This list represents the most popular whitewater kayaking & canoeing in North Carolina. Use this list to plan your next North Carolina whitewater kayaking & canoeing trip. Select a state and/or activity below to find even more top trails.
#1 Dan River
The Dan River begins near the Blue Ridge Parkway a few miles above Meadows of Dan, Virginia. It is impounded by Talbott Reservoir ...
#2 Mayo River
The North Mayo River watershed begins below Fairy Stone State Park, northwest of Martinsville, Virginia. The South Mayo River ...
#3 Ararat River
The Ararat River begins just above the North Carolina border in Patrick County, Virginia. It flows through Mount Airy and ...
#4 Haw River
The Haw River is popular for paddling because of its variety of scenery, whitewater, and proximity to the Triangle and Triad ...
#5 Nantahala River: CR 1310 (Gravel Road Turnout 4.2 Miles Above Forest Service Put-In) to Wesser
The Nantahala heads up just inside the edge of Nantahala National Forest before entering Nantahala Lake, reportedly the highest ...
#6 Rocky River Between Locust and Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge
The Rocky River begins north of Charlotte near Mooresville. It flows southeast before swinging toward the east to join the ...
#7 South Toe River: Carolina Hemlocks Campground or NC 80 Bridge to Yancey CR 1311 on the Toe
The South Toe has its headwaters on Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Rockies (elevation 6,684 feet), which is ...
#8 Uwharrie River
High Point, NC
The Uwharrie River begins in northwest Randolph County below High Point. It flows south and passes 10 miles west of Asheboro. ...
#9 Big Laurel Creek: US 70/25 Bridge to US 70/25 Bridge over the French Broad in Hot Springs
Hot Springs, NC
This is a fast wild-water stream cutting a gorge 1,200 feet deep between Mill Ridge on the north and Walnut Knob on the south. ...
#10 Rocky River Between Siler City and Moncure
Siler City, NC
The Rocky River begins near Liberty and is impounded for use as a Siler City water supply. It flows southeast, and after ...
#11 Upper Little River
The Upper Little River watershed begins in Lee County on the southeast side of Sanford. It flows southeast through agricultural ...
#12 Raven Fork River: Confluence with the Straight Fork to The Bridge at the Job Corps Center
The Raven Fork comes off Breakneck Ridge, often at just that speed. It flows through the Cherokee Indian Reservation to a ...
#13 Uwharrie River: NC 49 Bridge to Morrow Mountain State Park, Directly Across Lake Tillery from the Mouth of the Uwharrie
The Uwharrie heads up west of Asheboro and flows generally south through the Uwharrie Mountains and across portions of the ...
#14 Boone Fork: Julian Price Memorial Park to CR 1557 Bridge
The Boone Fork rises as a tiny tributary falling off the eastern flank of Grandfather Mountain and then flows a few miles ...
#15 Elk Creek
Elk Creek begins at an elevation of 3,200 feet in Watauga County, east of Boone, on the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge ...
#16 Fisher River
Stony Knoll, NC
The Fisher River watershed begins at an elevation above 2,500 feet on the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains, near ...
#17 Green River: Lake Summit Dam to NC 1004 on the Broad River
The Green River has its origins southwest of Tuxedo where it runs quietly for several miles before its inundation at Lake ...
#18 Buck Creek: Lake Tahoma Dam to US 70 Bridge
Buck Creek has its headwaters in the Mount Mitchell Wildlife Management Area below the Blue Ridge Parkway. It flows along ...
#19 Little River (near Durham)
Little River is one of the most common river names, and two are in the Neuse Basin. The largest Little River in the upper ...
#20 New Hope Creek
Chapel Hill, NC
New Hope Creek begins about 5 miles south of Hillsborough. It flows generally eastward toward Durham and winds through Duke ...
The hike is advertised as easy, but has significant altitude gains See More
Loved it!! Easy/moderate and shaded hike 🙌🏼