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“This place is awesome.”

U.S. National Whitewater Center
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC) is dedicated to the promotion of the active, outdoor lifestyle. Since 2006, the USNWC has been promoting access to the outdoors for all levels of participants through its all-day pass programs, instruction, leadership school as well as festivals, races and other outdoor events. Whether you visit the Center's 1300 acres on the Catawba River or participate in the offsite programs featured throughout the United States, the USNWC wants you to play, relax and learn outside.
Reviewed April 16, 2013

I can't believe I waited so long to visit this place. One of my girlfriends went when the park opened several years ago and she flipped out of the raft, which made me a little nervous because I'm not the best swimmer. My sister and brother-in-law made reservations online for the adventure rafting. Our guide, Blume, told us that if we followed directions we probably wouldn't fall out. He showed us how to sit in the raft (avoid the middle, sit on the edge) and everyone was fine. We hit some pretty big rapids.
The flatwater kayaking was very relaxing. The ropes course was more challenging than I expected. From the ground everyone made it look so easy, but uh, it wasn't. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone without upper body strength. One of the courses requires that you have the ability to do a chin up. I didn't do that one, but even the "easier" course is a serious challenge.
The food in the restaurant was ok. Most of the burgers and sandwiches were $10 - $12.
I saw families, friends, and couples at the park and everyone seemed to be having fun. I suppose you could go by yourself, but I don't think I'd have as much fun and I'm the type of person that doesn't mind going out on my own...but probably not here.
I hope to visit the US National Whitewater Center again.

1  Thank PSWPharmD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 13, 2013

never saw anything like this. Very fun park. white water - flat water - zip line, walking trails, climbing walls, bike trails.

Thank judishia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2013

Have been to this place several times.

Once when it first opened, when we just hoofed it around the place and were lucky to catch some of the Olympic Canoe Team in action.

The second time we took my father-in-law, who is 87 now, probably 85 then, and he had a whale of a time, watching the canoes and rafts coming down in what must have been class four or possibly even class five rapids! That time we sat on the little terrace and had a sandwich at the restaurant, which was remarkably good.

The third time my employers planned a day trip at the Whitewater Center for my teammates and me (yes, it's "me" ... not "I" - object of a sentence it's "me"! Ha!) ... Anyway, we got a raft and did both the "Lazy Susan Section" around the back in the relatively calm waters. We had Mad Captain Jack as our guide and he managed to get a couple of us to go overboard even in that relatively mild water... Then we went down the fast bit (having been taken back up via that very cool conveyor contraption!) and there we lost about three or four of us. Perfectly safe, even in the class three rapids. Captain Jack grabbed me by the scruff of my life-jacket and made sure I remained afloat all the way down to the bottom - what a rush!

We also went zip-lining and did the vertical drop jump thing. I can really recommend that as a fun team building experience. You wear a harness and jump off a ledge into a 20 foot drop, landing on some gravel. They make you wear a helmet too and it is perfectly safe. But, yes, you guessed it, another rush! ;-)

All-in-all a great experience. This place has had its ups and downs, financially, in this soft economy, but I highly recommend you Charlotteans (and any out-of-towners!) to support you local Whitewater Center. You won't regret it!

PS: I did come one time more last summer - July I think it was - piping hot day and a day on which you were glad just to sit in the shade and watch the sport, sipping on a nice chilled iced tea or Arnold Palmer (half iced tea, half lemonade - try it, you'll like it!). Once again the cuisine at the little restaurant there impressed me. I had a fried fish sandwich, I believe it was, and the memory that remains with me from it is certainly a pleasant one.

1  Thank Swissfellow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2013

I was like a kid in a candy store the first time I went to the Whitewater Center. They have everything. If you live in the Charlotte area, I would recommend getting a season pass with a parking pass. If you go at least three times, it pretty much pays for itself. Some of the activities include: whitewater rafting, mountain biking, kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, ropes courses, ziplining, obstacle course, and many others. Love this place!

Thank tuckdaddy04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2013

I would much prefer being out on the Occoee, French Broad, or other North Carolina rivers for rafting. But, for a 30 minute drive from my house, the USNWC does a very good job of providing a fun water adventure. Granted, the trip around the course is fairly short, a day pass allows you to take some individual craft for a paddle ride from the banks of the river/lake adjacent to the center. I was particularly surprised by the food quality at the sit down restaurant..(I had a grilled chicken salad). I hope to go back out this spring..at least for lunch. I don't like the parking fee.

Thank BentleyOaks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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