This is drop-dead gorgeous terrain with killer whitewater. Killer? Poor choice of words. But there are sections of Wilson Creek that are for experts only. Those would be sections A (III, V) and D (III-IV+). Section C, recommended here, is mostly Class I and II, with one III, Lunch Stop Rapid.

As our staffers note, “This river is ACTION PACKED … . It has it all: waterfalls, wave trains and technical shoots.”

Wilson Creek is also a great place to watch more experienced paddlers do their stuff. Brown Mountain Beach Road parallels Wilson Creek and there are numerous access points along the way, letting you get out and scope the action on sections A and D.

For a complete description of this stretch, including hazards, consult “A Canoeing & Kayaking Guide to the Carolinas” (see below).

More info, including maps and access: “A Canoeing & Kayaking Guide to the Carolinas,” by Bob and David Benner (Menasha Ridge Press, 2002)

Getting there from downtown Greensboro

Photo: Catawba River Keepers

Rating: Class I-II
Length: 5 miles
Drive: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Put-in: SR 1328 bridge
Latitude: 35.5903
Longitude: 81.4540
Take-out: National Forest Service Boundary sign (off Brown Mountain Beach Road)
Time to complete: 2.5 hours
Gauge: visual
Minimum flow: -5 inches
City: Mortimer
State: NC