Granted, running the same Class I-III water day after day after day could get old after a while, but wouldn’t it be great to have the opportunity to find out? And what better place than the world’s largest man-made whitewater river.

The course itself isn’t particularly long, a little over a half mile. But when you finish, a nifty escalator takes you and your boat back to the top for another go-round. And there’s precious little downtime while you’re on the water, as the action on the 12-million-gallon river is continuous. And with rapids rated Class II to IV there’s a little something for every level of paddler. An especially good place for an entry-level paddler, thanks to the various instructional packages available.

Cost is $25 for a one-day pass, $169 for an annual pass. The latter, btw, gets you access to the entire NWC facility, which includes mountain biking, rock climbing, zip lines, an edventure course, flatwater paddling and more.

More info: National Whitewater Center,, 704.391.3900

Getting there from downtown Charlotte

Rating: Class I-III
Length: Continuous (the course is a loop, served by an escalator that brings your boat back to the top of the course)
Drive: 20 minutes from downtown
Put-in: NWC Paddle Center
Latitude: 35.1651
Longitude: 81.0026
Take-out: Same
Latitude: 35.1651
Longitude: 81.0026
Time to complete: 2-3 hours?
Gauge: always running during operating hours.
Minimum flow: pretty much the same, all the time
City: Charlotte
State: NC