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
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
- 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
- Offers seasonal self-guided kayak rentals.
Duke Energy manages the following boat launches:
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
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)
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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