The Most Outdoor Fun Around Charlotte

USNWC-FunLooking for some outdoor fun? Looking for some EXTREME outdoor fun? Take a trip to the US National Whitewater Center. Just drive 20 miles from UNC Charlotte and you will find a LOT to do and all of it is fun.

Down the road life will be full of memories and trust me a ride down the whitewater rapids at the USNWC is something you will remember for a long time.

USNWC Activities

Mountain Biking

The USNWC offers some of the best mountain bike trails in the area. With 14 miles of trails there is something for all skill levels from beginners to experts. The scenery is great with woodland trails and river views.


Whether you want to slowly paddle your way around the 1.5 miles of flat water along the Catawba River and enjoying the scenery or take a thrill ride in the whitewater you will enjoy every moment.


If you enjoy rock climbing or have always wanted to do it the USNWC offers a huge outdoor climbing facility with their 46-foot spire to challenge you. If you are a beginner don’t worry the staff will guide you. You can always do the kids rock. 😉

Whitewater Rafting

This is where the real fun is! The USNWC offers three types of rafting. Family rafting is a more relaxed trip for those of you who may not be up to a wild rapids ride. For those of you who are they offer adventure rafting that takes you down their class II-IV whitewater channels.

For those thrill seeking types (you know you are) try rodeo rafting. Their guides take you through the most aggressive whitewater where you will be lucky if you can stay in the raft. It’s definitely a wild ride.

What better way to remember your day than in full HD? Guests can now capture their experience at the USNWC with the new GoPro HD Helmet Cam rental program.. Visit the USNWC Rent A Helmet Cam website for more information.


Whether you are a walker, a runner or a hiker the USNWC has trails for you. There are 14 miles of scenery to take in along the trails. The green trail is nice since it is mostly flat and you can see kayakers and rafters along the walk. For you iron men and women the black trail offers steep elevation changes to put you to the test.

Other Activities

Want to take a 40-foot free fall and come to a safe landing? Try the mega jump. The adventure course is an aerial rope obstacle course that will test your limits. It’s all safe though since you are secured with a harness. The zip line (oh yeah!) is a wild ride, but it is currently not available. When it is you have to try it.

River’s Edge Bar and Grill

The River’s Edge Bar and Grill is a great place to eat, drink and just sit back and relax taking in the scenery. They offer food, beer and wine. You can sit outside on the patio that overlooks the whitewater area and the food prices aren’t bad. They also have a walk up area where you can get drinks and snacks if you just want something quick.

River Jam

Each Thursday and Saturday night they offer live music near the entrance. You can sit about anywhere and enjoy it. Sitting on the River’s Edge patio is a great place. Visit the River Jam website for more information and a schedule. There’s no charge so if you want you can just pay the $5 for parking and enjoy the live music, scenery and fun.

A Whole Lot of Fun!

There is much more to do at the US National Whitewater Center. The best thing about it is the environment. Even if you only pay the $5 parking fee you can have a good time. Watching all of the activities is cheap outdoor fun. There’s plenty of places to sit, even right next to the whitewater area.

All of this fun comes with a price, but maybe one day they will offer a break to poor college students. Depending on what you want to do and what time you come passes range from $49 to $15. You can also get a season pass for $149. It is good until the end of the year.

You don’t have to pay more than the $5 for the parking pass to come check it out. It will be the most fun you’ve had for $5 and you can see if you want to do more or make plans for a return trip. The park is dog friendly so you can bring your four-legged friend along.

Here is a video of what you will find at the US National Whitewater Center.

For more information visit the US National Whitewater Center website.

Looking for directions from UNC Charlotte? MAP-IT!

If you do go come back and share your experience in the comment.

Photo credit: Zevotron


  1. dear sir/madam, i am completing a piece of GCSE coursework and i would like to use an image from your website,
    do i have your permission to use this?
    from shannon, a student at bosworth academy.