The Bridgewater section of the Catawba River offers dam release Class II+ whitewater on a set schedule. The water is clear and cold! The first mile or two is similar to the Nantahala, with small waves and holes. After the whitewater section the river spreads out for a lazy float to the takeout.
The flow regime was negotiated by American Whitewater and Carolina Canoe Club, and other partners. Check out the 3-day flow forecast for the Bridgewater project to see what flows are on the horizon. There is also a link on the upper right of the forecast page to the calendar of scheduled releases.
This is likely an underutilized recreation opportunity in the summer when flow is scarce. Give it a try!
Nice class II whitewater right at the beginning with long flatwater stretches in between. Makes for a great float fishing trip in canoes/kayaks.
We have had releases on this reach but don't show any currently. This information is
gathered by the public. If you know about releases then contact us about them. If
you would volunteer to enter the releases, then reach out to us.
Check out the 3-day flow forecast
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Put in Wave at 900
Put in Wave
Park and Play at the Put In
Surfing at Refrigerator Falls
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
Federal regulators recently gave Duke Energy the green light to move forward on the Catawba-Wateree recreation management plan. The plan includes public recreation requirements and agreements included in the new 40-year license FERC issued in 2015 for the Catawba-Wateree’s Hydroelectric Project. The project encompasses nearly 1,800 miles of shoreline along 11 reservoirs and multiple river reaches in nine counties in North Carolina and five in South Carolina. Projects include new picnic facilities, fishing piers, swim beaches, campgrounds, expanded parking, restrooms and additional boating access areas.
Last week the State of South Carolina issued the final permit that Duke Energy needed before the federal government could issue them a new license for operating their dams. With a new license now expected sometime this year, paddlers can start gearing up for some big changes in the Catawba Watershed including new conservation opportunities, access areas, water releases, and stream gages.
Last week Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) staff released their draft analysis of the proposed management of a string of dams on North and South Carolina's Catawba River. FERC has announced public meetings at which the public can offer their comments and learn more about the project. FERC has largely supported the settlement agreement that AW signed with Duke Power and dozens of other stakeholders.
Log into the American Whitewater website and you can contribute to river descriptions,
flow and access tips, and maps associated with runs you've done. You can even add new
runs to the inventory!