Imagine floating in your kayak among thousands of natural blooming flowers along the Catawba River. This can't miss experience only appears once a year and now is your chance to plan for this natural phenomenon.
Landsford Canal State Park is located just over the York County line in Chester County. This 448-acre park along the Catawba River offers you an inside look at the former canal system that allowed the river to be utilized for commercial use. You can walk the 1.5-mile canal trail to see the spider lilies from land, or you can get on the water and experience them at arm's length. Located just 20 minutes south of Downtown Rock Hill, Landsford Canal State Park is easily accessible from York County, we've put together the perfect itinerary for you to experience while you're here!
Inside Tips from the Catawba River Keeper
Things to be mindful of:
- Park entrance fee – you can pay in advance online, but it doesn’t guarantee you admission if the park is full. Otherwise, you have to pay cash upon arrival. Either way, expect to wait in line at the park entrance as visitors pay their admission fee.
- Expect the park to be crowded during the lily season. Parking will fill up.
- If you plan to kayak through the lilies, we recommend dropping your boat off at the launch, then driving to the take-out and parking there. You can walk back to the launch through the Canal Trail at the park (1.5 miles). Alternatively, you could leave your boat at the take-out, walk back to your car, then drive back to the take-out.
- The trail to the lily overlook is about .75 miles. They recommend folks who can walk a little further to explore the canal trail.
Turn Your Visit Into a Weekend-Long Adventure
Here’s everything you can do in Rock Hill to make a weekend out of your flower viewing journey:
Looking to stay close to downtown? Check out the brand new CAMBRiA Hotel in Downtown Rock Hill or our newly renovated bed & breakfast, East Main Guest House. If you’re looking for something more specific, you can check out one of our other preferred hotels.
Then, you can immerse yourself in the arts and culture of Rock Hill! Discover The Mural Mile as you explore Downtown Rock Hill or get artsy with a stroll through the Center for the Arts and Gettys Center galleries.
Engage with history and learn about the Civil Rights Movement and the Friendship 9 along Freedom Walkway or take a quick walk to the African American Business District Monument and learn about the district that served the African-American community until the 1970s.
Make your way to Fountain Park and get lost in the sounds of tranquility as you watch the water move in patterns.
Looking to shop local? You can find a variety of gifts and goods at any of our local boutiques, including Mercantile, Overhead Station, Hickory Post, Chic Boutique, Rock Hill Pottery & Downtown Artistry.
Ready for lunch? Walk or even rent a Comporium bike and head to Legal Remedy Brewing! With food as crafty as their beer, you're guaranteed to find something you'll love on the menu! Or, if you want to take a short drive, head to the Riverwalk development for lunch at Pump House! Take in the sprawling views of the Catawba River four stories up or you can stop in at Legal Remedy Brewing's Riverwalk location for farm-to-table specials.
Photo by Sara Mcallister
While you're there, take a stroll along the 2.9 miles of paved Piedmont Medical Center Trail in Riverwalk. With scenic views of the Catawba River the entire way, this walk will likely convince you to visit again soon!
Next, get ready to experience the magic at Glencairn Garden. This 11-acre city park is a true hidden gem that started as a backyard garden in 1928. Take a stroll through the mid-century style fountains while admiring all Mother Nature has to offer.
We know you're hungry, so make your way to dinner at Kounter on Main Street. Be amazed by Chef Rob Masone as he whips up culinary creations right before your eyes! Don't leave without trying the smoking tuna poke appetizer, it's sure to wow your entire table. Reservations on the weekend are encouraged. While you're there, make sure to learn about the history of the Friendship 9 and the 1961 "Jail, No Bail" sit-in. This location is actually a stop on the U.S. Civil Rights Trail.