 Programming

Nantahala Racing Club Announces New Look and 2014 Programming

April 29, 2014

Nantahala Racing Club, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that partners with NOC, unveiled a new logo and website this... Read More »
NOC Athlete Wins 2014 Slalom Worlds

NOC Athlete Wins 2014 Slalom Worlds

April 25, 2014

NOC elite athlete Michal Smolen won the 2014 Slalom U-23 Men's Kayak World Championship earlier today in Penrith, Australia.... Read More »
6 NOC Guides Featured on 2014 Pyranha Team

6 NOC Guides Featured on 2014 Pyranha Team

April 21, 2014

6 NOC guides made the official 2014 Pyranha Team, and are featured in the 2013 Team Pyranha Highlights Video. The list includes... Read More »
NOC Guide Sets Open Canoe Waterfall Record

NOC Guide Sets Open Canoe Waterfall Record

April 12, 2014

NOC Master Guide Brad McMillan ran a 70′ waterfall in Alabama last week—a new world record for an open canoe. His party... Read More »
NOC’s Youth Paddling Team Partners with Nantahala Racing Club

NOC’s Youth Paddling Team Partners with Nantahala Racing Club

April 7, 2014

NOC Youth Paddling Team members will meet in the Nantahala Gorge on Saturday, April 12, for two days of paddling and social... Read More »
3 Essential Wildflower Season Links

3 Essential Wildflower Season Links

April 3, 2014

Spring is finally here and the wildflower blooms of the Smokies and Southern Appalachians are in full swing. Great Smokies... Read More »
Michal Smolen Earns 2nd at U.S. Team Trials

Michal Smolen Earns 2nd at U.S. Team Trials

March 31, 2014

NOC-sponsored paddler Michal Smolen earned 2nd place in men's senior K1 at US Canoe/Kayak Team Trials yesterday in Charlotte,... Read More »
US Slalom Athlete Colleen Hickey Joins Outfitter’s Store

US Slalom Athlete Colleen Hickey Joins Outfitter’s Store

March 12, 2014

NOC is proud to announce that 2014 U.S. Slalom World Championship Team member Colleen Hickey will become manager of NOC's... Read More »