Brian and I decided to take a trip to the South Fork of the Catawba River to check out the new canoe/kayak access recently opened by the Catawba River Keepers. We loaded up the Wilderness System Ride 135 and the Wilderness System Tarpon 100 with our fishing gear and headed out to fish and enjoy a crisp fall day on the water.

The recent rains had muddied the river up more than we would have liked but we still hoped the fish would cooperate some for us. The parking area at the put in is small, but well-maintained and includes an informational board with details about the river and the local area. Part of the access areas also overlaps the Carolina Thread Trail and includes some trails near the river. The boat launch is a bit steep, but it is well built and includes steps to assist boaters with launching their canoe or kayak.

Most of the 5.5 miles is beginner friendly; however there are a few shoaly areas that might have to be portaged during low water and might present a hazard during high water. Boaters should be cautioned that the take-out, located river right just past the I-85 bridge, is steep and could present some problems for folks getting their boats off the water. Boaters are also cautioned not to paddle beyond the take out due to a low head damn just downstream. The South Fork of the Catawba offers plenty of opportunities to view wildlife and wet a fishing line and it’s a place we plan on returning to in the future.