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


Welcome to Great Falls

Detail Trip Report  Welcome to Great Falls  Catawba, SC(2.81MB .jpeg)

Great Falls Diversion

Detail Trip Report  Great Falls Diversion  Catawba, SC(2.95MB .jpeg)

Short Channel Diversion weir, behind bars

Detail Trip Report  Short Channel Diversion weir, behind bars  Catawba, SC(2.98MB .jpeg)

Diversion Weir

Detail Trip Report  Diversion Weir  Catawba, SC(3.23MB .jpeg)

First rapid dishes out surprizes

Detail Trip Report  First rapid dishes out surprizes  Catawba, SC(1.61MB .jpeg)

Long Channel, heading downstream

Detail Trip Report  Long Channel, heading downstream  Catawba, SC(1.73MB .jpeg)

Long Channel

Detail Trip Report  Long Channel  Catawba, SC(1.29MB .jpeg)

Great Falls with Water

Detail Trip Report  Great Falls with Water  Catawba, SC(128.55KB .jpeg)

2nd rapid on the short channel

Detail Trip Report  2nd rapid on the short channel  Catawba, SC(1.82MB .jpeg)

2nd rapid in the short Channel

Detail Trip Report  2nd rapid in the short Channel  Catawba, SC(3.66MB .jpeg)

Crowd watches from the dam

Detail Trip Report  Crowd watches from the dam  Catawba, SC(1.44MB .jpeg)

3rd rapid on short channel

Detail Trip Report  3rd rapid on short channel  Catawba, SC(1.56MB .jpeg)

Great Falls Diversion Dam

Detail Trip Report  Great Falls Diversion Dam  Catawba, SC(3.33MB .jpeg)

Great Falls Dewatered

Detail Trip Report  Great Falls Dewatered  Catawba, SC(145.17KB .jpeg)

Running the Diversion Dam at Great Falls

Detail Trip Report  Running the Diversion Dam at Great Falls  Catawba, SC(442.08KB .jpeg)

Scouting the Dam

Detail Trip Report  Scouting the Dam  Catawba, SC(465.30KB .jpeg)

Bunny on Great Falls of the Catawba

Detail Trip Report  Bunny on Great Falls of the Catawba  Catawba, SC(486.33KB .jpeg)

Bunny Runs a Granite Slot

Detail Trip Report  Bunny Runs a Granite Slot  Catawba, SC(583.12KB .jpeg)

Dam at Great Falls

Detail Trip Report  Dam at Great Falls  Catawba, SC(473.14KB .jpeg)

Punching a Hole on Great Falls

Detail Trip Report  Punching a Hole on Great Falls  Catawba, SC(497.16KB .jpeg)

One of many Rapids

Detail Trip Report  One of many Rapids  Catawba, SC(27.75KB .jpeg)

Great Falls on the Catawba river in SC

Detail Trip Report  Great Falls on the Catawba river in SC  Catawba River, SC(1.99MB .mov)

Great falls run

Detail Trip Report  Great falls run  Catawba River, SC(2.48MB .jpeg)

Great Falls

Detail Trip Report  Great Falls  Catawba River, SC(2.31MB .avi)

one of the bigger drops in Great Falls on the Catawba in SC

Detail Trip Report  one of the bigger drops in Great Falls on the Catawba in SC  Catawba River, SC(2.31MB .avi)

the dam above great falls

Detail Trip Report  the dam above great falls  Catawba River, SC(3.66MB .avi)


Detail Trip Report    Catawba, SC(69.33KB .jpeg)


Detail Trip Report    Catawba, SC(96.28KB .jpeg)


Detail Trip Report    Catawba, SC(86.72KB .jpeg)

OC-1 Great Falls

Detail Trip Report  OC-1 Great Falls  @Catawba Great Falls, SC(26.75KB .jpeg)

Gauge Information

Gauge Description:


Report - Reports of Catawba Great Falls and related gauges

Reports give the public a chance to report on river conditions throughout the country as well as log the history of a river.


When River/Gauge Subject Level Reporter
CatawbaGreat Falls [SC] OC-1 Great Falls n/a boof or die
Catawba [SC] One of many Rapids ? Kevin Colburn
Catawba [SC] Long Channel, heading downstream n/a Kevin Colburn
228d02h07m @Catawba Great Falls [SC] Catawba Great Falls 15400 cfs Jim Mallard
> 10 years Catawba [SC] Great Falls Diversion Dam n/a Kevin Colburn
> 10 years Catawba [SC] 3rd rapid on short channel n/a Kevin Colburn
> 10 years Catawba [SC] 2nd rapid on the short channel n/a Kevin Colburn
> 10 years Catawba [SC] Great Falls with Water 2800 Kevin Colburn
> 10 years Catawba [SC] Great Falls Dewatered Minor Leakage Kevin Colburn
> 10 years Catawba [SC] n/a Andrew Lazenby
> 10 years Catawba River [SC] Great Falls on the Catawba river in SC ??? Andrew Lazenby



User Comments

Users can submit comments.
December 16 2010 (2958 days ago)
Kevin YountDetails
any new news about releases on this section?
March 17 2005 (5058 days ago)
Andrew LazenbyDetails
Time for a long overdue update on this reach. In October of 2004 AW in partnership with Duke Power
successfully completed the flow study on both river sections. The quality of the whitewater and
playspots were impressive. We are currently in the middle of negotiations to determine the number
of opportunities to boat his section in the future. I look forward to continue to work with AW to
bring this section of the Catawba river back to life. Completion of this project is slated to

Andrew Lazenby
March 16 2005 (5058 days ago)
Any news or updates on this run? Will it see water in the future?
January 10 2005 (5123 days ago)
A major update is needed for this run. The AW arranged a series of test releases and the run is
being considereed for regular rleases.
March 23 2003 (5783 days ago)
In this months AW, Jeff Tallman wrote an article describing a section of the Catawba river in
between Rock Hill and Columbia S.C. This is a two mile section of old riverbed that has not had
water in it since the early 1900's on a regular basis. AW is trying to secure regular flows in the
channel for us to use.
With all ths rain we have had this last week, Great Falls is running as we speak.(according to duke
dude this afeternoon. It wasn't this morning) According to a Duke power contact there is at least 2
ft of water going over the Coffer dam and into the old Dewatered Riverbed. I am getting ready to
drive back down to look at it this afternoon and get some pictures of the Fishing creek Dam with 2
floodgates open. I have some photos I have taken inthe past when I have chanced upon it running and
ran the section and they can be viewed


there are photos of it with no water and with water running in both channels. The titles to the
albums will say Great falls or dewatered. There are 3 or 4 and they should be on the first

I will post an update in an hour or so after I get back to verify what the Duke person said. Ill
add details then.


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.

General Nonmember Message

Associated News

FERC to Host Public Catawba Meetings
March 14, 2007

Catawba Releases to Begin this Summer!
April 13, 2007

Catawba Analysis Released, Meetings Planned
March 20, 2009

State Clears Way for New Catawba River Dam License & Releases (NC/SC)
February 16, 2015

Great Falls of the Catawba Video Update (SC)
October 12, 2017

Catawba River Access Enhancements to Begin (NC/SC)
January 8, 2018

Associated Projects

 Great Falls, Catawba South Carolina, US (mobile)