Whitewater Canoeing

Tandem, open whitewater canoeing has been a core component of the High Rocks program since 1958 and we are very proud that our campers have an opportunity to be a part of this longstanding tradition.  Starting in two-person open canoes offers campers a high vantage point from which they may better learn reading water, presents a wide vocabulary of different strokes to master, and emphasizes communication and teamwork with a partner.  Campers of all ages and capabilities can learn the excitement of whitewater paddling and simply enjoy spending time on the water as part of our canoeing camp experience.


For Beginners

The first trips are in canoes on gentle rivers where they learn to read currents, avoid rocks and obstacles, and maneuver the canoe in flowing water.  Instruction time on the lake at this point of progression is focused on mastering boat control and working as part of a team.

A Program That Grows with You

As they gain experience and skill, campers gradually expand their horizons to include swifter and more challenging trips such as the Green, Tuckaseegee, Nantahala, and Chattooga Rivers.  Fun, exciting, and adventurous, these paddling trips are highlights for the boys.  With the introduction of more difficult rivers comes increased emphasis on technique and practice on the lake so that the campers are set up for successful, safe runs on the river.  As paddling skills continue to progress and campers demonstrate mastery of strokes on our olympic-style slalom course, campers may choose to begin “decked boating” in kayaks or C-1’s.

Campers in canoe on the lake
Boys Camp Whitewater Canoeing

High Rocks is much more than a canoeing camp, hiking camp or mountain biking camp. High Rocks is a traditional summer camp with an extensive array of activities, including canoeing.

Operations on National Forest System Lands are authorized under Special Use Permit by the Pisgah National Forest.


“We were looking for a less ra-ra sports competitive camp. We wanted a smaller place where our son could be known and experience the joy of a camp community as well as have excellent staff for both the cabin and the activities. We appreciate the thoughtfulness of the staff, the individual care that our son received, and that he found the activities interesting and challenging with room to progress.”

Adrienne S. • First Year Parent