It takes just a few minutes to get to downtown Bryson City from your rental cabin in the Bryson City or Cherokee area. When you arrive, you will discover that although it is a small town, there are some very big things happening, here!
If you are downtown on a Wednesday afternoon, chances are you will see dozens of kayaks floating on the Tuckaseegee River. The “Tuck”, as residents fondly call it, flows right through the center of Bryson City. And no, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you – the kayaks are tiny! That’s because the paddlers are very young – most around the age of 8 but some as young as 4! This is Nantahala Kids Club, a community group of kid paddlers that gets together once a week when the weather is nice. Local kayaking outfitters (Endless River Adventures and Nantahala Outdoor Center) volunteer their awesome instructors (and a company founder – Juliet Jacobsen Kastorff!) to teach the kayaking skills to the kids.
Bryson City is home to quite a few Olympic paddlers and they love to have the chance to share their passion for the sport with young people. Most parents of club members also enjoy paddling with the group. While most club members are just getting into the sport, others are more experienced and have already participated in freestyle or slalom competitions. With access to great whitewater and wonderful instruction, it is indeed possible that several NKC members could compete in the 2013 World Freestyle Kayaking Championships that will be held in nearby Nantahala Gorge! For more information on the club, visit the Nantahala Kids Club facebook page.