NoliFest: The Premier Southeast Outdoor Recreation Festival

For all who paddle or just love the outdoors, mark your calendars! NoliFest is the springtime gathering for whitewater and Onewheel enthusiasts in the Southern Appalachians. On the schedule for this year’s festival are Onewheel races, group rides, a beat nightfall gorge kayak race, SUP races, a gear sale and swap, shuttles, live music, and much more. NoliFest 2022 is happening April 22-24 at USA Raft Adventure Resort, the premier adventure and outdoor recreation destination on the banks of the gorgeous Nolichucky River

Flowing through one of the deepest river gorges in the Eastern US, the Nolichucky is located a short drive from anywhere in the Southeastern US. The rafting, kayaking, and watersports activities here are epic, and this river draws some of the best athletes in the world. At NoliFest, you’ll have the time of your life paddling one of the most adventurous and scenic rivers on the planet.

Kayaking and SUP

On Friday after check in, sign up for the Beat NightFall Race or settle into your luxury lodging unit and prepare to watch the racers come in at the takeout. On Saturday there are morning and afternoon shuttle options to the put in for an incredible Nolichucky Gorge adventure. Book a rafting trip for the whole family led by an expert guide or get on the shuttle with your kayak for a group paddle like no other.


Saturday morning will also see the first SUP race start at the USA Raft Adventure Resort location and end at the new Red Banks Outpost, approximately 1.8 miles downstream, where a shuttle will take you back to the rest of the fun. Later, it’s bragging rights and an awards ceremony. To end your day on the water, make sure you don’t miss the SUP jousting event, which is exactly as entertaining as it sounds.


Whether you’re an experienced rider or completely new to Onewheels, you’ll enjoy the action watching or riding the best personal electric vehicle on the market. On Saturday evening, make your way to the volleyball court to watch some of the best Onewheelers race for first place. NoliFest will also feature scheduled group rides, a trick clinic, and demos for different models like the XR+, Pint, and Pint X. If you’re interested in picking up a Onewheel of your own, make sure to check out the festival’s gear swap and sale, which will also feature other outdoor industry gear. USA Raft is proud to be the top Onewheel dealer in the nation and home to one of the first organized Onewheel races. 

Music, Food, Drinks, and Movement

It’s whitewater play all day and sweet tunes into the night at NoliFest. Friday at USA Raft’s Take Out Bar & Grill, My New Favorites and Dreads for Brains are on the main stage all night, and Saturday night you’ll enjoy the music of Brushfire Stankgrass.  

The Take Out Bar & Grill will be pouring cold beer all weekend. Almost everything on the outdoor, riverside bar’s extensive beer list is from craft breweries within a one- to two-hour drive from USA Raft. For dinner, grab an option like the pulled pork sandwich, gourmet hotdog, or even vegan selections.

You’ll also be able to enjoy bonfires, hammocks, and seats around the fire, all on the banks of the beautiful Nolichucky River. With hot food in one hand, a cold drink in the other, toes in the sand, and music filling the air, this is the perfect setting to end your day. 

For breakfast on Saturday and Sunday, food trucks Mimi’s Food Truck, Mountain Surf Coffee, and Maybe Today will be slinging hot beverages and delicious eats. To help get your body moving and to knock off the rust from the night before, morning Tai Chi and yoga classes will be held both mornings. Just don’t be surprised if these classes are on a stand-up paddleboard in the pond, because that is the USA Raft way.

Sponsors and Vendors

Sponsors for NoliFest 2022 are Blue Ridge Outdoors, Liquidlogic Kayaks, Pyranha Kayaks, and Smokey Mountain Hempire. NoliFest will bring in other leading vendors in the whitewater and outdoor community, who will set up right on property with plenty of equipment and gear. Make sure to stop by their tents, say hello, and check out some of the best outdoor companies in the market.

Festival Passes and Lodging

Call 1-(800)-USA-RAFT today to secure your lodging and festival passes. There are options to stay overnight on-site or get festival passes only. This event sells out every year. If you’re a lover of outdoor recreation in the Southeast, you won’t want to miss it. To learn more about USA Raft Adventure Resort, visit

Places to Go, Things to See: