Catawba - Great Falls

Catawba, South Carolina, US


Great Falls

Usual Difficulty III (for normal flows)
Length 2 Miles

Great Falls

Great Falls
Photo of Al James by Andrew Lazenby taken 02/23/03 @ ???

River Description

Normally dewatered unless water is spilling over the dam.

From Joemess on boatertalk (2-23-03):

A friend, my wife and I had a chance to run the Long section of the dewatered Catawba riverbed near Great falls. I do not know anybody that has ever ran this before and I figured with the rain we had there would be a chance it was running. When we got the the bridge above the put in, we could see just a little water starting to spill over the cofferdam. We set shuttle and headed off. One warning, the put in is on PRIVATE land. The takeout, however is on public land and can be accesessd at the Stumpy Pond Boat Ramp. For the first 3/4 mile or so there was not to much water and we did a fair amount of scraping over the rocks and did a lot of tree and dead wood dodging. After a set of islands where a creek empties into the riverbed it started to come alive. There were about 6 good rapids with many waves, wavetrains, and eddylines to goof on in between. I didn't see any huge waves to play on, but with the river 60-100 yards wide in places I am sure I could have missed them. Lots of fun. Took about 7 30 second movies and a few pics. The photos are here.

I uploaded one movie to American Whitewater but I am having no luck with the others. (is there a file size limit?) It can be seen at:

This was one of the nastier rapids of the day. (mostly because there was wood sharing the ride down with me) If I can't get the others to load I will have to figure somewhere else to put them or just mail them to those that are curious.

Thanks to my Wife and Al who did this with me today. It was amazing.


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2003-03-22 13:20:28


Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.

No Comments

Do more than just check gauges; join over 5,000 AW members today.

Or, consider donating

Associated Projects

  • Catawba Relicensing (SC)
    The relicensing of a string of dams on the Catawba River could restore the Great Falls of the Catawba, and bring massive public benefits throughout the watershed.