NC Outdoor Adventures
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours • Climbing Tours • Hiking & Camping Tours • Kayaking & Canoeing
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9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Thrifty Adventures has re-branded to NC Outdoor Adventures. Based out of the Blue Ridge mountains in Western North Carolina, NCOA offers over 21 different trips including; tubing, rafting, whitewater kayak instruction, climbing, rappelling, waterfall rappelling, hiking, camping, youth programs, wild edible plant walkabouts plus alpine climbing instruction during the winter months. This diversity in trip offerings makes our family owned company the perfect choice for many families, couples, adventurers, and scouting groups. Outside of these daily trips, NC Outdoor Adventures also has a strong climbing education program, youth and Veteran programs.
Bakersville, North Carolina

Awards
Travelers' Choice
2022

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Travelers talk about
(24 reviews)
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

5.0
136 reviews
Excellent
120
Very good
13
Average
2
Poor
0
Terrible
1

Kathleen Coghlan
3 contributions
Jun 2022
My husband, son (24 yr old) and I wanted to try something different while visiting the Blue Ridge Mountains and this trip did not disappoint. Nathan and Jane were superb, knowledgeable guides who taught us so much about rappelling and about the area in general. Their stories are inspiring and their humor and gentle support is exactly what you need if you're first time rappelers like us. We did a practice round, which was immensely helpful, and a visit to a cave with some breathtaking views before heading out to the main rappel location. Although terrifying at first once you got the hang of it the rappel was beyond rewarding. I as so glad we opted for this trip. The trail to the site was well groomed and a relatively easy hike from the parking lot. The secondary hike which we did upon Nathan's recommendation after we finished rappelling was also superb. All in all this trip is one of the best kept secrets of NC Outdoor Adventures. I highly recommend it.

Advice: Wear long pants/hiking pants as the rocks can scratch your legs up a bit if you are in shorts. Hiking boots preferable but I did OK in sneakers. The road into Table Rock is rutted so try to rent an SUV, but our rented Honda sedan made it going slowly. Drink lots of water the day before as well as on the trip, hydration is key.

Nathan and Jane are absolutely wonderful, and they like home baked cookies!
Written June 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Colin
Wilmington, NC19 contributions
Jul 2020
Outstanding home-style service in a perfect Appalachian setting. I could not be more impressed with the communication, correspondence and delivery by the folks at NC Outdoor Adventures.

Our host Scott went over the top to make sure that we were accommodated on a one and a half hour float trip. The equipment is nice, new tubes, and inflatable kayaks. They are conveniently located right along the Toe River so we could walk the tubes down and start right away.

If you were looking for the industrialized 'get as many people on a raft as you can' operators this might not be your spot. But if you are looking for a down home, attention to detail, know your name type personalized experience, look no further.
Written July 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
We are glad you enjoyed your trip and our service. We try to treat everyone like family and we are glad it shows. We do not want to be the service that is about numbers we are about quality and we are glad that was noticed! Hope to see you again soon.
Written July 17, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

964suzanned
Winston Salem, NC14 contributions
Jul 2020
My friend and I paddled the white water adventure down the Toe River with guide, Will. We were the only guests, as most people were tubing at a different location. We saw ospreys and bald eaglets. the paddle was fun, exciting but not terrifying. The equipment was excellent. Will was an excellent, attentive guide. there is an extra charge of $80 if only 2 paddlers sign up. We thought it was well worth the unique experience.
Written July 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Will is a great guide. We are glad you enjoyed your private whitewater trip. We hope to see you on other adventures with us soon.
Written July 26, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

butterfly343432
Georgia82 contributions
Jul 2020
This section of the Toe River Gorge was beautiful. The splashy rapids were a blast! Not many homes on this section so it's really scenic. The owners were very nice. I do have a few suggestions in hopes not to offend them. Since the outpost is their house, and the bathroom is on an old spring water system we were told to only flush the toilet if there were "solids". So, maybe just keep a couple porta johns instead. Another small issue we had is we picked up several screws, sharp metal pieces, other "tire popping" pieces in the gravel parking lot. Running a magnet around that parking lot sure would help! I think our biggest "negative" was the guide in the rear constantly tell us to paddle faster. To us, it's not safe being 5 feet from the next person on the river, especially during COVID-19 issues. Not to mention they were beginners and kept getting hung up on rocks. We don't like playing bumper boats on the water. So that did get pretty annoying being told to stay closer to folks. We've rented through many outfitters and have never had this constantly said to us. The last "negative" was the take out. It's a steep MUDDY bank. Half of the group kept slipping and falling back into the river while trying to get out. Not sure what could be done to help that. Overall, a beautiful float and worth it if some small changes could be made.
Written July 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hi. I hate to see so many negatives. First and foremost I would like to know who your guide was, feel free to call me (828) 260-4505. This very much surprises me and is NOT how we run trips and it is certainly not the experience we want guests to have. That said sometimes groups can be split between folks with some paddle experience and some with zero experience or those that lack the endurance to paddle the entire duration of the trip. This can prove a bit challenging from a guides perspective. That said being rushed down the river or kept close to one another is the opposite of what we teach as spacing on the water is important especially in rapid sections.The bank at the end of this trip needs some work but this is not our land. Both sides of the Toe are owned by private land owners and while we have special permissions to use them for our business we try not to impose to much on the owners we simply clean the spots and try to work on erosion issues. That spot is steep. As for the suggestions for the parking lot....we will run a magnet around and pick up the debris mentioned.....it is from a vehicle fire (we do this a couple times a year). As for the bathroom situation and outpost. We were in the process of finishing both the outhouse and the Yurt style outpost when COVID hit. Not only did we end up refunding 90% of spring trips we also did not know if we would be able to open. For that reason we could not invest the 3k$ to finish the projects and had to stick with the canopy tent offices for the season. Next year you can expect a really unique outpost and outhouse with changing room tents.
Written July 14, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

kayleepowers
Charlotte, NC1 contribution
May 2021
My partner and I did this as a double date with our friends! It was so much fun, and really a once in a lifetime experience. The guides were helpful without being overbearing. It was a little more strenuous than we expected due to low water flow, but nothing unmanageable. Definitely wear shoes that can get wet and have good grip! The flowers were absolutely beautiful and this was such a unique way to get up close and get a perspective that normally wouldn’t be available.
Written June 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Susan H
Chapel Hill, NC14 contributions
Jul 2020
The owner runs the business out of his house and is working on building a dedicated structure on his property for the business. While the operation lacks the cosmetic appeal of a more established business, the owner is very personable and knowledgeable. My family (wife and 3 kids) did the 3 hr float tubing adventure in July. We enjoyed the float trip and felt comfortable and safe with the tour operator. We did have to do a bit more hand paddling than expected to try and stay in the main river current, but all in all it was a nice, relaxing day.
Written July 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
I am happy you enjoyed the service and your paddle trip. If you want a trip with less paddling I would recommend you book a trip in early spring when water levels are higher. When we enter summer water levels go down a bit and this is a free flowing river so no dam releases to increase flow. As for the lack of curb appeal. We were in the process of finishing both the outhouse and the Yurt style outpost when COVID hit. Not only did we end up refunding 90% of spring trips we also did not know if we would be able to open, taxes were due and so was our business insurance. For those reasons we could not invest the 3k$ to finish the projects and had to stick with the canopy tent offices for the season, the last thing we wanted to do was run out of our home. The canopy tents are also a safer solution with the covid situation with an open air situation instead of a closed in space. Next year you can expect a really unique outpost and outhouse with changing room tents. Please note not having an office is a first for us in 10 years of business. Our offices have been some pretty amazing places with million dollar views including an office at the Skyline Village Inn in Little Switzerland and last season the office was in the restored Root cellar tiny house that is now a lodging option for airbnb.
Written July 15, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Shawn G
1 contribution
Apr 2021
My wife and I enjoyed our kayak paddle on the Toe River this afternoon. Our guide, Will was very friendly and knowledgeable. We did not take the plunge because the water was still very cold, but a swim in the river about mid-summer would be fun. A great way to spend a few hours in the Carolina highlands. I would recommend a full-day trip which combines repelling and kayaking.
Written April 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rosemery5
DeLand, FL1 contribution
Jun 2021
Came from FL to do the Spider Lilly kayak experience. The inflatables were different at first but I grew to like them a lot better than plastic. The guides were funny and helpful. It was just about 3 hours but it felt like it flew by with all the fun we had. They made sure we enjoyed ourselves and kept great track of everyone while making sure they were there if you struggled. I like that some parts we did together in a line and some areas like the lilies we got to self guide our way through which was “interesting” but fun. I would recommend 100%.
Written June 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Alison S
1 contribution
Oct 2020
My partner and I had an excellent time learning outdoor climbing skills with NCOA. Our guides, Scott and Michael, were thorough and patient teachers who clearly knew their stuff and were fun to spend the day with. They went the extra mile to help us gain the skills we needed and stay safe while climbing outside. Would highly recommend them to anyone who's trying to learn something new and/or make the transition from gym to outdoor climbing. Thanks again NCOA :)
Written October 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jennifer L
4 contributions
May 2022
Scott was fabulous. He knows a lot about a lot, I mean that in a good way. We learned so much from him. The rappels we did were 40' and 120'. Great value for the time spent. We were booked for the waterfall rappel, but the state shut the waterfall down to hikers and rappelers. Scott just figured out another spot and we went from there. As always follow Scott's instructions listed on the reservation: water, snacks, TP, poles if you use them. These hikes to and from the spots are sometimes difficult and there were many pole saves. Thanks again Scott for a great time.
Written May 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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NC Outdoor Adventures (Bakersville) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go