Experience our rivers and lakes! Choose from a variety of kayak rental and guided tour experiences. Whether you’re a first-timer or an experienced paddler, we’ve got something for you!

The Boathouse

Rent a kayak, canoe or standup paddleboard for a 90-minute paddling experience on the South Fork River. You will launch from The Boathouse and paddle upstream for 1 mile when you reach the shoals and float back.

Hours: Saturdays and Sundays 10 AM – 4 PM
Location: 115 Willow Drive, McAdenville, NC
Cost: $25 ($20 for McAdenville, Cramerton, and Belmont residents)

Walk-ups welcome! Group reservations are available (6 or more boats) on Saturdays and Sundays at 2 PM and must be booked in 15 days in advance.


Flatwater on Lake Wylie

Enjoy 90 minutes of self-guided paddling at your own pace on a calm, quiet stretch of the Catawba River on upper Lake Wylie. This kayaking experience is great for first time paddlers or families with young children.

Hours: Saturdays and Sundays 10 AM – 4 PM (Starting June 4)
Location: Kevin Loftin Riverfront Park – 1400 E. Catawba St, Belmont, NC
Cost: $25 ($20 for McAdenville, Cramerton, and Belmont residents)

Walk-ups welcome! Group reservations are available (6 or more boats) on Saturdays and Sundays at 2 PM and must be booked in 15 days in advance.


Slow Flow Kayaking

Paddle down the slowly flowing South Fork River at your leisure with this scenic experience. You’ll start your paddle at the McAdenville South Fork River Greenway Access (501 Lakeview Dr, located next to the River Room). From there, you’ll float downstream about 1.5 miles to Cramerton, NC. This scenic section of river is perfect for beginners and intermediates alike. Slow Flow Kayaking experiences are offered on Saturdays and Sundays starting April 9. Shuttle service to and from McAdenville is included.

Experience Options (Saturdays & Sundays starting April 9)

  • Walk-up Rental – 10a-4p (90 minute rental) $30 ($25 for McAdenville, Cramerton, and Belmont residents)
    • McAdenville or Cramerton
  • Intro to Kayaking Class (Saturday Only) – 1-1:30pm with 90 minute rental (must pre-register at least 2 days in advance)
  • Group Reservation Self-Guided
  • Group Reservation with Guide (add $25)

All group reservations must be made 15 days in advance. Group reservations require a minimum of 6 boats. 12 single kayaks and 3 tandem kayaks are available for group reservations. Group reservation time options:

  • 2-3:30 PM – McAdenville South Fork River Greenway Access to Centennial Center River Access in Cramerton (141 8th Avenue)
  • 2-4 PM – McAdenville to Riverside Park (past Goat Island) and back to Centennial Center River Access

Half Day Guided Tours

Location: Meet at The Boathouse, shuttle provided to Spencer Mountain Access Area (115 Willow Drive, McAdenville, NC)
Dates: Saturdays and Sundays starting in July

Enjoy an authentic river experience with professional guides! Guests will meet at The Boathouse and be fitted with all required gear (PFD, helmet, paddle). A 10-minute shuttle ride will take you to Spencer Mountain where you’ll launch 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 accessible to many skills levels, but includes low Class I and Class II 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 Boathouse.

$50 guided tour fee includes kayak, paddle, helmet, Personal Floatation Device, safety instruction, and shuttle to Spencer Mountain. 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.

Tours must be booked at least 2 days in advance.
Age minimum: 12 years old. Weight limit on kayaks: 250 lbs.

Private group tours available for groups of 6-12 people!
Private tours are offered Sundays at 9 AM April – May. Starting in June, private tours are offered Saturdays and Sundays at 2 PM. All group tours must be booked at least 15 days in advance.


Weekday Group Tours

If interested in a group tour Monday-Friday, contact vanessa.c@catawbariverkeeper.org.


Kayak Rental Punch Card (10x)

Save money with this 10-rental pass you can use at any of our self-guided rental locations! The rental pass can be shared amongst friends and family!

Locations and Kayak Experiences

The Boathouse
Flatwater on Lake Wylie
Slow Flow


Private and Group Lessons

Learn to kayak! Lessons are hosted by our professional kayak instructors. We offer private 1-1 and group instruction to improve your kayaking skills.

  • Intermediate Flatwater – Refine your paddling skills for more comfortable and enjoyable kayaking experiences on lakes and slow flowing rivers. Approximately 2 hours.
  • Intro to River Running – You’ll learn basic river navigation and become a more confident paddler. Approximately 3 hours.
  • Roll Clinics – 1-person/clinic, 1-hour clinic at Cramerton Park and Recreation’s outdoor pool – $20

Private lessons are $75/person. Group lessons are $60/person. Groups are capped at 5 people.

Contact Greg (greg@catawabariverkeeper.org, 704-679-9494 ext. 108) to schedule your lesson.

Greg Nance, photo by Wes Maxwell