The U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC) is a playground for anyone who enjoys the outdoors. Kayaking, climbing, moutain biking, and hiking are just some of the activities you will find visitors trying out at this incredible facility, minutes from Uptown Charlotte. Nearly 400 acres of verdant land overlooking the Catawba River make up the not-for-profit center, which is also an official U.S. Olympic Training Site.
The main draw of the USNWC is the man-made recirculating river, featuring level II – IV rapids. It is the world’s largest waterway of its kind and includes a conveyor belt so that rafters or kayakers can relaunch their rides without ever having to get out of their boats. An astonishing twelve million gallons of water flow through the Center’s man-made channels.
While the whitewater rapids offer a thrilling ride, those who prefer calmer waters can try out flatwater kayaking along 1.5 miles of the Cawtaba River. Kayaks are available for rental and riders as young as eight years old can take part in these water-based adventures.
Fourteen miles of biking and hiking trails are also available. Take one step in and you will practically forget that you are technically still “in the city.” The Whitewater Center offers an incredible escape from urban life and gives everyone — from beginners to expert athletes — a place to call their own outdoor home.
A $5 daily parking fee is charged per car. (Season passes are available too.) There is no additional fee for using the hiking/biking trails but passes must be purchased for all other activities. Click here for more information on activities and pass rates at the USNWC.
More of the A to Z Guide to Getting Your Culture On in the Queen City – Part I (A – I)
More of the A to Z Guide to Getting Your Culture On in the Queen City – Part II (J – Q)