High Country Association of REALTORS News

Live the Dream #11: Ready to ride some rapids?

The High Country is home to many rivers, most serene. But one stands out for its pure kayaking magnetism - Elk River. Flowing from Peak Mountain near Seven Devils, the waterway rolls through a deep gorge into Tennessee. Among its attractions are two major high - or should I say, "low" - points near Banner Elk: The 40-foot drop known as Elk Falls, and the 30-foot drop called Twisting Falls.

Elk River kayakingThe latter is a particular destination for kayakers looking for a challenge. Some might call it, prehistoric.

A year ago, Stuart and Peck kayaked the Twisting Falls portion of the Elk River, a tributary of the Watauga near Banner Elk that can only be run during creek season.

"It was straight out of Jurassic Park, with 40- and 50-foot waterfalls and places where you were walled in. It had that whole untouched-by-man feel," Stuart said.

Both falls are located with the Cherokee National Forest in Carter County, Tenn. If kayaking isn't your thing, both locations are great for hiking, swimming or, if you're really daring, taking a plunge.