Catawba River Paddling: Below Linville Dam on Lake James, the Catawba River flows through scenic woodlands, around islands, and over a series of small and exciting rapids until it reaches the nearby town of Morganton. The river features beautiful scenery with clean, cold and clear water along with a number of class II rapids that provide a good challenge for beginning canoeists and kayakers. For those looking for a more relaxing trip bring a tube or standup paddleboard and do a lazy river float. For boat rentals, shuttles and other gear, we recommend calling The Outpost.
Getting There: We recommend running a shuttle by car or bike to the take-out at Freedom Park in Morganton for a short paddle that hits the best rapids. The put-in is located at Powerhouse Rd, just below the Linville Dam on Lake James. To check the latest times for scheduled dam releases (recommend for the best water levels for rapids), visit Duke Energy’s Catawba Dam Release Schedule