Trail Tuesday: USNWC
If you look up what to do in Charlotte chances are you will see three things, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Carowinds Amusement Park, and the US National Whitewater Center. I am so thankful for the last one. The WWC for short is a giant playground for kids and adults. Even if being “outdoorsy” isn’t your thing there is still a ton to do. Every summer they have a concert series with local bands and the fireworks are pretty awesome too. You can also watch some fun events like the BYOB, Build Your Own Boat, competition or Rumble in the Concrete Jungle, a mountain biking course where they empty the water out of the man made whitewater river. There is also a restaurant and lots of smaller kitchens that will open up for big events.
As far as activities there is everything under the sun including water sports like SUP, Flat and Whitewater Kayaking and Whitewater Rafting. There is also obstacle courses, zip lines and rock climbing walls. And as for the trails well there is over 25 miles of trails to run, walk or bike on ranging from easy green to hard black diamonds. Don’t worry if you don’t have the equipment, you can rent everything from bikes and helmets to kayaks to harnesses and rock climbing shoes.
The most popular trail has to be Lake Loops, a green three mile trail that weaves in between three small lakes. Since it is a green trail that has been open the longest it is flooded with people especially on the weekends. I love this trail because it is a lot of fun to hike, the lakes are soothing to look at and the terrain isn’t difficult. There is a short cut for those that are new at it and find three miles to be too much.
There is another green trail that I call it the front entrance trail because it literally flanks the entrance on both sides. It is mostly hard pack gravel with views of the road or evergreen trees depending on which way you look. The nice thing about this trail is if you are new and find it is too much, just jump on the road and head back.
There are three mail blue trails. North and South Main are a lot of fun with views of the Catawba River. I find that South Main is the easiest of the blue trails, there is a section where you can hear and see highway 85 from this trail. North Main is full of switch backs that can wear you out quickly. East Main, the other blue trail is not for the faint of heart, especially if you do the extension trail. Me and Jeremy did that once and by the end my Fit Bit said I climb 50 flights. Yeah the elevation change on that trail is serious.
As far as the black trails most of them are a mile long and are loops within the blue trails. Carpet is a fun quick trail that gets its name from the blanket of pine needles that cover the trail. Another black trail is Toilet Bowl which basically goes in a spiral and Goat Hill where you basically need to be a mountain goat to get up and down it. There is also a slalom track off the back half of South Main.
In December 2015 it was announced that WWC bought 490 acres of land. Right now they state they are just preserving the land but chances are we could see even more trails created in the years to come. Once you include that with the 700 acres they already have this place can only get bigger and better. I’ve been to so many events here it is hard to talk about them all but this year I am going to the River Jam 5ks, there is one a month from May to September and if you finish all 5 you get a hoodie. Y’all know how much I love my hoodies. Have you been to the White Water center or have a place similar to this near your house?