With two world class rivers within a few miles of Cherokee County rafting, canoeing or kayaking is a great family activity. The Ocoee river just across the border in Tennessee with class III to IV rapids played host to the 1996 Summer Olympics and boasts a number of professional rafting companies.
Or for a slightly slower pace try the Nantahala River to the north of Cherokee County. This class II and III river is family friendly with self guided rafts and kayaks available for rent. Of course the Nottely River, the Hiwassee River and Valley River along with many lesser tributaries are available for canoeing, boating or tubing.
If you need equipment or prefer a guide try using Carolina Outfitters, Rolling Thunder River Company or Nantahala Outdoor Center.