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A full tour of all the 8 trails in the US National Whitewater Center trail system.

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692' 211 m


575' 175 m


1,082' 330 m


1,066' 325 m



Avg Grade (1°)


Max Grade (9°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Allowed

Trail stay closed after rain much longer here than other trails in the area. For trail status see the color code at the bottom of this page:


Aside from Lake Norman State Park, this is the 2nd longest trail system in the area and offers a diverse amount of terrain. The trail is similar in topography to other trails in the area, lots of roots, plenty of rocky sections, a few man-made structures, and a few jumps along the way. The Whitewater Center has some of the best climbs and downhill in the area. This trail has a little of something for everybody.

Need to Know

USNWC Parking is $12 daily or $40 for an annual pass. There is a nearby middle school for other parking options.


The trail starts with the WWC East trail which is about 4 miles in length. It has a few tricky climbs and some fast downhill sections (20mph+). WWC East is the newest addition to the trail system and one of the best.

WWC East connects with The Point trail and continues to the north part of the property. After a half a mile on the North Trail Connecter, stay left when the trail merges with the Whitewater complex loop. The trail turns back into the woods 1/3 of a mile on the left. After a quick, rooty downhill section, stay to the right to connect to the Figure 8 trail.

Figure 8 is about a mile long and has a few technical climbs, lots of ladder bridges, a few decent jumps, and a long log skinny. Take the right option where Figure 8 intersects with the Carolina Thread trail.

The Carolina Thread trail is an out and back ride that is the fastest part of the ride. This part of the trail is bidirectional and speeds can average well over 10mph, so take caution to avoid riders traveling in the opposite direction. CTT has lots of natural berms and whoops and flows very well. The trail flows better and has slightly more downhill on the way back to Figure 8 than on the way out.

Stay to the right at the intersection with Figure 8 and continue a half mile to the intersection with The Point trail. The Point trail is mainly 2 climbs and 3 speedy descents (20mph+). The Point trail continues back south along side the Catawba River and connects with the Main Loop. The Main Loop is mostly fire roads and circles the southern part of the property, connecting with Carpet trail after a half a mile.

The Carpet trail is a mile in length and has one big technical climb that has a carpet covering one of the switchbacks and two nice downhill sections. The trail connects back with the Main Loop and continues on to Tower 93 Loop, the Wedge trail and then to Goat Hill.

Goat Hill has the steepest climbs of the ride and should be avoided by novice riders. At the top of the first climb, take the left option to take the extra descent and climb. The optional section leads to the best downhill section of the run. Good flow and lots of drops to keep it interesting. Speeds here can average 15mph+ so take care. Goat Hill connects back with the Main Loop and continues south for about half a mile where it intersects with Weigh Station trail.

The start of the Weigh Station trail is not well marked and is very easy to miss. Take the right option for the Weigh Station trail which is about half a mile in length. Easily the rootiest and rockiest part of the ride, this trail is basically two downhill sections followed by a gradual climb out. The trail connects back up with Main Loop and leads to Toilet Bowl trail.

The Toilet Bowl trail is a winding downhill section to start and leads to a fairly tricky, rocky climb out. Toilet Bowl is about a mile in length and connects back with the Main Loop and continues east to the Slalom Course on the way to the Lake Loop.

The Lake Loop is close to 3 miles in length and is the easiest trail of the ride. Speeds here can be pretty fast (12mph+) on average. The Lake Loop has one fairly long climb that is mostly fire road so it's relatively easy. The Lake Loop connects back to the Main Loop and connects to the parking lot after 1/4 mile.


Shared By:

Vinnie Connors with improvements by Gabe Korinek and 3 others

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 35 votes


  4.2 from 35 votes
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80 Views Last Month
16,422 Since Jun 21, 2013
Intermediate Intermediate



Ryan Dunn making the Figure 8 trail at the US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte look good.
Apr 19, 2019 near Mount H…, NC
The sun sets over the Catawba River along the North Main Loop.
Mar 14, 2017 near Mount H…, NC
Fall colors erupt on the North Main Loop.
Mar 14, 2017 near Mount H…, NC
Rock garden just after start of WWC East.
Nov 22, 2015 near Mount H…, NC
Awesome views of the Catawba river along the ride.
Sep 22, 2018 near Mount H…, NC
Horses on Lake Loop.(good start off trail)
Oct 21, 2017 near Mount H…, NC



Current Trail Conditions

Bad / Closed 10 days ago
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