The OP Paddling Program offers several levels of experiences to meet participants' preparation and expectations, ALL trips have something to offer paddlers of ALL skill levels and are open to all regardless of experience:
Level 1 "Foundations"
Designed for beginning paddlers with little to no experience, will teach you skills necessary to enjoy the activity safely while leaving plenty of room to learn more.
Level 2 "Intermediate"
Designed for paddlers with some experience who wish to develop the skills necessary to plan their own adventure.
Level 3 "Instructor Development"
Designed for paddles who wish to learn "how to teach" paddling skills and eventually lead trips with Outdoor Programs or other organizations.
Level 4 "Credentials"
Designed for those paddlers looking to recieve a nationally recognized curriculum or certification, or participate in Outdoor Program's Staff Training.
Whitewater Rafting Day Trip
Location: French Broad River, NC
Date: Monday, September 2
Summary: Join OP for a great day on the French Broad River. We will paddle Section 9 of the French Broad River which winds its way through the Pisgah National Forest and is considered one of the “classic” whitewater rafting trips in the Southeastern US. No previous experience is necessary. The river trip is extremely fun and of moderate difficulty, generally rated class II-III+ (on a scale of Class I - easy to Class V extremely difficult/dangerous). The river offers continuous whitewater with fun and challenging rapids. Trip fee includes transportation, lunch, all river equipment and experienced Outdoor Programs instructors.
Trip Meeting Time: Monday, 9/2 7am @ OP Basecamp
New River Overnight Canoeing Trip
Location: New River State Park, NC
Date: Saturday, September 28th - Sunday, September 29th
Summary: Experience one of the oldest rivers in the world as it was meant to be, one paddle stroke at a time. Established as a National Heritage River by President Bill Clinton, the New River is a classic example of a Southern Appalachian river system. The headwaters begin in our backyard and flow north to through North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and eventually into the Atlantic Ocean. The river offers beautiful scenery, opportunities for seeing wildlife; gentle flat water canoeing is one of the most fundamental skills in our paddling program and can introduce you to a wide world of paddle sport adventures. We will spend two days in our fleet of Tandem Canoes, navigating the many gentle ledges & deep pools, learning paddle stokes, basic river rescue techniques, group management skills, swimming, basking in the sun and preparing delicious river side meals. Trip fee includes transportation, meals, all river equipment and experienced Outdoor Programs instructors.
Pre-Trip Meeting: Wednesday, 9/25 6pm @ OP Basecamp
Location: Price Lake, NC
Date: Wednesday, October 2
Summary: Outdoor Programs invites you to spend a lovely afternoon canoeing around Price Lake as we soak in the fresh spring air while watching the sun fade behind Grandfather Mountain. Trip fee includes transportation, hot cider & snack, equipment and experienced Outdoor Programs instructors.
Trip Meeting Time: Wednesday, 10/2 4pm @ OP Basecamp
Whitewater Rafting Overnight
Location: Nolichucky River (river location may change due to water levels)
Date: Saturday, October 5 - Sunday, October 6
Summary: Join OP as we navigate the amazing rapids of one of the Southeast's premier whitewater rafting rivers. We will spend the days on the river enjoying the picturesque scenery, exciting rapids and the evenings by the river, eating delicious food under the stars. Trip fee includes transportation, meals, all river & camping equipment and experienced Outdoor Programs instructors.
Pre-Trip Meeting: Wednesday, 10/2 6pm @ OP Basecamp
Summary: If you have ever wanted to learn how to Kayak on a whitewater river then this is the course for you! We cover everything you need to learn how to paddle from the pool to rapids! This course exposes the beginning kayaker to the skills of safe river running, including: river reading, safety, and personal trip management. Trip fee includes transportation, lunches, all river equipment and experienced Outdoor Programs instructors.
Pre-Trip Meeting: Wednesday, 10/23 6pm @ OP Basecamp
Intermediate Whitewater Kayaking Expedition
Location: SRC pool & local rivers (TBD)
Date: Wednesday, 10/30 (pool session), Friday, November 1 - Sunday, November 3
Summary: Join Outdoor Programs as we explore the High Country paddling various class II - IV creeks and rivers. This trip will allow paddlers to further develop their kayaking skills and get to know more local runs. We will focus on paddling skills, hydrology, boat control, and safe river running techniques. Some of the local rivers & creeks will include Watauga River, Wilson Creek, Big Laurel River, French Broad River, Nolichucky River and the Toe River (rivers chosen will depend on the water level and group). Trip fee includes transportation, meals, all river & camping equipment and experienced Outdoor Programs instructors.
Pre-Trip Meeting: Wednesday, 10/30 6pm @ OP Basecamp