White Water: Explore Charlotte’s Quintessential Water Destination before Summer Ends

US National Whitewater Center
Photos by the USNWC and Tyler Allyn

The US National Whitewater Center is a sight to behold, a sprawling venue out in the countryside, with 1300 acres of woodlands and water and over 30 miles of trail systems. It’s one of the most unique outdoor preservations on the East Coast, a grounds for world-class athletes and recreation seekers alike. The USNWC draws concert-goers, foodies, mountain bikers, and hikers, but it’s best known for its extensive water-based training ground and recreation offerings. Each activity is unique, with varying levels of difficulty, but the opportunity to truly experience the natural environment, wildlife, and views of the Catawba is now quintessentially Charlotte summertime. 

US National Whitewater Center

Deep Water Solo

For adventurers seeking an a thrill like no other, the USNWC’s new deep water solo offers the perfect challenge. With climbing walls reaching impressive heights of 25- 45 feet, all juxtaposed above the 20 ft pool, the facility acts as the only permanent deep water solo spot in the world. After completing the climb, without the help of ropes or harnesses, the brave climbers are released into the depths of the pool below.

US National Whitewater Center

Whitewater Rafting

There is no need to travel the nation in search of an action-packed whitewater rafting experience: the action is right here in Charlotte. The USNWC offers two whitewater rafting excursions—adventure or family rafting. For the ultimate thrill, the adventure rafting experience will have you reeling in adrenaline. For a more relaxing experience, try the family rafting option to escape from the bustle of everyday life and into the rejuvenating whitewater world.

US National Whitewater Center

Whitewater Kayaking and Canoeing

One of the major advantages of paddling at the USNWC is the consistency of quality rapids and limited amount of flatwater. You can partake on the channels nine months out of the year. This is certainly one of the more strenuous activities, requiring instruction and experience, and the Center provides rapids of varying levels of difficulty. If this isn’t something you’ve done before, it’s still a blast to stand on the shores and watch the experts at work.

US National Whitewater Center

Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing

Another way to leisurely explore the Catawba, flatwater kayaking and canoeing is the perfect activity for novice and experienced paddlers alike. You can take a self-guided trips or join in on a group clinics if you’re looking to learn technique. This is definitely the way to take in the more relaxing side of the USNWC, and you don’t have to have any prior experience to give it a go.

US National Whitewater Center

Whitewater Race Series

One of the best things about USNWC is the frequency with which they host races, events, and concerts. This summer, you can partake in the Whitewater Race Series, yearlong series of in which the center hosts a variety of competitions that take advantage of all the different property amenities. Here’s a sneak peek at a few of the events this summer holds. Whether you’re participating in the race itself or just cheering on the crowd, these events are a perfect way to enjoy the season.Competitors who run the entire series rack up points so an overall series winner can be declared each year.

US National Whitewater Center

Paddleboarding

The Catawba River’s tranquil waters act as a picturesque backdrop for those stand-up paddle boarding at the USNWC. As one of the more family-friendly activities offered at the USNWC, stand-up paddle boarding is a sport for those of all ages and skill levels. Whether it’s for a workout, or simply to enjoy the scenery, paddleboarding is universally enjoyable. Small group clinics and one-on-one classes are available for those looking to perfect their skills.