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Here are 9 great ways to get on the water to paddle in Gaston County

Updated: Jun 27, 2022

Every day is a good day 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.

Blue Heron Adventures

Guided excursions, rentals and lessons

With Blue Heron Adventures by Catawba Riverkeeper you can kayak, canoe, standup paddleboard, raft, hike, and more. They offer many opportunities to get on the water including half-day guided excursions and self-guided rentals. Kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, and canoes are all available. Dress comfortably and let them take care of the rest for a great day on the water.

Whitewater Center

Whitewater and flat water experiences

Known as the world's premier outdoor center with man-made whitewater and exceptional climbing, the Whitewater Center also offers flat water 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 own 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. If you would like to have an unforgettable paddle boarding experience, simply call Anchored Soul today and they will get you on the water.

Tailrace Marina

Paddling and power boats

Located on the Catawba River across the river from the Whitewater Center in Mount Holly is this marina which 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 Marina

Paddling and power boats

Located in Belmont, Riverside Marina and Complex offers several ways to get on the water. Canoes, paddle boards, kayaks, and pontoon boats are all available for rent from this location. This marina is also a great spot for your next open water swim, triathlon, or festival.

Papa Steve's

Mobile board shop

This mobile board shop can get you on the water in a jiffy. Make your reservation by simply contacting them by phone and they will arrive on-site to get out on the water to make some amazing memories. Hourly rates and lessons are also available.

Catawba Kayak Co.

Self-guided kayak & tube rentals

This kayak and tube rental company has pre-mapped drop-off points where they will meet you to get you on the water. Many of the locations are located in slow-flow areas of the South Fork River where you can drop in and exit at the same location. Or, they also have a few flowing river routes that would require a 2nd vehicle located at your exit point. At this time Catawba Kayak does not offer a shuttle service. Get outside and explore the beautiful rivers, lakes and wildlife this area has to offer.

Sun's Up Scuba

Flat water rentals with shuttle service

Sun's Up Scuba provides day rentals of kayaks and paddle boards with complimentary transportation to and from the R. Y. McAden South Fork River Access. They will also allow you to self-transport your rental to a location of your choosing. With their exceptional inventory and customer service expertise, individual rentals, couples' rentals, and group rentals are all possible.

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 a good day 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.

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