Our outpost is located just 14 miles west of Bryson City, NC. on US 19/74 West in Western North Carolina located in the heart of the Nantahala Gorge.
We are located near the bottom of the river (take-out), so you get to enjoy viewing the full river while you are shuttled to the top (put-in). On your way, you’ll be reminded of each of the runs that we told you about in your instructional brief, and you’ll see just how you need to make your run when you get on the water.
Being close to the bottom of the river allows us a very short run back to the Outpost where you are welcomed by Hot Showers and spacious changing rooms. You won’t end up waiting long periods of time while other companies are waiting to pick up the last of the stragglers that you saw an hour ago hung up on the rocks just after the first rapid. We run Large Buses and Mini Buses so your wait will be minimum at the takeout. We’ll shuttle you back to the Outpost while you are still dripping wet! Other companies are forced to wait long periods of time, until they get a full load, because they have long runs back to their Outpost. That is exactly why our trips are shorter than everyone else trips. We get you on the river, and we get you off. If you are waiting around, it’s because that is what you want to do, not because you are waiting on us!
We know your time is valuable, and you want to minimize time spent waiting around, and maximize your time on the river having “FUN”! After all, that’s why you are here.
At Paddle Inn, we get you right on the river, and we’ll pick you up and shuttle you back to the outpost before you stop dripping! If you want to spend a half an hour in the T-Shirt shop, it’s because you want to, and not the fact that you were there waiting on us to get you on the river!
GREAT QUESTION! Thanks for asking!
It’s Not Shorter, it just takes less of your time. The longest trip on the Nantahala River is 2 hours float time. If you want a longer trip on this river, you’re going to have to start “Back Paddling”! It is the perfect length trip, and every outfitter runs the same Full River Trip. We advertise your trip will average 2-1/2 hours total. Why can we do that, and other companies can’t/won’t? For starters, we go when you’re ready! Yes, we try to schedule trips as often as possible; not because it is cost effective, but it is more important to us that you don’t have to wait! No, we don’t tell you to show up 1/2 hour early, and wait for the stragglers before we start giving our instructional briefs.
That is the reason that other Outfitters advertise their same trip takes 3 to 4 hours. Guess where all of your extra time is spent? We have 14 passenger Mini Buses for the small trips, and full power diesel school buses for the larger ones. Just as soon as we get you signed up and outfitted, we’ll give you the best instructional brief on the river and get you going. On the trip up the river, you’ll be able to see and ask questions about the rapids that we just told you all about!
We are family owned and operated, and we know “you” are the reason “we” are here. We want you to return to Paddle Inn every year, and we know why you are here, and what you want! You are here to “Raft the White Water of the Nantahala River”, and you are ready to get started.
We give you the best equipment, and the best Safety and River Instruction on the river. How do we know? Because you tell us! Several hundred times a year we are told by patrons who have rafted with many other companies through the years, that they learned more during our instructional briefs than all previous years combined. Why? Because we loved the river long before we got into the rafting business.
We give you the opportunity to enjoy the river like we do! If you have a problem, or a suggestion, we want to hear about it. We also value your input.
We have all types of rafting equipment at our Outpost because we know your adventure is a one of a kind trip, and you need just the right kind of equipment for your group. Not every trip is the same, nor is every group. You get what you want here, not what we want to give to you. Part of your group wants to be in one of our several sizes of rafts, others in our two sizes of single duckies, double, or our very exclusive and unusual triple duckies! Not a problem here! We’ll reserve exactly what you want, and we’ll be ready when you get here!
We have all sorts of rafts. We have 2/3 man rafts, 3/4 man rafts, 5/6 man rafts, and 7/8 man rafts. We have Single Duckies, and High Performance Single Duckies. We have Double Duckies and our new exclusive Triple Duckies. If you are wondering what all of the Ducky business is, sometimes they are also called Funyaks!
NEW “3 Man Duckies” : We design and manufacture our own boats and decided to create a three man ducky, and a new sport 2/3/4 man mini raft. We are the only Outfitter that I know that has a triple duck in the US and maybe the world. They are really Fun! Dad, or Mom and the two kids now can step up to the new adventure. We have had Mom, Dad and a small child and we have had three grown adults run down the river together having a BLAST!
We have Self Bailing Rafts, and we maintain a large fleet of the Regular Rafts that we refer to as “Bucket Boats”. Both styles of boats are fun, and they are a totally different experience on the river. Which one will you prefer? That we cannot always tell, but we’ll tell you what the difference is and let you decide.
We work directly with the manufacturers to create a custom line of boats that we think are the perfect Nantahala River boats. We have compliments from guides from other rivers as well who hear about our boats and come to try them out and all have loved them.
White Water Rafting on the Nantahala River is what we specialize in. Our Company is focused on giving you a quality experience at an affordable price. We offer three types of trips, and three different length of trips, and multiple boat sizes and styles. They are all described here on our Trips Page.
We have the best value on the river, and we want you to give us a shot at your business so you can see for yourself how we operate. Our individual rates are listed on our rates page. Give us a call and lets talk about your group. We work with each group individually so we can get you the best rates for your particular outing.
Have you ever had something that wasn’t just right? Have you ever thought that if you would have designed this, it would not have this, and it would have that, and this is just down right foolish? Well, us too!
We kept looking at all of the commercial rafts on the market. We bought one of these, one of those, and tested them. It seemed like every raft out there was built according to the same designers initial idea from 10 years ago, and those designers had never been in a raft, much less guided one down the river.
We approached several of the major raft wholesalers in the USA, and asked them about designing better boats. Boats that make more sense to a boater. After many comments about how hard and expensive it is to design a boat, we decided we still wanted the best rafts on the river for our customers, so…
We have them! The Mercedees of the Nantahala River. And they were right! It was not easy, and the design phase was not cheap! But! We ended up with the best designed boats ever produced. Three prototypes later, and we were ready to roll. Within two weeks of having our new rafts, we were visited by the guides and owners from many other Outfitters who had “Heard” about our new boats.
I personally interviewed every one of them, after their trips, curious to hear what they had to say. Everyone agreed that the boats were the best they had ever paddled, for every reason they were designed, and only 30% of them noticed the last change to be made, but all of them agreed that this last change would even make the boat better. Mostly from the Outfitters point of view, but that is who we are, so it made perfect sense to us too. It just so happened that this feature, “the valve locations” were misread on the last prototype, and should have been perfect to begin with, before we received them.
We even produced a special urethane sheet fabric to apply to the bottom of the raft to make the raft bottom slicker, and make it slide over the rocks easier. This design was made for our rental customers, since our guides never hit a rock, right? Yeah, Right!
There has been so much excitement, we have been begged and pleaded with to make these boats available to other Outfitters. We kind of feel selfish about our new design, but we figure you might raft other rivers that we don’t operate on, and figure why not! Besides, our factory is so great, and they have done such a great job, why should we not all enjoy the new rafts.
So we designed a 7/8 man raft, then a 5/6man, then a Single, Double, and yes a Triple Duck. Then we decided we should really have a 2/3/4 man raft also for small families, or small groups of 2 to 3
We took every feature of every boat we liked, and every feature we did not like, and applied them to each of our boats.
Ever tried to figure out how to redesign flotation where there are outside tubes, then at a certain weight, the floor, but only a certain portion of the floor and tubes at a certain weight, add in the flex factor of the floor, and thwarts, removing length of flotation in one place, and making sure it is replace in others, only while a portion of that new area is effective at a certain weight and pressure. Then figure the weight and volume of air at a certain psi and temperature, and about a hundred other considerations. I guess the three prototypes were inevitable.
So, what happened next? Well, you know when you finally accomplish something like this, you just don’t remember how much trouble it really was, and we started looking at everything differently. It was little things like… These darn splash jackets.. If they just…..!!,, and the booties,, If they just….!, and the Wetsuits… Why didn’t they…..!, and before you know it, we have something called “The American Outfitter Supply Company”. We are making everything that is not the best, much better, and making it all available to you!