Outdoor Journal

After-school special: Tell that sullen teenager of yours to stop nuking Hot Pockets and sign up for the slew of outdoor adventures hosted by Asheville Parks and Recreation, UNC Asheville Outdoors and the Outdoor Industry Foundation.

Asheville Teens Outside starts its fall session this month, giving area teens the opportunity to try their hands and feet at mountain biking, whitewater kayaking and rock climbing. Savvy student mentors from UNC-A Outdoors provide instruction, and better still, the programs are free and require no prior experience.

Programs are held on Fridays after school and on Saturdays.

Whitewater kayaking will take place on Sept. 22 and 23; rock climbing on Sept. 22, 29 and 30; mountain biking on Sept. 29; and an enigmatic “Adventure Sampler” on Oct. 27, Nov. 3 and Nov. 17.

For more information or to register, contact Christen McNamara at 251-4029 or cmcnamara@ashevillenc.gov.

River of big returns: The more daring weekend warriors among us might consider investing in space for themselves and their adrenal glands during whitewater trips on the mighty Cheoah River, planned for Saturday, Oct. 1, and Wednesday, Nov. 1.

The outings, led by guides from Nantahala Outdoor Center, include a hot lunch served riverside at Tapoco Lodge and a photo show featuring pictures taken during the trip. Guests will undergo a 20-minute river-safety orientation prior to launch, and river equipment — including seasonal gear such as wetsuits and splash jacket — is provided as needed. Guests should have prior whitewater experience on rivers rated Class III or above, or experience canoeing or kayaking rivers rated Class II or above. Cost is $125 per person. For more information, visit www.noc.com.

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