The USNWC Park Layout
Map Courtesy of USNWC
If only we could run our favorite rivers year-round. Instead we
are subject to the whims of Mother Nature (not to mention the Army
Corps of Engineers)—meaning that frothy dam-release or steep
creek may not be flowing when we want to paddle. But soon, with the
help of pro boater Scott Shipley, 4,000 linear feet of Class II-IV
whitewater kayaking will be available to boaters in Charlotte,
North Carolina, as well as those willing to travel. The U.S.
National Whitewater Center (www.usnwc.org)
scheduled to open in June on the scenic Catawba River, will be the
world's largest and most high-tech man-made whitewater park. The
park is just 10 minutes from downtown Charlotte and easily
accessible from the Interstate. And it's not limited to whitewater
paddling either; there are also 11 miles of trails for mountain
biking, hiking and running, indoor and outdoor climbing, plus a
grassy knoll for relaxing.
Don't think USNWC will be your usual citified whitewater park.
Located on 300-acres of woodlands, there are creeks and marshlands
and a 37-acre island providing primitive camping. And with four
channels to choose from—competition, wilderness, freestyle
and big water—everyone from rookies to pros will find their
whitewater fun. Here's a little preview to wet your appetite:
· Slalom Course: Moveable obstacles make it so
organizers can customize rapids, the 1,000-foot long slalom course
is graded at 21 feet. This is the world's steepest pumped
· Pumps: Pumps fill the park's four channels with
536,000 gallons of water a minute.
· Conveyor: No boat schlepping here. A 110-foot
conveyor jets paddlers to the Upper Pond in just 60 seconds.
· The Park: Three Class III play spots offer plenty
of rapids for surfing and playboating on the 550-foot long
· Surfing: A surf wave that adjusts from a mellow,
unintimidating roller to seven foot, vertical breaker.
For more info or directions, visit www.usnwc.org.