Explore the South Fork by boat!

Sign up for a South Fork Rapids Tour (5 miles, Class 1 rapids, shuttle included) or choose a self-guided out and back paddle.

Self-Guided Rentals:
Rent kayaks (single or tandem) for $20, stand up paddleboards for $20, or canoes $30. Put in at the RY McAden Canoe and Kayak Launch right outside The Boathouse. Paddle upstream and back at your leisure.

Catawba Riverkeeper’s South Fork Rapids Tours include kayak, paddle, PDF, shuttle service, and guides through Blue Heron Adventures.

2022 Season Opens in August

More Recreation Experiences


walk, run, or bike on the south fork river trail

The Boathouse sits at the trailhead of the South Fork River Trail, a section of the Carolina Thread Trail.

The South Fork River trail is a 2 mile natural surface trail adjacent to the South Fork of the Catawba River and suitable for hiking and mountain biking. This is an out-and-back trail, totaling 4 miles round trip. Heading north from the trailhead, the trail sneaks under the I-85 bridge and quickly meanders through a quiet section of woods along the river. The trail is marked at the 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 mile points, ending near the cul-de-sac of a residential neighborhood. While no parking is available at this end of the trail, there is pedestrian access for neighborhood residents. The land surrounding this trail is on the Pharr Yarns Preserve, a 94.8-acre preserve protected through the Catawba Lands Conservancy.



Browse the Catawba Riverkeeper store! Catawba Riverkeeper is selling quality used gear on consignment as well as FreeFly apparel, Catawba Riverkeeper branded Recover Brands apparel, and specialty Richardson Hats. We’ve partnered with local artists to sell art and handmade goods. The store is also a great place to pick up those last minute outdoor essentials like sunscreen, water bottles, and dry bags.



Whether you’re coming off the water or off the trail, we hope you’ll stop in for refreshments. You can buy snacks and soft drinks at The Boathouse as well as local craft beer and seltzer. All beer on tap is sourced from the Catawba River. Relax and socialize indoors or by our picnic tables out front.