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The Nantahala heads up in the edge of Nantahala National Forest before entering Nantahala Lake, reportedly the highest lake in North Carolina. From there some water is piped down the mountain to the power plant 0.25 mi. above the Section C put-in. Sections A and B only run after heavy, extended rainfall, which results in dam spill-over from Nantahala Lake and heavy feeder stream influence up high. The piped water meets the natural flow just above Section C, one of the most popular whitewater runs in the country. The water temperature on this stretch is generally 45 degrees due to the diverted water being pulled from the bottom of the lake. While Section A is recommended only for experts, Section B is challenging for high intermediate/advanced boaters. Section C is suitable for intermediate level paddlers and ends just above Class V Wesser Falls. Below is Lake Fontana. Nantahala, meaning "land of the noon-day sun," was the name given by the Cherokee Indians because the deep gorge shuts out the sun for most of each day.