Watauga Kayak Tours and Outfitters

We get a lot of inquiries about where the best places are to raft, and we also are repeatedly asked about float trips that are geared to younger kids (those around six or 76!). We recently discovered one of the best kept secrets in the area – a rafting and kayak company that offers a little excitement for those wanting the "normal" thrill or adventure that comes with a typical rafting or kayak trip…but also one that is geared towards families.  They even have a trip called "Grandma"!

According to Teresa Nidiffer the Grandma Trip is, "The mellowest trip you will find anywhere. It features mostly Class I rapids, with a few Class II rapids." She adds, "Since there are no large rapids, your chances of falling out of the raft is very slim."

Watauga Kayak Tours and Outfitters is located in Elizabethton, Tennessee (just ten minutes or so across the North Carolina line) and they provide a wide range of services…all suited for families. They offer guided and instructional tours on calm lakes and Class I and II rivers.  They also sell and rent kayaks, rafts, tubes and also carry a vast assortment of kayaking accessories.

Unlike most rafting or kayak companies, Wayauga Kayak Tours and Outfitters also offers fly fishing excursions!  They offer guided float and wade trips on the Watauga River, South Holston river and area mountain streams. Predictably, their store carries flies, tippets, leaders, waders and more.

The main thing to note is that these guys have designed trips in varying levels of difficulty AND in varying lengths such that there is certainly a trip for everyone! Their trips are such that you can take in a summer heat-beating float trip or explore something more exciting with fast-moving rapids.  They have paid a lot of attention to offering "the extras" that a lot of other companies don’t.  For example, they take a lot of great digital images during your visit and then spend hours in the evenings EMAILING those photos to their guests – for FREE! They also provide a generous  lunch on the longer trips that is second to none.

Watauga Kayak Tours and Outfitters is working with AppNet now to create a new and exciting website that will also allow for their guests to visit and download images from their trip! Look for the new website to debut later in July at  For now, visit them at

If you’ve been debating about when and where to do your next outdoor adventure, check these nice people out. They offer something for everyone and you can even find great lodging at their River Front Lodge or other area accommodations. For more information, call them at (423) 542-6777, or email them at, or visit our shop located at 1409 Broad Street, Elizabethton, Tennessee.

Hey tell them you saw them on!