Nantahala Outdoor Center is the nation’s largest outdoor recreation company. Over a million guests visit NOC annually to embark on a diverse collection of more than 120 different river and land-based itineraries, learn to kayak at NOC’s world-renowned Paddling School, travel abroad with NOC’s Adventure Travel program, test the latest outdoor gear and shop at its LEED-certified flagship retail stores or enjoy NOC’s resort amenities such as its three restaurants and multi-tiered lodging.
A privately-held company, NOC is one of the largest employers in Western North Carolina and 22 Olympians, including two Olympic Gold Medalists, have called NOC home. NOC has been recently recognized by The New York Times as the “Nation’s Premiere Paddling School,” “The Best Place to Learn” by Outside, and as “One of the Best Outfitters on Earth” by National Geographic Adventure.
NOC guides will lead our 5.5 millionth guest on a whitewater rafting trip in 2018, and they continue to lead the outdoor industry in professionalism and personal accomplishments. One of NOC’s guides is a co-holder of the world record for highest waterfall run in an open canoe and NOC’s Master Guide program for veteran staff is unmatched in the entire outdoor industry. This kind of leadership earned NOC the 2012 Outdoor Inspiration Award from the OIA, the leading trade association of the outdoor recreation industry, composed of 4,000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives and retailers.
NOC is also the nation’s most active paddlesports event venue, hosting the 2013 International Canoe Federation Canoe Freestyle World Championships, the 2015 International Canoe Federation Junior & U23 Wildwater Canoeing World Championships, the 2015 USA Canoe & Kayak Slalom Nationals and a variety of other races and events for top-level athletes, competitive hopefuls, developing young stars and weekend warriors.