Catawba River Blueway- Lake Wylie Dam to Highway 9

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Trailhead

The Lake Wylie Dam to Highway 9 section of the Catawba River has a number of boat launches located along this corridor. Boaters should note that only these access points identified in this trail map are public. Other access points that you may see from the river are privately owned.

Launch 1: Lake Wylie Hydro Dam

Address -  New Gray Rock Road, Fort Mill, SC 29708 MAP

 

Launch 2: Riverwalk Access (Approximately 3.5 miles from Lake Wylie Hydro Dam)

Address - Herrons Ferry Rd, Rock Hill, SC 29730. MAP

 

Launch 3: River Park (Approximately 3 miles from Riverwalk Access)

Address - 1782 Quality Circle, Rock Hill, SC 29730 MAP

 

Launch 4: Catawba Indian Nation Reservation Launch (Approximately 7.5 miles from River Park)

Address - end of Charley Horse Rd, Rock Hill, SC 29730 MAP

 

Launch 5: Landsford Canal State Park Upper Access (Approximately 10 miles from Catawba Indian Reservation)

Address - 2051 Park Drive, Catawba, SC 29704 MAP

 

Launch 6: Landsford Canal State Park Lower Access  (Approximately 1.5 miles from Landsford Canal State Park Upper Access)

Address - 2051 Park Drive, Catawba, SC 29704 MAP

 

Launch 7: Highway 9 Landing (Approximately 5 miles from Landsford Canal State Park Lower Access)

Address - Nectar Road , Lancaster, SC 29720 MAP

Description

"The Catawba River begins in the foothills of North Carolina and flows for more than 200 miles through the Piedmont of North Carolina. Beginning in 1904, a series of hydroelectric dams were constructed to harness the power of the river to provide electricity for the region. The 30-mile stretch of the Catawba River between Wylie Hydro and the upper end of Fishing Creek Lake is now the longest portion of the Catawba River that remains undammed. This does not mean, however, that the river is free-flowing. Flows in the river are directly related to releases from the Wylie Hydroelectric Dam. The amount of flow released will greatly affect a boating experience; you are strongly encouraged to consult Duke Energy’s website www.duke-energy.com to see what flow conditions are anticipated during your trip.

Despite its proximity to Charlotte, Rock Hill, and other developed areas, much of the land bordering this portion of the Catawba River remains wooded and natural. While access to the river has improved and will continue to do so, there are still many sections of the river that are remote and difficult to access. This characteristic makes the SC Catawba River a haven for wildlife of all sorts. In addition to being rich in wildlife, the SC Catawba River is also rich in history. The river has provided for the people of the Catawba River Valley for more than 12,000 years. Beginning with the ancestors of the modern-day Catawba Indian Nation, through the first European explorers and early settlers, to those who continue to flock to the region today because of the quality of life, all have left their mark on the river." - Duke Energy - SC Catawba River Canoe Trail Map

Click here to view the Catawba River Canoe Trail Map PDF

Stretched along the Catawba River on the South Carolina fall line, Landsford Canal State Park is home to the well-preserved remains of the canal system that made the river commercially navigable from 1820 to 1835. The Catawba River is home to the largest known stand of the rocky shoals spider lily, a flower species found predominantly in the Southeast. Peak bloom season for the rocky shoals spider lily is during May and June. View the map of Landsford Canal State Park.

Other Information

CAUTION

If the release from Lake Wylie is 80 cubic feet per minute (cfm) or less, the water may be too low for this section to be enjoyable.  If the release from Lake Wylie approaches 11,800 cfm, Class I rapids become transformed into Class III rapids suitable for experienced paddlers only.

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 Norman section of the Catawba River is available on the Duke Energy website or by calling 800-829-5253.  

Trail Manager

Duke Energy manages Fort Mill Access Area - Lake Wylie Hydro Dam.

City of Rock Hill manages River Park.

South Carolina Department of Parks manages Landsford Canal State Park.

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources manages the Highway 9 Landing.   

Duke Energy
Recreation
Phone: 1-800-443-5193

City of Rock Hill
Parks, Recreation and Tourism
Director of Parks and Recreation
PO Box 11706
155 Johnston Street
Rock Hill, SC 29731-1706
Phone: 803-329-7012

Landsford Canal State Park
2051 Park Drive, Catawba, SC 29704
Phone: 803-709-5800
landsfordcanal@scprt.com

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
Phone: (803) 734-4009

Comments

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The 30-mile stretch of flatwater on the Catawba River between Lake Wylie Hydro Dam and the upper end of Fishing Creek Lake remains wooded and natural rich in wildlife and history rooted in the Catawba Indian Nation. 

Quick Facts

Trail Uses Paddling
Location Catawba (NC)
Fort Mill (SC)
Lancaster (SC)
Rock Hill (SC)
Difficulty Moderate
Length29.3 miles, One Way
Surface
Fees Landsford Canal State Park: $5/adult; $3.25/S.C. senior; $3/ages 6-15; 5 & under are free.
PetsUnknown
Motorized vehiclesNot Permitted
ADA CompliantYes
Number of parking spacesvaries
RestroomsUnknown
Hours of operationDawn - Dusk

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