River activists fought so you could take the ultimate whitewater thrill ride. Known by many as the most difficult river in the Southeast, the Cheoah River’s intense class IV-V+ rapids will be open to paddlers and rafters on select dam release dates this spring. American Whitewater reached a re-licensing agreement in 2005 with the Alcoa Corporation, which owns the dam that holds back the Cheoah’s raging waters. The 40-year agreement allows boaters to run a 9.25-mile section of the Southwestern North Carolina River on select days every year. Brace yourself for rumbling rapids and big drops including the 15-foot Bear Creek Falls.

March 20-22 / April 10-12, 24-25 / May 8-9, 22-23 / June 26-27 / September 18 / October 2 / November 6