Charlotte, North Carolina, is known as the thrill capital of the Southeast. The U.S. National Whitewater Center in particular is the perfect spot for thrill seekers with activities such as whitewater rafting, hiking, biking, climbing, or ziplining. The center has promoted outdoor activities since 2006 and covers 500 acres of land waiting to be explored. Visitors can do all kinds of different activities suitable for all ages and skill levels.

Water Sports

Water lovers will definitely not get bored in the National Whitewater Center. Visitors can raft class 2, 3, or 4 strong rapids, depending on their experience and how wet they want to get. It is also possible to kayak in the white waters, but kayakers need to bring their own kayaks and equipment. You can even try out whitewater Stand-Up Paddling (SUP), but with class 3 rapids you need good balance.

If adrenaline activities are not your thing, then you can always try out the center’s flatwater activities instead. The newest craze is SUP Boarding, which combines surfing and paddling. It is suitable for all experience levels from beginners to experts, with gear provided by the center.

For a relaxing ride through the scenic Catawba River why not try out kayaking? Flatwater kayaking allows you to be active while spotting wildlife and learning about local ecology at the same time. If you prefer company to solitude you can even go on a tandem kayaking trip. The center provides all of the gear, and flatwater kayaking is suitable for all ages and skill levels, too.

Land Activities

If water is not your thing, there are plenty of land-based things to do in the National Whitewater Center as well. The center hosts one of the largest climbing walls in the South with heights of up to 46 feet. Different climbing walls are available to accommodate different skills and experience levels.

The center also has an adventure course where you can test your physical and mental strength on ropes and planks on an obstacle course 20 feet up in the trees. If you don’t suffer from vertigo, then you can also cross the Canyon of the South Ridge Gorge through rope bridges that are up to 50 feet high. On your way back you can zipline your way across the gorge on a 250-foot zipline. The really brave can try out the Hawk Jump. You climb 41 feet into the air on a pole ladder and after reaching the platform you leap off to the ground again, attached to a safety rope, of course.

If heights are not your thing, then you can also enjoy the center’s hiking and running trails. You can either enjoy a walk, hike, or run as you explore over 20 miles of woodland trails. Alternatively, you could also bike down the trails, featuring easy but also challenging climbs and descents.

As you can see, a visit to Charlotte would be anything but boring, and it is a paradise for all kinds of thrill seekers.


Disclaimer: This post is part of the #‎HipmunkCityLove project. I am a Freelancer for Hipmunk and was compensated to write this article.

About Tammyonthemove

Tammy & Chris are a couple hailing from Germany and England, meaning between them they are efficient and polite, but unable to talk about football. Find out why they stopped pushing pens around the British civil service to travel the world on their blog.

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