York County, South Carolina, is a hidden gem for kayaking enthusiasts, offering a variety of waterways that cater to all skill levels. Whether you're a seasoned paddler or a beginner looking for a new adventure, York County has something for everyone. Here are some of the top spots you should check out:

1. Lake Wylie

Lake Wylie is a popular destination for kayaking, with its serene waters and beautiful scenery. With over 13,000 acres of water, plenty of spots exist to explore. Paddle along the shoreline to discover hidden coves and enjoy the peaceful ambiance. Looking for a place to put your kayak into Lake Wylie? Check out Allison Creek Access. It offers a kayak/canoe launch, 3 miles of trails, and a playground! Rock Hill Lake Park is another excellent option. This quiet cove is a great spot to put your kayak. It also offers a beach and swimming area. Do you need a rental? Destination Watersports provides kayak rentals, paddleboards, and canoes.

2. Catawba River

The Catawba River provides a more challenging experience for those looking to test their skills. The river's varying flow rates and occasional rapids offer an exciting adventure. Several access points along the river make planning a trip that suits your experience level easy. Begin your journey at the Lake Wylie Dam and paddle to Riverwalk along 3.5 miles of slow-moving water with two small Class I rapids. For a change of pace, paddlers can also put in at Riverwalk and embark on a 2.75-mile trip that gets jump-started with the Class I/II rapid just below the launch. The journey continues to a second Class I rapid just before taking out at River Park. The river's flow changes, so check the dam release schedule, which can be found here, so that you can plan your trip accordingly! 

3. Anne Springs Close Greenway

For a more controlled environment, the Anne Springs Close Greenway offers rentals. The Greenway is perfect for families and beginners, providing a safe and scenic setting for paddling. Rent a kayak, paddleboard, or canoe on Saturdays and Sundays at the Greenway on the Lake Haigler entrance. Rates are $16 per person for two hours on the beautiful Lake Haigler, and members of the Greenway do receive a discount.

4. Kings Mountain State Park - Lake Crawford & Lake York

This hidden gem is near Kings Mountain National Military Park, and the reservoir is a peaceful spot for kayaking. Paddlers can enjoy the calm waters and surrounding nature for five dollars, making it ideal for a relaxing day on the water. The lakes are surrounded by multiple hiking trails, campsites, and a historic farm to enjoy once you are done on the water!


Tips for Kayaking in York County

  • Safety First: Always wear a life jacket, bring a whistle, and check local weather conditions before heading out.
  • Respect Nature: Keep the waterways clean by not littering and respecting wildlife habitats.
  • Stay Informed: Familiarize yourself with the local regulations and access points for each kayaking spot.
  • Always check the water levels first! Stay informed here.