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Gastonia, North Carolina extends a sincere invitation to "Enjoy the Beauty and Discover the Life" that awaits you in beautiful Gastonia, North Carolina. Come to a place where beautiful scenery, hiking, biking, fishing, history and Southern hospitality are a way of life.

U.S. National WhiteWater Center

5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy, Charlotte, NC 28214
(704) 391-3900

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 700 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.


The USNWC's 700 acres offers a wide variety of outdoor activities for all ages and skill levels. Guests can enjoy whitewater rafting and kayaking, flatwater kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, rock climbing, zip lines, ropes courses, a canopy tour, and mountain biking on our 25+ mile trail system.

Throughout the year, the Whitewater Race Series challenges participants through various competitions in different sports including trail running, kayaking, mountain biking, triathlons, ultra-marathons and more.


For those looking to kick back, live music and outdoor festivals create a unique atmosphere of relaxation and fun. The River Jam concert series takes place every Thursday and Saturday evening throughout the summer months, in addition to 9 unique festivals held throughout the year.

The River's Edge Bar & Grill, Pump House Biergarten, Adventure Dining opportunities, as well as multiple event/ meeting venues offer relaxing experiences after a long day of outdoor adventure.


The USNWC utilizes various adventure sports and natural environments onsite and throughout the region to develop leadership and communication skills. Skill development programs include specialized instruction and certification, summer camps for children and teenagers, and customizable team development courses for groups and schools, testing the mental and physical limits of participants in the wilderness.

Learning opportunities are available to individuals, families, and groups of all ages and skill levels.

Lake Wylie Kayak Rentals

1000 Marina Village Dr Mount Holly, NC 704-827-0000

There's nothing like flat water kayaking. Conveniently located on the banks of the Catawba River, in Mount Holly and only 15 minutes from Charlotte. Lake Wylie Kayak Rentals cater to large and small groups including school classes, church organizations, scout packs, company picnics, and families and more.

The new Ship's Store has beverages, beer, snacks and ice cream for purchase. Showers are also available to renters.

Crowders Mountain State Park
522 Park Office Lane, Kings Mountain, NC 28086
(704) 853-5375

Raptors soar gracefully in the wind; vegetation reaches to the sky; sheer vertical cliffs drop 150 feet. Enjoy the spectacle from a front-row seat. High atop Crowders Mountain, the second highest point in Gaston County, views stretch for more than 25 miles.

For a closer view of nature's marvels, walk the park's many miles of trails. The gently rolling landscape of the North Carolina Piedmont offers a variety of terrain. Dip into the valleys; cross the foothills; climb to the peaks. Quiet woods, trickling streams and melodious birds await. These spectacular surroundings, like the unique habitats in many other state parks, would not exist were it not for the efforts of concerned citizens dedicated to protecting our environment.

Rankin Lake Park

1750 Rankin Lake Road, Gastonia, NC

Lineberger Park

632 E Garrison Blvd. Gastonia, NC

Kings Mountain, North Carolina

Kings Mountain is a small suburban city within the Charlotte metropolitan area in North Carolina.

Latta Nature Preserve

Latta Plantation Nature Preserve offers endless opportunities for outdoor recreation. Visitors can literally spend the entire day at the preserve. Canoe and kayak enthusiasts will find two landing areas that provide access to Gar Creek and Mountain Island Lake. Numerous fishing opportunities are available. Anglers ages 16 and older must have a NC State Fishing License. Our picnic shelter can be used on a first-come-first-serve basis. Latta Plantation Nature Center features live, native animals, a discovery hall, an outdoor amphitheater, and a gift shop. Outside, visitors can stop and observe nature in action at the National Wildlife Federation certified Backyard Habitat Garden which includes bird feeding stations, butterfly gardens, garden pond, and demonstration compost area. Self-interpretive trail guides are available for several nature preserve trails.

Other facilities located in the preserve include:

  • Carolina Raptor Center, an education and rehabilitation facility dedicated to the conservation of birds of prey and home to the Southeast's largest eagle aviary.
  • Latta Plantation Equestrian Center, a facility providing guided horseback rides, pony rides, horse shows, lessons, and tack store.
  • Historic Latta Plantation, a restored 19 th century federal-style home and living history farm of James Latta, open to public tours and interpretive programs.






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