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The Main Complex as seen from the artificial river.

The U.S. National Whitewater Center is a non-profit outdoor recreation facility for whitewater rafting, canoeing, and kayaking which opened for public fee-based use on November 4th, 2006. The Center is located on 307 acres (1.24 km2) of land adjacent to the Catawba River, near the intersection of Hawfield Road and Moores Chapel Road in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina (just outside of Charlotte).

The creators of the Center were inspired by the Penrith Whitewater Stadium built for the 2000 Olympics. The Center's primary feature is the world's largest and most complex recirculating artificial whitewater river. The river was designed by three-time Olympian Scott Shipley.

USA Canoe/Kayak, the National Governing Body for nine canoe and kayak racing sports, moved its headquarters to the nearby city of Charlotte in 2003. In 2007, the USNWC became an official Olympic Training Site for whitewater slalom racing.


USNWC Details

The park contains over 12 million gallons of water. [1] The whitewater portion of the river has a total of 4,000 feet (1,200 m) of channel divided among the three courses. These channels contain Class II to IV rapids that can be navigated via canoe, kayak or a guided raft. River access to the Catawba provides for flatwater paddling. A 110-foot (34 m) conveyor lifts boats, complete with paddlers, from the bottom back to the Upper Pond in 60 seconds in a manner similar to a T-bar lift or a rope tow for skiers.[2]

In addition to the whitewater courses, there are numerous land facilities including about 11 miles (18 km) of wooded trails for mountain biking, hiking and trail running, a high ropes course, an 1,123 foot zip-line overlooking the river, an elaborate climbing wall with numerous routes, a stage for live entertainment and special events. [3]



  1. ^ WHITMIRE, TIM (2006-07-01). "$32 million, 12 million gallons bring rapids to Charlotte". The Telegraph (Associated Press). Retrieved 2006-08-23.  
  2. ^ Greenstein, Leah. "World's Largest Whitewater Park". WetDawg. Retrieved 2006-08-23.  
  3. ^ "USNWC Homepage". Ettain Group. Retrieved 2007-05-04.  

External links

Coordinates: 35°16′20.3874″N 81°0′18.2982″W / 35.272329833°N 81.005082833°W / 35.272329833; -81.005082833



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