U.S. National Whitewater Center is at 5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.; from I-85 exit 29, proceed 1 mi. n. on Sam Wilson Rd., then 0.7 mi. w. on Moores Chapel Rd., following signs. This adventure facility, home to what is billed as “the world's largest man-made recirculating river,” offers outdoor fun for every age and skill level. Guided trips on Class II, III and IV rapids are geared to both families and experienced rafters. More leisurely pursuits include stand-up paddleboarding and flatwater kayaking on the adjacent Catawba River.
In addition to water recreation, there are ziplines, ropes courses, adventure courses, rock climbing and mountain biking trails. A woodsy retreat just northwest of the city center, this is a great place for families to participate in organized activities.
Various activity passes are offered. The Canopy Tour Pass is a separate, 3- to 4-hour guided trip through the treetops along the Catawba River by means of ziplines, skybridges and rappelling stations. The Raft + Canopy pass includes a 1.5-hour guided raft trip and a 1.5- to 2-hour guided canopy tour.
Guided tours are available. Recreational activities are permitted. Food is available.
AllSport Pass (includes all activities) $59; $49 (ages 0-9). CoolSport Pass (all activities except whitewater rafting) $49; $44 (ages 0-9). QuickSport Pass (one turn on one activity) $25 per activity. Canopy Tour or Raft + Canopy pass $89. Phone for age and weight restrictions.
Hours: Main gate and hiking trails open daily dawn-dusk, weather permitting. Hours for pass activities vary by season but are generally 10-6; phone ahead to confirm. Allow 4 hours minimum.