How to have the best tubing experience:

Looking for an easy group water activity? Tube the Catawba River with your own tube on your own time! We recently had friends in town and instead of hitting the breweries, we hit the water. We bought our tubes from Academy Sports (don't forget one for your cooler!) and rope to connect them, then headed down to the water. We dropped in at the Lake Wylie Dam but before you do that, you will need to park one car at Riverwalk Carolinas so that when you "land" you have a ride back up to your car at the Dam.

Floating from the Dam to Riverwalk Carolinas is about 3.5 hours depending on the river that day, so lather up the sunscreen! You will need to paddle every now and then to avoid fallen trees or stumps, so bring your sense of humor and water shoes in case you need to hop out – there’s usually one brave soul who does!

After a tubing adventure, we typically head to a nearby establishment for some grub. If you're craving Mexican, you'll definitely need to try Tony's Cantina. Looking for a healthier option? Blend offers build your own bowls and salads. Thirsty for a drink? Grapevine is the place to be. If you clean up well, Pump House is the perfect spot after a day on the river.

Items we recommend bringing: tubes, rope, water shoes, a waterproof cover for your phone (Ziploc bag works), drinks, koozies, snacks, waterproof speaker, sunscreen, change of clothes, towels, hat, and friends! 

Safety Tips from the Tega Cay Fire Dept:

Life Jackets

  • ALWAYS wear a life jacket - South Carolina law requires ALL children under the age of 12 to wear a life jacket on vessels under 16ft in length
  • Make sure that you have the correct type of life jacket for your trip - find the best one for your age/height/weight here
  • If you're bringing a pet with you, make sure that they also have a life jacket - even if they can swim!

Tube Safety

  • NEVER tie your floats/tubes together - if one device pops or gets stuck, this will then impact all other devices that it is tied to
  • Pool floats ARE NOT considered water vessels or safe for river use

Planning Your Float

  • Map out your route - be prepared by bringing enough water and snacks, a flashlight in case it gets dark outside, and a way to call for help
  • ALWAYS let someone know where you're going and how long it'll take you
  • Have a plan for pickup at your end destination
  • Have a plan in place in case of an emergency - whether you're stranded, get separated from your group, etc.

Route Distances

  • Lake Wylie Dam to Riverwalk: 3.5 miles = approximately 2 to 3 hours to float
  • Riverwalk to Catawba Nation: 10.5 miles = approx. 5 to 9 hours to float
  • Catawba Nation to Landsford Canal: 9.7 miles = approximately 5 to 8 hours to float
  • Riverwalk to River Park: 2.9 Miles = 2 to 3 hours to float 

TCFD Life Jacket Graphic TCFD Route Safety Graphic