US Whitewater > South Carolina > Catawba River



South Carolina whitewater, Catawba River

Chester Lancaster county, Great Falls section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.


CLASS III     2 miles
This is the currently dewatered stretch of Great Falls, about 2 miles long. The bottom 1.5 miles is drowned by Cedar Creek Reservoir, whose dam is just upstream of Lake Wateree. The average gradient is about 30 feet per mile, and the rapids fairly continuous when there's enough water. Unlike the nearby stretches of the Catawba, this stretch is choked with boulders & contains several islands & multiple channels. Scenery is spectacular, the
    river coursing through a mini-canyon with granite walls & no development visible from the water. Right now it can be run only when the Catawba is very high, after extended periods of heavy rain. A good indicator is the Catawba
USGS gauge at Rock Hill (basically the discharge from Lake Wylie Dam). If it's running well over 10,000 c.f.s., there's probably some flow spilling into the Great Falls run. It needs about 3,000 or 4,000 c.f.s. spilling into the dewatered stretch to be worth running. At these levels it's low class 3. At 10,000 c.f.s. in G.F.(about 20,000 c.f.s. full flow) it's big water class 3-4 & alot of fun. Under the new Catawba/Wateree relicense agreement,  
there will be (I think) about 28 scheduled releases beginning next year. But it appears that the flows into G.F. will be about 3,000 c.f.s., kind of on the low side. This has great potential as a commercial raft run & play kayaking run if adequate flows can be available (at least 8,000 c.f.s., preferably 10,000 c.f.s.). There are 2 separate runs, separated by Mountain Island--the 'Long Run' (the top of which is visible from SC 97/200 bridge) and the 'Short Run', which is around the right side of the island. Take-out is at the Stumpy Pond access on Cedar Creek Reservoir. Says Silly Willy

Whitewater rafting and kayaking in South Carolina is often easier than elsewhere, so keep in mind that many of the rivers in this state are not very demanding.

Catawba River, Great Falls road map
Printable road map with the put-in and take-out locations clearly marked.


Detailed Map

Stats for this river stretch

Local weather forecast

These outdoors activities are available near Catawba River.
 Whitewater Near Catawba River:
Catawba River, Chester Lancaster County, 2 miles away
      Class III - 2 miles long (Great Falls)
 Marinas Near Catawba River:
Sutton's Landing, Winnsboro , 7 miles away
Dutchman Creek Marina, Winnsboro , 8 miles away
 Hotels Near Catawba River:
Quality Inn Lancaster, Lancaster , 11 miles away
Super 8 Lancaster, Lancaster , 11 miles away
Days Inn Lancaster, Lancaster , 12 miles away
Days Inn Richburg, Richburg , 14 miles away
Econo Lodge Richburg, Richburg , 14 miles away
 Campgrounds Near Catawba River:
Chester State Park, Chester, 1 miles away
Wateree Lake Campground, Liberty Hill, 8 miles away
Lake Wateree State Recreation Area, Winnsboro, 8 miles away
 Public Lands Near Catawba River:
Congaree Swamp National Monument, Hopkins - SC , 37 miles away
Lake Wateree State Park, South Carolina , 8 miles away
Landsford Canal State Park, South Carolina , 12 miles away
Andrew Jackson State Park, South Carolina , 16 miles away
 Golf Courses Near Catawba River:
Lancaster Golf Club, Lancaster , 9 miles away
Pinetuck Golf Club, Rock Hill , 17 miles away
Chester Golf Club, Chester , 20 miles away
 Lakes Near Catawba River
Fishing Creek Lake, Chester , 1 miles away
Lake Wateree, Kershaw , 18 miles away

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