Kayakers and hikers converged one summer morning at the base of High Falls Trail in Western North Carolina for a spectacular recreational flow release from Duke Energy's Thorpe Hydropower Station on the Tuckasegee River.
This rugged and scenic part of North Carolina attracts many visitors and Duke Energy's hydropower operations contributes to the area's tourism economy.
Five facts about the region:
- The trail in the Pines Recreation Area in Jackson County is one of 31 new or enhanced recreational facilities Duke Energy created under federal licenses for Tuckasegee and Nantahala hydro power projects.
- The 14 reservoirs for Duke’s 10 Nantahala hydro stations form most of the region's lakes.
- Water released when power is generated by Duke Energy creates predictable whitewater flows for fishermen, boaters and paddlers.
- The Nantahala River, with 8 miles of Class II-III rapids, attracts more than 250,000 rafters and kayakers every year.
- Some of the highest concentrations of rainbow, brown and brook trout outside Montana and Idaho are in the Tuckasegee River, which attracts 60,000 visitors annually.
“Outdoor recreation is the primary driver of tourism to Jackson County,” said Nick Breedlove of the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority. “Our rivers and lakes play an essential role in bringing people here for fly fishing, kayaking and water sports. The opportunities they provide contribute significantly to our local workforce and economy.”