We are leaving the verdant mountains of Western North Carolina now and headed to whitewater raft South Carolina’s Chattooga River made famous in the movie Deliverence. (Don’t worry. If Charley hears banjos playing, he’ll just ride a bit faster 😉 If you enjoyed the photos of Charley rappelling 200 feet at Bradley Falls (Saluda NC) and want to know more about North Carolina’s amazing outdoor opportunities, check out this article courtesy of www.GreenRiverAdventures.com. From whitewater paddling in the mountains to kite-boarding on the barrier islands known as the Outer Banks, discover how North Carolina can satisfy your need for an adrenaline-fueled vacation!
North Carolina: State of Adventure
From Lofty Peaks to White Sand Beaches, Outdoor Thrills Abound
NORTH CAROLINA – From the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the west to the 300 miles of Atlantic shoreline in the east, North Carolina is an outdoor adventure mecca. Add in the southern hospitality, the cuisine of Central Piedmont, and the culture of cities such as Raleigh, Chapel Hill and Charlotte, and you’ll find thrills abound in the 545 miles of North Carolina between the towns of Murphy in the far west to Manteo on the Atlantic Coast.
In Western North Carolina, the ancient Appalachian Mountains reach their highest peaks, with dozens of mountains towering more than 6,000 feet above sea level and culminating in 6,684-foot Mt. Mitchell, the highest in the Eastern United States. These rugged yet forested mountains, which stretch upon lush green range to the horizon, are home to raging whitewater creeks and rivers that draw daredevil kayakers from around the globe (the same cold water streams also support a $174 million trout fishing industry!).
Artsy and Bohemian Asheville, with its eclectic music, arts, cuisine and craft brewing (named Beer City USA several years running), is the cultural capitol of the North Carolina mountains, while tiny mountain towns like Saluda offer their own brand of mountain hospitality. Whitewater rafting abounds on the region’s thrilling rivers. For those who wish to paddle their own inflatable kayak on the rapids of the Green River above and below the world famous Narrows section, check out Green River Adventures. They offer the only inflatable kayak trips on the Green, easy rapids suitable for the family to high-adventure wilderness waterfalls for thrill-seekers (like Charley). Daredevil triathletes will love the Green River Games.
Speaking of games … ever heard of the movie, “The Hunger Games?” The amazing geographic diversity of North Carolina has made it the No. 3 location for filmmaking in the United States according to the NC Division of Sports, Film and Tourism Development, and drives a thriving tourism business in its own right. Looking to climb among the massive granite walls and crags pictured in The Last of the Mohicans? Check out Chimney Rock State Park. Got a hunger to visit the mountains and forests pictured in The Hunger Games? DuPont State Forest between Brevard and Hendersonville features enormous thundering waterfalls and close to 100 miles of roads and trails that have made it a national mountain biking destination.
If you want to follow in Charley’s motorcycle tracks, check out Tail of the Dragon at Deal’s Gap. See if you can live up to his legacy of riding the Tail at night in the rain. Tail enthusiasts say completing that is the mark of ‘a real man.’ (You go Charley, who road the Tail at night in epic rain conditions July 4, 2013.)
For the ultimate North Carolina road trip, drive the Blue Ridge Parkway from the Cherokee Indian Reservation to Asheville, then head down to Brevard, DuPont, Saluda and Chimney Rock. From there, drive east to Charlotte, North Carolina’s biggest city and home to the US National Whitewater Center. Travel across the North Carolina Piedmont, famous for barbecue and blues, to the high-tech Triangle of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, where you will find a thriving culture and college scene. From Raleigh, you can drive down I-40 to the historic coastal city of Wilmington. It’s a good spot to begin your tour of the 300 miles of shoreline that includes the Outer Banks and Cape Hatteras National Sea Shore. And since the name of the game is adventure, be sure to check out the kite-surfing at Kill Devil Hills, where the Wright Brothers first took flight. It’s a high-flying, high-adventure finale to your North Carolina trip that began high in the cloud-shrouded peaks!
From pirates and lighthouses on the coast to waterfalls and hiking trails in the mountains, from Old Salem to the NASCAR Hall of Fame to the NC Zoo, VisitNC.com is a virtual encyclopedia of things to see, do and experience in North Carolina. Whether you are looking for a perfect place to stay, a nearby winery, a list of family-friendly or budget-friendly attractions, a great museum, a signature event, or just to browse through a vast array of stories, photos, and video, you’ll find everything you’re looking for.
To find out more information about things to do in North Carolina, or to start planning your own Carolina adventure, check out the Discover America website for trip ideas, as well as their Facebook and Twitter pages. And don’t forget to follow the adventures of Charley and Russ as they continue on across the USA on Facebook and Twitter. Check out what Charley has been up to in North Carolina in his Adventure Journal, or by looking at his photos and videos from the trip so far.