girl scouts · north carolina · summer

Experiencing the Smoky Mountains at the NOC- Hiking, Paddleboarding & White Water Rafting

Oh my goodness! This trip went by so fast! It was a huge 3-day whirlwind of fun! As I explained in my last post, my Girl Scout troop and I went on a trip to North Carolina and Tennessee to see the Smoky Mountains. The first two days, we stayed at an outdoor outfitter, Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) that had a huge varity of activities for us to do. We choose an adventure that had hiking, paddleboarding and whitewater rafting. There were a few other things we could have picked for our adventure. On day 3, we hiked up Mount Leconte via the Alum Trail, and stayed at Mount Leconte for the night.

The day we left from home, we were on the road for 11 hours! As soon as we got to NOC, we unloaded our bags into our cabins (more on the cabins later), but then we hopped on a quick bus to take a waterfall hike. We actually had a guide take us on the hike. She gave us great info about different plants and it was really cool having her there. The waterfall was so pretty!IMG_0321

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Now on to the cabins! The cabins were pretty rustic but what can you expect? It was just a mattress on some bunk beds and you had to bring your own bedding. But they were nice and clean, and within our budget (cheap!), so they were perfect.

The next day, we went kayaking and paddleboarding. It was actually raining but luckily it cleared up just in time! I had never been paddleboarding before and I am proud to say I never fell. A couple of friends and I paddleboarded for 40 minutes straight to see another waterfall. Boy, were my arms and legs tired. So on the way back, I switched with someone to a kayak! Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of this day because it was all water activities and it was raining.

Part of our package was food, so NOC provided a lunch for us. It was really good. All the meals at NOC were good.  We went as part of a group tour at NOC, but they have a few resteraunts as well.

Later that day, we went white water rafting. I have to admit I was a little scared at the thought of it. It was pouring down rain and they showed us a video of how you can fall out, hit the rocks and what to do if that happened. We got on a bus that took us to our drop off point.   White water rafting was so much fun. We were on the raft for about 2 hours and I didn’t even realize it because it was non-stop action.  Our group of 20 people was split into 5 rafts. Luckily, every raft had a guide to steer the raft in the right direction. We paid extra to have our own guide in the raft which was a big comfort (only a few bucks extra per person). Our raft saved two people who had fallen out of their boats! We were so proud of our heroic effort (hehe)! At the end of our journey all the guides pulled us over and told us to brace ourselves for a big waterfall we were going to be going over in a few minutes. We were all freaking out and were assuming the worst but really the water fall wasn’t that bad! It was funny how they ramped it up so much to get us scared.

I absolutely LOVED going white water rafting. It was such a cool experience that I wouldn’t get to do in Indiana. Even if you’re afraid, I would recommend doing this! For me, it was good to jump out of my comfort zone and pushmyself! You should too!

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