Catawba Riverkeeper offers kayaking experiences at 3 locations 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:

Flatwater Kayak Rentals

Location: Kevin Loftin Riverfront Park – Belmont, NC

Guests can enjoy 90 minutes of self-guided paddling on a calm, quiet stretch of the upper part of Lake Wylie – the oldest lake on the Catawba River. 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’re free to explore the coves, wildlife, and shoreline of a half mile area up and downstream from the launch.

$25 rental fee includes kayak, paddle, Personal Floatation Device, and safety instruction. Guests should dress comfortably in clothes that can get wet. Shoes with a heel strap are encouraged.

Residents of Belmont will receive a $5 discount with ID.

NOW OPEN! – all rentals are walk-up only, 12 PM – 5 PM on Sundays. You may in advance with the link below (not a reservation, first come, first served).

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.

Slow Flow Kayak Rentals

Location: McAdenville South Fork River Greenway

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.

Opening Date TBD – Launch is under construction – 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 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 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.

Weight limit on kayaks: 250 lbs.

OPEN NOW! – reservations are encouraged and are available online – maximum of 10 spots per session are available. Saturdays and Sundays. Morning session departs at 9 AM and Afternoon session departs at 2 PM. Walk-ups may be available if trips are not sold out.

Photos by Wes Maxwell