If you’re into water sports, there’s nothing like the U.S. National Whitewater Center. It is one of the most extensive facilities of its kind in North Carolina and is well-known as the premier destination for whitewater rafting, canoeing, and kayaking. It was established on November 4, 2006, and serves the Charlotte area, next to the Catawba River.
The main feature of the park is the whitewater channel, a human-made river that’s filtered every 24 hours. Groups can go on guided rafts through its courses, which spans from Class II to Class IV rapids. The higher the class, the rougher and demanding the course, and it is great for groups with varying skill and thrill appetites.
The center is officially recognized as an Olympic Training Center for the whitewater slalom racing team. You can also take to kayaking on the whitewater channel, with beginner to expert courses. In the nearby Catawba River, visitors can also engage in flatwater kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding.
Apart from its water facilities, the U.S. National Whitewater Center also has excellent land-based activities. It is home to an extensive 35-mile trail system that goes all around the surrounding terrain. Made for the serious biker and mountain biker, it offers challenges and thrills to suit any skill level. The center organized regular races, including the Whitewater Race Series and XTERRA Whitewater Trail Race. For serious climbers, the open-air 46 feet rock climbing facility provides some challenges along the way.
Aerial sports enthusiasts will also find a home in the center. Thrill-seekers can hop on the Mega Zip zip line and the Mega Jump, a controlled free-fall bungee experience. For a more educational activity, the Canopy Tour offers ecological tours that take you on a guided trip atop tree platforms around the facility. It gives you a remarkable glimpse at the majestic canyons and rivers of the surrounding terrain.