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
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.
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.
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.