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Catawba River Blueway - Lake Wylie Section

Approximately 27 miles of flatwater paddling through the Catawba River in North Carolina into Lake Wylie and South Carolina.
Trail Uses
Paddling
Locations
Belmont (NC), Charlotte (NC), Fort Mill (SC), Lake Wylie (SC), Mount Holly (NC), Rock Hill (SC), Tega Cay (SC), York (SC)
Length
27.3 miles, One Way
Difficulty
Moderate
Motorized Vehicles
Not Permitted
Fees
No
Pets
Unknown
Parking Spaces
varies
Restrooms
Unknown
Hours
Dawn - Dusk

Description

The upper section of Lake Wylie (above I-85) is a popular place for flatwater paddling. There are a number of access points which are described above, but also include the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte and Tailrace Marina in Mount Holly, NC. If you wish to paddle the other sections of the Catawba River Blueway (see "View Connector Trails") you will need car because there are no portage trails.

"Lake Wylie was named after Dr. W. Gil Wylie, who organized the Catawba Power Company, a predecessor of Duke Energy. It is the oldest lake on the Catawba River. The lake was first created in 1904 by a dam near Fort Mill, South Carolina.

The dam was rebuilt in 1924 and the lake's surface expanded to approximately 13,443 acres and 325 miles of shoreline. In addition to supporting Wylie Hydroelectric Station, Lake Wylie also supports Allen Steam Station and Catawba Nuclear Station with cooling water and provides a dependable water supply for Belmont and Rock Hill. Full pond elevation at Lake Wylie is approximately 569.4 feet.

Duke Energy provides six boat access areas (with one leased to Mecklenburg County and one to York County), one bank fishing area and one boat access area below the dam in cooperation with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Since portions of this lake lie in both North and South Carolina, fishermen are advised to obtain proper licenses." - Duke Energy - Lake Wylie

Other Information

PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT EVEN THE EASIEST SECTIONS OF THE RIVER CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS DURING PERIODS OF HIGH WATER FLOW. 

It is strongly recommended that you check the release schedule for the dam above the section that you are paddling before starting the trip because water levels can increase quickly on the Catawba. Information about scheduled releases and the impact on downstream flow on the Lake Wylie section of the Catawba River is available on the Duke Energy website or by calling 800-829-5253.

Available Paddling Services:

Riverside Marina, Mount Holly , NC 

(704) 813-4591

- Offers self-guided kayak and stand-up paddle board rentals as well as guided programs with private parking and access to the river. 

 

Kevin Loftin Riverfront Park, Belmont, NC

(704) 825-8191

- Offers seasonal self-guided kayak rentals. 

 

 

Trail Manager

Duke Energy manages the following boat launches:

  • Southpoint Access 
  • Buster Boyd Access 
  • Allison Creek Access 
  • Nivens Creek Access 

The City of Mount Holly, NC manages River Street Park

The City of Belmont, NC manages Kevin Loftin Park

Mecklenburg County, NC manages Cooper Head Island Access

York County, SC manages the Ebenezer Access 

City of Mount Holly
400 E. Central Avenue
Mount Holly, NC 28120
704-827-3931
contactus@mthollync.us
View website
Duke Energy
800-829-5253 or 800-829-LAKE
View website
York County Parks and Recreation
Pat Morrison-Park Superintendent
Ebenezer Park
4490 Boatshore Road
Rock Hill, SC 29732
803-366-6620
View website
Mecklenburg County-Southern Park Region
6220 Park Rd
Charlotte, NC 28210
980-314-1003
southparkregion@mecklenburgcountync.gov
City of Belmont
Zip Stowe-Director
1401 E. Catawba Street
Belmont, NC 28012
704-825-8191
View website

Featured Post

Going the Distance: 65-Mile Rocky River/Pee Dee River Blueways Open
Going the Distance: 65-Mile Rocky River/Pee Dee River Blueways Open
Great Blue Herons glide overhead; a cluster of deer swim soundlessly across the channel; an elusive bald eagle skims the treetops overhead as miles and miles of secluded flatwater paddling unfold down river. Could this idyllic adventure be just 30 minutes outside Uptown Charlotte? For the first time this spring, the answer is yes with the completion of the Rocky River and Pee Dee River Blueways.
> Read Post

Trail Tips

Layer Up
When out on trail in cooler weather, wear layers which are easy to add/remove so that you can maintain a comfortable temperature.
Legend
Hide All
View Connector Trails
Catawba River Blueway - Lake Norman Section
Catawba River Blueway - Lake Wylie Dam to Landsford Canal State Park
Catawba River Blueway - Mountain Island Lake Section

Trailhead Information

The Lake Wylie section of the Catawba River has a number of boat launches located along this corridor. The north most put-in is located at the River Street Park in Mount Holly, NC.

Launch 1: River Street Park Access

Address - 330 North River Street, Mount Holly, NC 28120 MAP

 

Launch 2 : Kevin Loftin Riverfront Park Access (Approximately 4.3 miles from River Street Park)

Address - East, 1400 Catawba St, Belmont, NC 2801 MAP

- Seasonal self-guided kayak rentals are available at this location. See below under Other Information.

 

Launch 3: South Point Access (Approximately 10.5 miles from River Street Park)

Address - 199 Boat Launch Road, Belmont, NC 28012 MAP

 

Launch 4: Copperhead Island Access (Approximately 5.5 miles from South Point, 0.5 East of Buster Boyd)

Address - 15200 Soldier Road, Charlotte, NC 28278 MAP

 

Launch 5: Buster Boyd Access (Approximately 5.5 miles from South Point, 0.5 miles West of Copperhead Island)

Address - 3990 Blucher Circle, Lake Wylie, SC 29710 MAP

 

Launch 6: Allison Creek Access (Approximately 9 miles Southwest of Buster Boyd/Copperhead Island, 3 miles West of Ebenezer, 6.5 miles West of Nivens Creek)

Address - Viesta Road, York, SC 29745 MAP

 

Launch 7: Ebenezer Access (Approximately 6.5 miles South of Buster Boyd/Copperhead Island, 3 miles East of Allison Creek, 3.5 miles West of Nivens Creek)

Ebenezer Boat Ramps Closed - Ebenezer Park boat ramps are closed until further notice due to construction work. 1/2020

Address - 609 Lakeside Dr, Rock Hill, SC 29730 MAP

 

Launch 8: Nivens Creek Access (Approximately 9 miles Southeast of Buster Boyd/Copperhead Island, 3.5 miles East of Ebenezer, 6.5 miles East of Allison Creek)

Address - 898 Nivens Landing Dr, Tega Cay, SC 29708 MAP

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