Lake Wylie Dam
This stretch of the Catawba is broken down into papa, mama and baby bear stretches. The papa is the midsection, an 18-mile run from River Park to Landsford Canal State Park. The mama, the last 7.4 miles, is from Landsford Canal to the takeout at SC 9. The baby, which is the closes to Charlotte and a good beginner paddle, the 6 miles beginning at the Fort Mill Access just below the dam and taking out at River Park.
This “baby bear” stretch of the Catawba has a remote feel. Miles of dense forest snuggle up to the river’s banks and as a result, the opportunities for wildlife sightings are enhanced. It’s also an area rich in history: Some of the first Americans to this part of the country settled in the Catawba River Valley some 12,000 years ago.
Getting there from downtown Charlotte
Distance: 30 minutes from downtown Charlotte
Time to complete: 2-3 hours
Address: Lake Wylie Dam
City: Rock Hill