Catawba River Blueway

Trail Activities: t

  • Water

Length:

6.5 miles

Type:

One Way

Surface:

Water

Difficulty: Moderate

Trail Features: t

  • Picnic Area
  • Parking
  • Water Launch
  • Information Sign
  • Point of Interest
  • Handicap Access
  • Restrooms
  • Scenic Observation
  • No Fee

Summary:

The Blueway offers a fun, relaxing travel downstream, whether in a kayak, canoe or tube. Four class I rapids give an exhilarating twist to an otherwise calm float downstream. Travelers may exit the water at the Riverwalk or River Park. The access at Riverwalk is near restaurants and the multi-use Piedmont Medical Center Trail that follows the river to the take out at River Park.

Loading Trails

The Rock Hill area section of the Catawba River Blueway is approximately 6.5 miles in length, with three access points. It starts at the Wylie Hydro Dam in Fort Mill, off of New Gray Rock Road. Riverwalk access is 3.5 miles downstream at Herrons Ferry Road in Rock Hill and 3 more miles downstream is the River Park access off Quality Circle in Rock Hill. There is a concrete launch ramp and parking at all three accesses. Portable toilets are located at Riverwalk and River Park. Restaurants and retail are located near the Riverwalk access area. This section of river is wide and has a few small Class I rapids making it suitable for beginner paddlers while offering a scenic and satisfying trip for the more experienced paddler.

The river is dam-controlled; Duke Energy provides recreational releases most weekends and holidays to insure ample flow for a good trip. The release schedule can be seen at the link below. Before setting sail, be sure to check the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources guidelines for rules and regulations.

Catawba River Release Schedule

Note: 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. 

Directions:

Launch 1: Lake Wylie Hydro Dam -  New Gray Rock Road, Fort Mill, SC 29708

Launch 2: Riverwalk Access (Approximately 3.5 miles from Lake Wylie Hydro Dam) - Herrons Ferry Road, Rock Hill, SC 29730

Launch 3: River Park (Approximately 3 miles from Riverwalk Access) - 1782 Quality Circle, Rock Hill, SC 29730

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Rock Hill Parks, Recreation, and Tourism | P.O. Box 11706, Rock Hill, SC 29703 | (803) 329-5620 | Email

Duke Energy | P.O. Box 1006, Charlotte, NC 28201 | 1-800-443-5193

DownloadCoordinates
KML fileTrail Segments (Paths)
Trail Features (Points of Interest)
Lat: 34.98800138592051
Long: -80.97652815869140