In the Victorian era, extreme sports were limited to teatime without doilies, writing witty satires about earnesty, and riding a penny-farthing down a mild incline. Today's Groupon would shock such staid sensibilities: for $10, you get a self-guided rafting trip from Adventurous Fast Rivers Rafting in Bryson City (up to a $22 value). The value of the Groupon may also be applied toward any other available trip.
The Nantahala River, like an artery pumping life force from the heart of the Nantahala National Forest, propels emboldened rafters down its majestic currents on a 8.5-mile tour culminating in a thrilling run down the falls. After checking in at the store counter and receiving equipment and personal instruction, small groups are shuttled upstream and set loose in self-bailing inflated rafts. The downstream odyssey then commences, as rafts pick up momentum and Class III white rapids lick faces and arms like a tongue bath from Mother Nature. The crystal-clear waters lead rafters down to the Riverside Outpost, where they are given instructions for conquering that gargantuan granddaddy of rapids—the falls. Though not included in today’s Groupon, staff photographers snap shots of rafters’ terrified faces as they plunge through the harrowing finale to ensure that friends back home will not second-guess their boasts of bravery.
As soon as the expedition ends, rafters dry off, change into warm clothes, and check out their pictures on the Riverside Outpost’s widescreen TV. A picnic area and children’s playground invite a riverside lunch from the nearby deli or pizza stands, which comes as a welcome reversal of fortunes after more than 2.5 hours of being served up as a feast to the river gods. See the Adventurous Fast Rivers Rafting literature pack for liability waivers and further safety information.
Though Adventurous Fast Rivers Rafting sometimes features a discounted price online and offers $10 rafting for veterans and active-duty military personnel with ID, this Groupon still offers the best deal available for most buyers.
Adventurous Fast Rivers Rafting
The Nantahala River rushes through Class II rapids and higher, but it also runs through the stories of the countless people who've dared its churning waters and tumbling falls. One such story centers on Steven and Sue, who met at a Hendersonville summer camp and soon fell in love with each other and the Smoky Mountain air. Eight years later, the Matzes sold off the trappings of corporate-Atlanta life and founded Adventurous Fast Rivers Rafting with their two children, four dogs, and more than a dozen wilderness-loving employees.
These instructors—certified in First Aid and CPR—ready groups for each guided or unguided exploration by teaching proper raft and boat control, as well as describing techniques for crew coordination. A hand-painted map points out routes through the Nantahala Gorge that avoid interview-hungry nature documentarians. Adventurers have just as many rafting options as routes, including Aire and Hyside self-bailing inflatable rafts, funyaks, sit-on-top Torrent kayaks, and traditional bucket rafts. After either disembarking at the riverside outpost—recognizable by the tree growing through its center—or preparing for a final plunge down the Nantahala Wesser Falls, river-farers dry off and examine photos taken during the plunge down the Falls. The outdoor picnic area's park-style charcoal grills make it easy to throw a post-river barbecue.
14690 Hwy. 19W
Bryson City, North Carolina 28713