Hiking & Camping

Information about hiking and camping in the Catawba Basin.

Catawba Falls
Catawba Falls is a beautiful set of multiple falls with two distinct sections -- the lower falls, which is actually a series of cascades, and the upper falls, which is a single, more dramatic fall but is difficult to access. Catawba Falls was frequently pictured on postcards and in publications at the end of the 19th century, but it received relatively little attention in recent years because until recently there was no public access to the falls. The hike to the lower falls is about 2.5 miles round-trip and moderate in difficulty. It is NOT recommended that you hike to the upper falls until access is improved and made safer.
Hiking in the Catawba Basin
Information about trails and places to hike in the Catawba Basin.
Upper Catawba Falls near Old Fort
Upper Catawba Falls near Old Fort
Linville Falls
Enjoy spectacular views of a waterfall surrounded by the steep walls of the Linville gorge. Linville Falls drops 90 feet into the 12-mile long Linville Gorge. Viewpoints of Linville Falls are easily accessible from the Blue Ridge Parkway. The hike to the base of the Falls is moderately strenuous.
Linville Falls
Linville Falls
Upper Creek Falls
Upper Creek Falls is located in the Jonas Ridge Area of Burke County. Trails leading to the top and bottom of the falls are popular among sunbathers, swimmers, and fishermen, and there is frequently trash along the trails that detracts from the experience. However, the view from the top is spectacular.
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Jan 25, 2017 NC Riverkeeper Report
From the perspectives of 12 NC Riverkeepers, this report discusses how multiple environmental issues pose challenges in the pursuit of clean, plentiful water. Whether you are in North Carolina or downstream in South Carolina, read this report about the state of environmental enforcement.
Dec 13, 2016 Community Foundation of Gaston County grants $5,000 to CRF for Riverkeeper Program
The Community Foundation will fund Catawba Riverkeeper's work in Gaston County.
Dec 12, 2016 A Successful Launch of our Water Education Program at Great Falls Elementary
Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation in partnership with 4-H Clemson Cooperative Extension successfully completed our pilot Education Outreach Program with 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students from Great Falls Elementary.
Sep 27, 2016 Lake Wateree Fall Cleanup a Sweeping Success
86 volunteers collected 5,490 pounds of trash from Lake Wateree
Jun 13, 2016 Dozens of Youth Reached in Water Education Outreach Program Pilot Lessons
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Report Pollution in the Catawba River

Help protect your River! 

Tell your Riverkeeper if you see:

  • Sewage Overflows
  • Failure to control sediment from construction sites
  • Illegal clearing of buffer areas
  • Fish kills 
  • Unpermitted discharges
  • Other issues that concern you

Click here to fill out a pollution report or to report water pollution to Catawba Riverkeeper by phone, call 1-888-679-9494 or 704-679-9494.  In addition, to informing your Riverkeeper, you should also report spills or contamination to federal, state and local environmental officials.

To report South Carolina water pollution call 1-888-481-0125.

To report North Carolina spills or fish kills, call your local regional Department of Environment & Natural Resources office during normal business hours (704-663-1699 for most Catawba basin areas or (828) 296-4500 for Burke, Caldwell, McDowell and other mountain counties) or 800-858-0368 after hours.  (For more information on NC spill reporting, click here)


The Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation is a proud member of EarthShare North Carolina, the North Carolina Conservation Network, River Network and the Waterkeeper Alliance.  It also in in an alliance with Clean Air Carolina to address issues, such as sprawl, that cause air and water problems.

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715 N. Church St., Suite 120 . Charlotte, NC 28202 . Phone: 704.679.9494 . Fax: 704.679.9559