The Thursday Evening Paddles are sponsored by Xylem is hosted every Thursday in July. We’ll explore various public access areas less than a 40-minute drive from Charlotte along the Catawba and South Fork Rivers . These outings will feature a Catawba Riverkeeper staff guest speaker who will share interesting facts and stories about the area and about their connection to the water. These early evening programs are great for date nights, happy hour with friends, or a fun family adventure! You may rent a single sit-on-top kayak and associated gear from Catawba Riverkeeper of bring your own paddling equipment.
For these programs, we allow kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards. If you would like to bring your dog, they must have experience on the water with you on the watercraft you plan to use on this program. We offer single sit-on-top kayaks for rent.
July 7 : 6-7:30pm - Mountain Island Lake at Lucia Access, Stanley, NC
Come paddle the source of the Charlotte region’s drinking water – Mountain Island Lake! We’ll launch from Lucia Access and explore a narrow paddle trail through a beautiful Lilypad pond that will lead us to the main channel. As long as time permits, we will paddle across the main channel to duck cove where Catawba Riverkeeper's Executive Director John Searby will share information about the area, the health of our water and what the Riverkeeper is doing to protect it for years to come. After the paddle, drive 13 minutes north to the Town of Denver to have dinner at one of their small-town restaurants.
July 14 : 6-7:30pm - Mountain Island Lake at Latta Nature Preserve, Huntersville, NC
Explore the shoreline of this 1,460-acre protected forested area in Huntersville. Latta Preserve is Mecklenburg County's largest park that forms a green peninsula extending into Mountain Island Lake and protects a natural heritage site and several endangered plants. It is also home to the Carolina Raptor Center. Meet one of the newest member of our Catawba Riverkeeper team, Ryan Carter, the Policy Director. Ryan will share his passion for paddling and water quality along with what the Riverkeeper is doing with public advocacy and policy to ensure the water is equitable and sustainable for all to enjoy. After the paddle, drive 15 minutes north to Birkdale Village in Huntersville for a menu of restaurants to choose from for dinner and even a walk around the multi-use pedestrian-friendly development.
July 21 : 6-7:30pm - South Fork River from McAdenville to Cramerton, NC
Take a Slow Flow paddle on the largest tributary of the Catawba River. Launch from the historic mill town of McAdenville to paddle 1.5 miles to another historic small town, Cramerton. At the end of the trip, a shuttle will bring you back to the launch in McAdenville where you are welcome to explore the new Catawba Riverkeeper headquarters and River Room taproom and walk down the street to enjoy dinner at Terra Mia, an Italia restaurant on Main Street with indoor and outdoor seating. Riverkeeper's Program Director Vanessa Covington will talk about this area's rich history that once turned their back to the river but now turned around and investing into the health of the water and recreation opportunities for these small towns.
July 28 : 6-7:30pm - Lake Wylie at Copperhead Island, Charlotte, NC
Check out this little island that is part of the oldest park in Mecklenburg County - McDowell Nature Preserve. This 20-acre island hosts hiking trails, group camping, fishing access and more. Paddle around the island and meet the Riverkeeper's Northern Basin Watershed Manager, birder and beaver enthusiast Grant Bucker. While we will be paddling the southern basin area of the Catawba River, Grant will share how the Riverkeeper advances its mission through science based research that informs our advocacy, public messaging, community partnerships, and our protection and restoration initiatives. After the paddle, drive 10 minutes to South Carolina to experience the famous Papa Docs seafood restaurant along the shoreline of Lake Wylie.
- Must be 12 years of age to participate with an adult.
- Must be 18 years of age to purchase tickets.
Our policy is to host this program rain or shine EXCEPT in the case of severe rain, thunderstorms or lightning in the area as well as dangerous water level. If we have to cancel an event due to weather, we will provide a refund to all ticketed guests. We will do our best to notify guests of cancellations at least 2 hours in advance.
You may cancel your ticket up to 24 hours before your scheduled date. If we must cancel due to weather or water level, your ticket will be fully refunded within 48 hours after your scheduled date.