Whitewater Park-- Charlotte, NC

Has anyone been to the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte? I would like to hear about it and get as much information as possible.

For those of you looking for a career in paddling, they are hiring guides for next year and it looks like you don’t need ANY experience. Just plunk down a few hundred bucks, learn how to fish the slow ones out of the water, and you are a guide!


We were there last month and checked
it out after a race in Charlotte.

It is awesome!

It is as realistic as any WW river that you could go to

I highly recommend anyone that is near the Charlotte area to take a look at it, and if you can paddle class III-IV to give it a try.

They rent WW kayaks there too or you can raft.

The neatest thing about it is you can walk along side of each of the two runs and stand right next to the rapids watching the paddlers and rafts come through.

We were disappointed in the fact that when it was being built they said that during different periods they would adjust the flows for various levels of paddlers abilities at differnt times, but were told that they are not going to do that now.

I believe they have six pumps and keep five of Them running at all times with the sixth as a backup

We figured it would be a great place to practice down river racing with the Penobscot 16, and the first couple of rapids in the II-III run looked doable for our ability, but as soon as we saw the third one we decided it was above our limit.

The guy who was with us is a pretty accomplished down river solo canoe racer, and he agreed with me that it would probably be a swimming rapid.

The day we were there we didn’t see one WW canoe paddler, but once the word gets out to those good paddlers I’ll bet there will be plenty there.

No charge to walk along side the runs, and it would be a great place to bring the kids and a picnic lunch and spend an afternoon as a spectator.

I am guessing that it will take a lot of traffic from the piedmont of NC off the Nantahala next summer



I was also there last month.
Looks like they have a good concept there. Most of the water can be recirced for a time and there is plenty to keep even non-paddling people entertained in an active way. Even though the facility was not 100% complete when I was there (day after Thanksgiving) they had quite a few people on site. I am thinking about going down for a few days this winter to get some WW training unless I can find some up here during the winter. Hopefuilly this concept and project will prove to be profitable so that more will be built. I wouldn’t mind something like this in the northeast (maybe with a domed section for the faint hearted).


dont laugh please
but could one take a composite sea kayak in sections of this park? the reason i ask it that Charlotte is closer to me than the ocean and someday i would like to sit for 4 star assessment, thinking this might be a place to practice moves in similar conditions???

Absolutely not !!!
But I guaantee, if you did you would have one hell of a big audience.

There are several places where you would total your boat unless you are an extremely good paddler, such as olympic slalom caliber.

Have you ever taken your composite yak down any III-IV river?

I raced my poly 17 foot Eclipse in a down river race (III) the year before last, and vowed I wouldn’t do it again.



You’re Near The Deerfield

– Last Updated: Dec-14-06 7:39 AM EST –

you can park and play below the Gap, even when it's low. Run it when water's being released. If you can get through Gap consistently, picking your lines, without flipping, you're way ahead in the ww game.

Some of my buddies have been "playing" below Watertown Dam, a class II set up, after cleaning up of various tires, shopping carts, etc. Don't know if I personally want to flip in water I can't see the bottom even in 2' deep.

There's also half hearted talk of asking the state to support building a white water park up by one of the Waltham dams.


I had one person tell me…
… that the concrete forming the sides of the channels are very rough; that it would eat your boat. I haven’t been there (and I live just up the street) but I believe the source would know. Check it out before you cut your boat to ribbons.

are you
paddling on the concrete or on the water?

Just a thought…

The site lay out looks great and is by far the best I’ve seen (and there are some of those in Europe). Only thing I would miss is a camp/tent site.

the only time you know it is man made
is when you get to the pool at the end, and you and your yak get carried back up to the top on the conveyor belt.



One is in the planning stage
in Rockford, Illinois. I haven’t heard recently how the plan is progressing. They are hoping to tap into tourism from the Chicago area. You know how it is…anything for a buck!

Who Paddles For "Free?"
I want to go boating where everything is – free boat, free car, free gas, free insurance, free instruction and, last but not least, free lunch!

I think if manufacturers make kayaks for free there would be a lot more boaters! Yeah, that’s ticket! Unfortunately, those capitalist pigs are just making a buck off us poor boaters. :wink:


Can’t Be Any Worse…
than what you normally encounter on a river. I can not imagine anyone running this park and kissing the concrete walls the whole way. Kinda hard to use both blades doing that.

Personally, I would love to see a white water park within .5 hours of Boston! It would definitely be a welcome addition, at least for me, in terms of non flat options.



– Last Updated: Dec-15-06 10:03 AM EST –

I see they charge $25 for an all-day kayak pass. I also called the phone number to check on water release times (apparently they don't run the pumps all day in December) and they were only running the pumps from 12-2pm yesterday.

Hmmmmm...$25 for easy access whitewater...I think I'll try to convince my brother to go with me..."Dude, it's only $50 per person!" Maybe I can convince him to drive and buy lunch too.

Good morning, Jack
On my 12th cup. Thanks for the advice!

if you live
within reasonable distance, $25 is pretty cheap.

Consider all the fuel you’re burning for trips further away…My closest ww spot is a 50 mls drive. Times two + the shuttle is close to $25 for fuel.

And they are building storage facilities for private boats: you could leave your equipment at the place and car pool with a minivan. Too bad it’s really far away from my place (close to 2800 mls according to mapquest).

I’m about 500 miles away
@25mpg in my Rav4 (let’s say 23 with the boat on top), that would be roughly…about… 21.73913 (43.47826 round trip) gallons of gas @$2.18/gallon. The Potomac river is probably a better deal since it’s free and 40 miles away, but I’ll be in Charlotte over Christmas.

holy crap !
I’m not paddling with you today.

We’ll have to stop for a pee break every mile!