Catawba Riverkeeper offers kayaking experiences at multiple locations Saturdays and Sundays May – September.

By paddling with the Catawba Riverkeeper, you’re not only getting a chance to experience the water first hand, but you’re also supporting our work to preserve and protect our waters for generations to come. The following options for kayak rentals are available:

The Boathouse Kayak/SUP/Canoe Rentals

Location: The Boathouse – McAdenville, NC

Charlotte area’s newest hub for outdoor activities, The Boathouse, is now offering walk-up kayak and canoe rentals to go along with our new and used outdoor gear and a selection of locally sourced beer, snacks and drinks.

Guests can rent a boat and enjoy a self-guided paddling experience along the South Fork of the Catawba River just steps from our front door. With some slight upstream current, this option is great for those that have paddled before or have enjoyed our other various Kayak Rental options.

After a brief safety talk and introduction to the area, you’re free to explore the shoals, wildlife, and shoreline of a half mile area up and downstream from the launch.

Rental fee includes boat, paddle, PFD, and safety instruction. Guests should dress comfortably in clothes that can, and will, get wet. Shoes with a heel strap are encouraged.

$20 – Kayaks
$20 – Standup Paddleboards
$30 – Canoes

NOW OPEN! – 10 AM – 6 PM Saturdays and Sundays. All rentals are walk-up only.

Intro to Kayaking Clinic

Interested in getting into kayaking but not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered.

Each Saturday at 1 PM, we are offering an Intro to Kayaking Clinic that will cover all the basics for you to feel more confident on the water. The clinic will last no more than 30 minutes and include land and water based instruction, pointers and basics.

After the clinic, the instructor will send you on your way to experience the typical Slow Flow Kayak Rental (see below) experience at your own pace.

Saturdays at 1 PM at the McAdenville South Fork River Greenway
501 Lakeview Dr, McAdenville, NC 28101
You’ll end your trip at the Cramerton Goat Island Access where our shuttle bus will pick you up and take you back to the launch point.

Slow Flow Kayak Rentals

Location: McAdenville South Fork River Greenway
501 Lakeview Dr, McAdenville, NC 28101

This beautiful 1.5 mile stretch of the South Fork of the Catawba allows guests to gently paddle for 60- 90 minutes on slow moving water from McAdenville to Cramerton. These trips are unguided, but Catawba Riverkeeper staff will be there to help you in and out of the water. This kayaking experience is great for first time paddlers or families with young children.

After a brief safety talk and introduction to the area, you’ll enjoy floating or paddling at your own pace down the river to historic Cramerton, where you can enjoy a cup of coffee, meal, or shopping. When you’re ready, we’ll shuttle you back to your car in McAdenville.

$30 rental fee includes kayak, paddle, Personal Floatation Device, and safety instruction as well as a shuttle back from Cramerton to McAdenville. Guests should dress comfortably in clothes that can get wet. Shoes with a heel strap are encouraged.

Residents of McAdenville or Cramerton will receive a $5 discount with ID.

NOW OPEN! – all rentals are walk-up only, 10 AM – 5 PM, Saturday and Sunday. You may in advance with the link below (not a reservation, first come, first served).

*You can meet at the McAdenville Greenway access or at the Cramerton Goat Island Access (near Floyd & Blackie’s).

Half Day Guided Tour

Location: Spencer Mountain to The Boathouse (meet at The Boathouse, shuttle provided)

If you are ready to experience an authentic river with experienced guides, the half day paddling experience is for you. Guests will meet at The Boathouse at the South Fork Trailhead and after a safety talk you’ll be shuttled 15 minutes to Spencer Mountain where you’ll put in with 2 experienced guides who will help you navigate this beautiful stretch of the South Fork of the Catawba.

This kayaking experience is great for those who are comfortable in the water but might not be experts. It is safe and accessible to many skills levels, but includes low class I rapids in several sections with easy moving, gentle water in between. Each trip will last approximately 3 hours and will conclude back at your car at the South Fork Trailhead.

$50 rental fee includes kayak, paddle, Personal Floatation Device, safety instruction, and a guided trip as well as a shuttle to Spencer Mountain at the put in. Guests should dress comfortably in clothes that can get wet. Shoes with a heel strap, a water bottle, sunscreen, and snacks are encouraged as well and available for sale at the boathouse.

OPEN NOW! – reservations are encouraged and are available online – maximum of 10 spots per session are available. Saturdays and Sundays at 9 AM. Walk-ups may be available if trips are not sold out.

Interested in booking a group of 6 or more? Contact vanessa@catawbariverkeeper.org.

Photos by Wes Maxwell

Family Fun Days

Location: Kevin Loftin Riverfront Park
1400 E. Catawba St. Belmont, NC

Take the family kayaking on the 3rd Saturday of the month from 12-4 PM at Kevin Loftin Riverfront Park!

This stretch of the River (upper Lake Wylie) is the perfect flatwater kayaking experience for kids and beginners.

Kids as young as 4 can ride in a tandem kayak with an adult. You must be 8 years or older to paddle a single kayak.

3rd Saturday of the Month:
July 17, August 21, October 16
12-3 PM