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Kayaking Adventures in the Foothills of North Carolina

Kayaking in the Foothills NCLocated in Western North Carolina, the foothills is home to small home towns, mountain-fed rivers, and hiking trails that offers magnificent outdoor adventure 365 days a year. North Carolina trout fishing and kayaking skills come in handy while the numerous hiking trails give outdoor enthusiasts a run for their time. With river frontage property for sale in the area, it’s possible to own property with North Carolina trout fishing and kayaking right in your backyard which is not easy to find in Western North Carolina real estate. Here’s a few of our favorite kayaking destinations in the foothills:


Regardless of your skill level, the calm waters of the Catawba River provide splendid adventure for all paddlers. It starts at the Fort Mill Dam covering more than 3.5 miles of slow moving water to the Riverwalk. For those willing to test their mastery through higher pace paddling, they can join the 2.75-mile trip with class I-II rapid under the launch. In case you need to learn the art, consider attending the kayak clinics that offer kayak courses for beginners. The ACA certified instructor conducts one on one practice on the learners aged 12 and above.


The rugged scenery and the stunning water currents flowing down the stream from Grandfather Mountain gives a reason to paddle at the Wilson Creek as often as possible. With rapids from Class I to IV, exceptional quality of water and proximity to the Blue Ridge Mountains, the creek attracts numerous kayakers of all skill levels. The upper part of the stream remains the most challenging and only accessible during heavy rains. The part below the gorge is suitable for the low skilled and average skilled paddlers but often find it challenging to cruise along the stretch. The fourth section, widely known as gorge is one of the most popular among the paddling enthusiasts but always preserved for the experienced lot. The section after the gorge offers drops with class 1 and two suitable for the average kayakers.    


Over the years, the Johns River stands as one of the iconic features of the foothills that offers residents with a sweet blend of adventure and slow moving fun. Flowing from the Pisgah Forest, the Johns River runs through the Wilson Creek to the Lake Rhodhiss. The first section runs from the Camp Bridge to the low water bridges taking out at the CR 1356 west of NC. The second part begins at Collettsville to the starting point of section 3 that gives access to the wildlife access area.

While some consider white water paddling a challenging activity, most kayakers enjoy the thrill that comes with the sport. Participants need to wear the appropriate gear that includes a life jacket and a helmet to enhance safety.

Here’s a the top 10 kayaking runs in the foothills:

1.       Johns River, Burke County that runs 6.5 miles long w/ class I-II

2.       Wilson Creek that offers class I-III and runs 4 miles long

3.       The 1.9 miles long Wilson Creek with Class III-V

4.       The 18 miles Catawba River- Henry Fork offering class I-III

5.       Wilson Creek, Caldwell County stretching 6.6 miles long with Class II-III

6.       Steel Creek with class II-III runs 6.6 miles long

7.       Catawba River McDowell with Class I-II is 8.5 miles long

8.       The 5-mile long Wilson Creek with class IV

9.       Gragg Prong River offers 1.6 miles long stretch with class IV-V

10.   The upper creek with Class III-IV runs 17 miles long

Other than the adventure associated with water sporting activities, kayaking offers numerous health benefits to the participants. The low impact sport is known to improve cardiovascular health, low wear and tear of tissues, and increase muscle strength around the legs, arms, chest and back.


When it comes to real estate Western North Carolina, river frontage property for sale at our mountain community gives you the opportunity to own waterfront property to enjoy North Carolina trout fishing. Amenities in our community along the Johns River include Coleton’s Swimming Hole, Coves River Pavilion, Waterfall Park, two community gardens and Round Mountain Ranch, our full service equestrian center.

The Coves Mountain River Club offers the most diverse offering of property types relative to any other community in the North Carolina mountains. The smallest is 1/4 acre cottage home site. The cottage home sites are clustered on ridges and form small villages within the larger subdivision. These enclaves are often on the top of a mountain ridge with long range views or near the river.

The cottages are perfect for the empty nester or second home owners. Cabin home sites are 1 acre in size. The cabin home sites are often clustered in 3-8 units and share a common, private road for access. Cabins in The Coves work well for owners who want privacy but not seclusion when they purchase Western North Carolina real estate. They are often ideal for home sizes in the 1,650-2,250 square footage range.

Traditional home sites comprise about 60% of the total number of home sites at The Coves. They range in size from 1-3 acres and are found on traditional subdivision roads. Traditional home sites range from huge view sites to private wooded sites with streams along the rear property line.

All traditional home sites are developed with nearby access to the extensive, community trail system. The Estates at The Coves range from 5-25 acres in size. There are a wide variety of estate lots including river front, huge view and pasture sites. All estates are heavily wooded and provide for ultimate privacy. It is extremely rare to find large acreage estate lots inside an amenitized, gated community. Our river front lots are the most rare. Whether you are an angler or just enjoy the peaceful sound of rambling water and serene river views, river front lots are a special find in the NC mountains.

If you own your own horses or would like to own a horse, our Estate lots with pasture land are the perfect option. All of our pasture lots include improved, groomed pastures that are ready for you to move in your best, equine friend. With our equestrian director on site full time and one of the longest, most well groomed trail systems in a private community in the North Carolina mountains, an estate lot with pasture at The Coves could be perfect for you.

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 70 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which will provide more information about the foothills and over a dozen popular builder floor plans.

Exploring the area for the first time?

Let us know & ask for our 70 page Complimentary Magazine.

The Coves Mountain River Club magazine