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scott and christyWe are making CHANGES to our small business for 2023. Worth a full read. Most small business owners will relate! 

There is nothing like a life changing event to bring about a needed perspective on what is truly important in life. We have decided to focus more on the LIFE PART of the “work/life balance” of owning a small business! We will be making some significant changes to how we operate our business in 2023. We started 12 years ago in Concord, NC as Thrifty Adventures and have morphed into NC Outdoor Adventures. We were at one time able to manage the business ourselves and still balance our life, friendships and hobbies. While we are so grateful for our growth, we have outgrown what we can manage alone.

At the start of our 2022 season, with a sold-out Spider Lily calendar, Scott suffered a stroke as a result of an accident on the farm. Thanks to a skeleton crew of staff and family we got through the start of the busy season successfully. As many other businesses can relate, we have been fighting for adequate staffing since 2020. Post Covid staffing has become exceptionally and increasingly difficult across the board! 

Scott has recovered almost fully which is a miracle and a blessing. This experience helped us see things more clearly. As small business owners no one will care for your business as much as you do. That’s just a fact!  Inadequate staffing will eventually lead to decreased or poor customer service in one way or another over time. Our adventure company is dedicated to superb, above and beyond customer service and if we cannot provide that to our guests then we as a business are failing and changes must be made! We want to maintain our 5 star rating. To do this we are restructuring our offerings so that Scott and I can better manage our trips, as well as ourselves. We will have limited staff made up of long term employees and highly certified, educated and experienced guides!

adventureWe will be streamlining our routine trips and adventures in order to best serve our groups through all seasons. In 2023 guests will enjoy the following trips, unchanged from previous years:

All other adventures will be moved to a new section of the website under A La Carte, a special place built to “feed your hunger for adventure”!   These options will be advanced, private bookings only- not routinely offered excursions moving forward. These custom-built packages will allow us to focus on guest experience catered by our expertise with many unique add-on options such as provided meals, treats, special occasion set ups, photos and multi-adventure packages and more.  

We will be putting up the new calendar for winter 2022 and 2023 soon. We will be making significant changes to our website. If you have something you would like to book and do not see updated information please call us at (828) 260-4505 (make sure to leave a message) or email inquiries to You can also as always reach us through the contact button on our website too.


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A Black Friday Deal that will become a tradition at NC Outdoor Adventures! Buy one adventure trip and get one free at NCOA! Easily Book online with code buy1get1, limited-time deal ends after Cyber Monday.

Choose from over 20 outdoor recreation experiences! Guided Adventures take place in various locations across NC, SC and TN. Adventures for all ages and ability levels. 

Our 3 most popular trips:

1: our Spider Lily Kayak Tours through the largest concentration of Rocky Shoal Spider Lilies in the world! 

2: river tubing, flatwater and whitewater trips on the Toe River! 

3: Our most adventurous trips include our waterfall Rappelling and Rock Climbing Tours! 

See all our guide service options, details and booking info here: You are also welcome to call or email us with questions!

We hope you enjoy your free adventure trip! We promise it will be a memory you love creating and sharing with your plus 1!  

Great gift or treat yourself!

tiny house

Lodging and New for 2022!

NC Outdoor Adventures also has unique farm stay mountain lodging options including a restored Historic 1890's Root Cellar. Coming Spring 2022 guests will be able to enjoy a unique luxury stay in an authentic Sioux Style Tipi! NCOA also has a small seasonal retail store! This unique location features no crowds, a rural mountain vibe along the river yet conveniently located 45 min from Asheville, Boone, Blowing Rock and Johnson City! Our River Outpost and Lodging options are also located a short distance to popular Hiking areas like Roan Mountain and Carvers Gap, the AT (Appalachian Trail), Pisgah National Forest, Linville Falls and multiple other NC/TN waterfalls, Linville Gorge and Mount Mitchell!

Learn more about the tiny house and book here:

2022 Calendar Updates


*Guests can enjoy more of our usually sold out Spider Lily Paddle Trips with a third time slot added to our Lily blooming season. Remember these typically sell out months in advance! So book soon!

*We now have more dates listed for Rock climbing, rappelling and waterfall rappelling. As always if you don't see a date that works with your schedule please contact us for a privately guided days.

*Tubing will now have more time slots in 2022. Tubing will run hourly starting at 10 AM through 3 PM.

Upcoming events:


If 2020 has taught us anything it highlighted the importance of quality time with the ones we love. It showed us that “stuff” truly is not important. This holiday season we should all re-think how we gift, what we gift. This coming year let’s make memories that will last a lifetime by gifting adventure! It is as easy as 1-2-3 when you purchase a gift card online at NCOA will even personalize a gift certificate for you if you reach out to them by email or phone and ask for a personalized certificate!


Phone: (828) 260-4505

With 2020 heading towards the rear view this gift will not only be the most unique under the tree it will be the most memorable!

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Why gift adventure? It isn’t just for making memories. The types of experiences NCOA offers builds confidence and strength both physically and mentally. Nature is the best form of medicine! Being outdoors offers a break from the chaos of life a much-needed escape from the day to day rat race we all endure!  The health benefits of being outdoors are endless and is one of the primary reasons we decided to start an adventure company.

Nature as medicine is also known as “wilderness therapy: defined as the prescriptive use of adventure experiences “that kinetically engage guests on a cognitive, affective, and behavioral levels. Wilderness therapy is one of the most unique, effective forms of therapy. It creates many opportunities for personal growth and success. The benefits of wilderness therapy programs are numerous and include:

  • Adventure trips offer families, individuals or team focused programs that remove individuals from the distractions of everyday life. Providing a grounding and recentering experience!
  • Build independence
  • Learn leadership and communication skills
  • Greater awareness of others
  • Increased confidence
  • Find passion for new activities

Why choose NC Outdoor Adventures? NCOA is a premier adventure guide service offering boutique style services. What this means for the consumer is a trip catered to your specific needs, what you want to learn and the adventure or adventures you want to experience. NC Outdoor Adventures is the most diverse guide service in the Carolina’s offering over 20 adventure trip options including tubing, rafting, whitewater kayak instruction, climbing, rappelling, waterfall rappelling, hiking, camping, youth and veteran 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. 

Below we have listed several things that set us apart from other Guide Services!

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Adventurers, Families, Couples, and Friends

  • More trip options than any other North Carolina adventure guide company.
  • Competitively priced adventure packages that allow you to sample multiple activities.
  • Charismatic staff who are both fun, safe, well trained and experienced. 

You are the foundation of our company, and the reason we come to work every day. 

Large Groups and Camps

NC Outdoor Adventures is the best guide company in the region for large group outings. Our small company size and boutique approach allows us to cater trips to your group needs, while providing the most competitive rates in Western North Carolina.

  • The most flexible course packaging and price structure of any NC or local guide service.
  • Catered "boutique style" adventure packages perfect for family reunions, youth activities, birthdays, bachelor and bachelorette parties. We even build programs to meet badge requirements for scouting organizations.
  • Experienced staff to help with your logistical needs from day one.

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Our mission is to offer comprehensive, yet simple, instruction that instills confidence and self-reliance into every climber we work with. Our education philosophy revolves around teaching three concepts, Actions (Belay, ascend, descend), Tools (transition techniques, rescue techniques, lead techniques) and Applications (terrain, experience, and environmental considerations) through three simple questions: “what to do”, “how to do it” and “when to do it”. Our guides are professional, friendly, knowledgeable and passionate about providing services to their community- through our work we support climbing access by donating 5% of our profits every year to the Carolina Climbers Coalition.

We offer:

  • The best student to instructor ratio in North Carolina; a ratio of 4:1.
  • Comprehensive yet simple to understand instruction.
  • The most competitively priced courses with the best paid guides in the industry.
  • Continued support to all course alumni.

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NC Outdoor Adventures

NC Outdoor Adventures,
1173 Whitson Branch Rd.
Bakersville NC 28705
Phone: (828) 260-4505
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