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Guided Fontana Lake Tour

Bryson City, NC
from $40

Explore hidden nature on Fontana Lake with one of NOC’s guides showing you the way! Paddle your own boat with instructional assistance from an NOC expert guide so you feel comfortable during your entire trip.

4+ Years Old
3 Hours Long
woman and group kayaking on the Guided Fontana Lake Tour trip
Staff giving instruction while on the Guided Fontana Lake Tour trip
Kayakers on the Guided Fontana Lake Tour trip
Two kayakers on the Guided Fontana Lake Tour trip



Explore beautiful Fontana Lake near Bryson City, NC in a kayak or stand up paddleboard (SUP) rental from NOC. Head out in search of 100′ Bird Falls or relax in a quiet cove while soaking in the breathtaking scenery. Paddle among a grove of trees growing in the shallow portions of the lake; it’s up to you! Enjoy a single or tandem recreational kayak, or try a SUP for more challenge. No experience is required, and you can include children as young as four on NOC’s tandem kayaks. Kayaks, SUPs, and gear is included. Trips start at NOC’s main Nantahala River campus.


  • Explore beautiful Fontana Lake alongside an NOC Guide.
  • Discover native wildlife such as River Otters, Kingfishers, Osprey, and Box Turtles that all play in the waters.
  • Find hidden treasures of Fontana when you search for waterfalls and creeks.

What to Expect

Please check-in for your trip 30 minutes prior to your reservation at the Adventure Deck. After a brief orientation and video, you’ll get geared up with pfds and paddles and take a short hike to NOC’s put in on Fontana Lake. Once in your boat, your experienced guide will lead you out on an adventure exploring the lake! The full trip takes approximately 3 hours, with 2.5 on the lake.

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Nantahala Outdoor Center
13077 US-19
Bryson City, NC 28713

Master Guides at This Location

NOC provides all paddleboards, paddling equipment, and PFDs for this guided adventure.

  • Paddle
  • Personal Flotation Device (PFD)
  • Wet Suits & Dry Tops (by request)

Dress in clothes that can get wet, and wear shoes that will stay securely on your feet, with back heel straps (flip flops are not recommended). Don’t forget dry clothes and shoes for after your trip. There are changing rooms available on NOC’s campus. In cooler weather, avoid wearing heavy cottons; wear synthetics and wool socks instead.

All participants must be at least 4 years old; however, in order to paddle their own boat, we recommend their age be 8.

The trip will take approximately 3 hours total with 2-2.5 hours on the water. The rest of the time will be spent on trip preparation and the short hike to and from the lake.

Enjoy riverside dining at one of our two locations conveniently located right on campus. River’s End Restaurant offers American-style cuisine with pizza, sandwiches, salads and more. Big Wesser features quick Southern fare like burgers and barbeque. Both have a great selection of beer, wine, and cocktails.

Additional snacks and drinks are available for purchase at the Outfitter’s Store or the General Store.

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