Whether you’ve picked Flatwater Kayaking, Slow Flow Kayaking, or a Half Day Guided Tour, here’s what you need to know to have a great experience on-the-water.

What to wear:

  • Clothes/shoes that can get wet. Some people wear swim suits, others wear athletic shorts/shirts. You can wear just about anything that’s comfortable as long as you are prepared to get wet and change clothes later.
  • A change of clothes (and shoes, if necessary). Don’t forget clean, dry underwear!
  • A towel. You’re going to want to dry off, even if you aren’t changing clothes.
  • Shoes/sandals with a heel strap. No flip flops!
  • Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses. You’ll be in the sun. Protect yourself.

We’ll give you a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) to wear as part of your rental. Our kayak techs will make sure you’ve got it on correctly.

What to bring:

  • For walk-up rentals, bring a card/cash for rental payment.
  • For Half Day Guided Tour reservations, bring your ticket (printed or on your phone) to check-in.
  • If you’ve got a dry bag, bring it. It’s a great place to stow wallets, keys, and phones while you’re on the water. Don’t have a dry bag? Buy a Catawba Riverkeeper dry bag at The Boathouse or our online store.
  • If you don’t want to risk losing it on the water, leave it at home or in the car.

What to do when you get off the water:

  • Check out The Boathouse – Catawba Riverkeeper’s outdoor gear and apparel shop, canteen, and kayak hub along the South Fork River Trail at the RY McAden Canoe and Kayak Launch. Stop in to use the restroom, stay for local beer, snacks, and shopping!
  • Explore Belmont, Cramerton, or McAdenville. These towns along the Catawba and South Fork Rivers have lots to offer. Make a day of it and grab lunch, a snack, or a drink at a local restaurant.

Kayak Rental Options:

  • Flatwater Kayaking – Great for beginners!
    • Explore upper Lake Wylie from Kevin Loftin Riverfront Park from 10 AM – 6 PM Saturdays and Sundays. No reservations, just walk-up. $25 rental ($5 discount for Belmont residents) includes: kayak, paddle, and PFD for 90 minutes. A limited number of tandem kayaks and stand up paddleboards are available. NOW OPEN!
  • Slow Flow Kayaking – Fun for all skill levels!
    • Paddle downstream 1.5 miles from the McAdenville South Fork River Greenway to Cramerton. Saturdays and Sundays 10 AM – 5 PM. Shuttle service, kayak, paddle, and PFD included in the $30 rental fee ($5 discount for residents of McAdenville and Cramerton). Meet at the McAdenville South Fork River or the Cramerton Goat Island Access Area. Opens June 12.
  • Half Day Guided Tours – Best for intermediate paddlers, but fun for all!
    • Enjoy a guided, 5-mile tour along the South Fork River from Spencer Mountain to McAdenville. You’ll see lots of nature and history on this stretch of the river, which includes Class I rapids! $50 includes shuttle, kayak, paddle, PFD, and guide service. Saturdays & Sundays at 9 AM and 2 PM. Expect tours to last 3 hours. Start and finish at The Boathouse. Opens June 5.