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Here are 12 great ways to get on the water in Gaston County

Every day is good to be on the water in Gaston County as the scenic views, public access areas and boat rental options abound. Here are twelve businesses that can help you experience paddling.

The Boathouse

South Fork River in McAdenville

Enjoy the South Fork River, a scenic experience for beginners and intermediates. The Boathouse in McAdenville is a great place to rent a kayak, canoe, or standup paddleboard for a 90-minute paddling experience on the South Fork River. You will launch from The Boathouse and easily paddle upstream for 1 mile until you reach the rocky shoals, and then float back. The Boathouse is typically open seasonally from May through September, but check their website for up-to-date information.


Whitewater and flat water experiences

In Cramerton, NC, Confluence is a vibrant hub where music, art, and recreation converge. Operated by Catawba Riverkeeper, a local nonprofit committed to preserving waterways, and offers paddling enthusiasts a 90-minute journey along the gently flowing South Fork River, meandering through the historic mill town of Cramerton and soaking in picturesque views of protected forests, charming small-town vibes, and burgeoning outdoor recreation opportunities. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned paddler, this tranquil stretch of river offers an idyllic setting for exploration and enjoyment.

Whitewater Center

Whitewater and flat water experiences

Known as the world's premier outdoor center, the Whitewater Center offers whitewater rafting and kayaking, exceptional climbing, ziplining, hiking, and mountain biking. It also offers flatwater kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding rentals on the Catawba River and Long Creek. Discover local wildlife while you paddle around islands to create your adventure.

Anchored Soul

Stand-up paddle boarding

Anchored Soul offers high-quality paddle board rentals with the amenities you need for a comfortable and fun experience. They also offer educational classes and guided full-moon paddling experiences. If you would like to have an unforgettable paddle-boarding experience, simply call Anchored Soul today, and they will get you on the water.

Aquatic Adventures

Kayak rentals on the Catawba River in Mount Holly

Embark on Aquatic Adventures at Mount Holly Boat Ramp in McAdenville, where the scenic Catawba River awaits. Enjoy flexible hours and inclusive packages with kayaks, paddles, and life vests provided. Plan a fun outing with friends, family, or groups like church youth, Boy Scouts, or Girl Scouts. Join us for monthly Full Moon Kayak Paddles, Spider Lily tours, or open water swim events. From serene paddles to thrilling swims, they offer safe and rewarding experiences year-round.

Rankin Lake

Rent a Brand New Luxury Pontoon Boat on Lake Wylie

Rankin Lake Park offers many recreational opportunities, including boat rentals for those eager to explore its serene waters. Visitors can now rent jon boats, canoes, kayaks, and pedal boats at the lake office, along with fishing permits. Rankin Lake Park provides the perfect backdrop for outdoor adventure and family gatherings with a clubhouse, picnic shelters, disc golf course, hiking trails, and scenic boardwalks.

Tailrace Marina

Paddling and power boats

This marina is located on the Catawba River across from the Whitewater Center in Mount Holly. It carries a wide array of equipment, including kayaks, paddle boards, and pontoon boats. After your excursion, make time to hang out on the patio at J.R. Cash’s Grill and Bar.

Riverside Paddle and Row

Easy to access paddling

Riverside Paddle and Row offers a serene escape for river adventurers along the Catawba River, providing various ways to explore these scenic waterways at your own pace. Glide through the currents in a kayak, stand tall on a paddleboard, or choose hourly, daily, or seasonal rentals. Elevate your skills with private paddleboard lessons or join group sessions led by knowledgeable instructors. Special rates for group outings are available, making it perfect for gatherings. Reserving a spot is as simple as texting them today, and they're open year-round. Contact Riverside Paddle and Row to book your riverside adventure and experience Belmont's beauty firsthand.

Lake Wylie Boat Rental

Rent a Brand New Luxury Pontoon Boat on Lake Wylie

Lake Wylie Boat Rental specializes in luxury pontoon boat rentals on Lake Wylie, accommodating up to 10 passengers per boat. Our rentals come complete with life jackets and all necessary safety and emergency equipment. What sets us apart is that we are the ONLY rental agency to include fuel at the same price. Create unforgettable memories on Lake Wylie with our spacious and comfortable pontoon boats, perfect for outings with friends and family. Enjoy the beauty of the lake and the thrill of adventure this season.

Morningstar Marina

A recreational boater's dream

Morningstar Marinas offers premier boat rentals amidst a top-tier marina experience for those seeking a day of adventure on Lake Wylie. Enjoy the convenience of concierge service, wet & dry storage, and an onsite restaurant, all ensuring a seamless boating excursion on Lake Wylie's tranquil waters, ideal for fishing, water sports, and leisurely cruises, surrounded by scenic vistas and waterfront dining options. Whether you're a seasoned boater or new to the water, our professional and friendly staff are ready to assist, ensuring a memorable day on the lake.

Sun's Up Scuba

Flat water rentals with shuttle service

Dive into the beauty of Belmont's waterways with kayak and paddleboard rentals from Sun's Up Scuba in Belmont, NC. Daily rentals offer various options, including single-person kayaks, tandems, and stand-up paddleboards, all equipped with life jackets and paddles for your convenience. For guided experiences, explore their "River Run" packages, which include transportation to different put-in locations along the South Fork River and Catawba River. Whether you're seeking sightseeing, fishing, birdwatching, or simply enjoying the outdoors, Sun's Up caters to all your paddling needs with expert customer service.

Belmont Rowing Center

Learn to row

Get one-on-one coaching with a private lesson at the Belmont Rowing Center in Belmont. Whether you are picking up an oar for the first time, or looking to get additional coaching outside of regular program practices for your race lineup, this place can tailor coaching to your needs. Check out the Belmont Rowing Center for a fun workout on the water. The Center also provides affordable rowing programs for youth and adults. 



Every day is good to be on the water if you are in Gaston County as the scenic views, public access areas and boat rental options abound. Here are nine businesses that can help you experience paddling.