Paddle Our Blueways

On the Catawba and South Fork River Blueways

Gaston County’s premier blueway initiative is the 11 Mills Blueway Trail, encompassing both the South Fork River and the Catawba River. Along the way paddlers will find places to launch their boats, equipment rental as well as eateries and breweries to stop and relax.


Download our 11 Mills Blueway Itinerary Map

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Catawba River Blueway

There are eight boat launches on the Catawba River.  Stopping points include Tailrace Marina and J.R. Cash’s Grill & Bar in Mount Holly, US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte and Muddy River Distillery in Belmont.

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South Fork River Blueway

There are six boat launches on the South Fork River. Stopping off points along the South Fork include Sun’s Up Scuba and District 8 Beer Company in Belmont, Floyd & Blackie’s Ice Cream & Coffee in Cramerton.

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Waterside Rentals

Simplify your blueway adventure in Gaston County with waterside rentals. No need to haul it in when the gear is already here. 


Catawba River Rentals:


South Fork River Rentals:

  • The Floating Goat

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The History of Our Blueways

Gaston County’s waterways were once overlooked. Not anymore! Outdoor enthusiasts and environmentalists joined together to transform the South Fork River and the Catawba River into one of the top blueways in North Carolina, the 11 Mills Blueway Trail.

The slow-flowing Catawba River, which forms the county’s eastern edge beside Mount Holly and Belmont, has come to the forefront with marinas, launches and places to paddle and dock.

Along the South Fork River is beautifully protected shoreline and signs of Gaston's past in the textile industry with plenty of places to stop at parks, restaurants, and breweries along the way.

Our accommodations are conveniently located close to major highways and include national brands, historic boutiques, bed & breakfasts and Airbnbs.  Whether you are traveling in a large group, a family, or all by yourself, you will find our lodgings to be well appointed with all the amenities you may need for a short or long stay.

Need a place to stay?


Get your FREE Gaston County Visitors Guide and start planning your vacation today!A printed version of our FREE visitor guide can be sent by mail. Simply fill out and submit the form below.
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