Landsford Canal State Park

home of the rocky shoals spider lilies

We offer two options at Landsford Canal State Park on mid-May through mid-June weekends.  One option is super easy flatwater, and the other option is for experienced kayakers only through the rare and beautiful Rock Shoals Spider Lilies. Please see trip descriptions below, both are beautiful.    

During lily season, Landsford's park entry fees are collected at the gate:

Adults: 5.00 for gate fee

Seniors: 3.25 for gate fee

Children ages 6-13: 3.00 for gate fee

trip options

Landsford Canal State Park: Upriver

Miles: Undetermined - depends on you - up to three hours

Difficulty: SUPER easy

Because paddling through the spider lily shoals is not an appropriate trip for those that have never paddled before, we offer this float that combines a flatwater section of the Catawba River with an easy walk on the trail to see the lilies in full bloom. This is a beautiful float above the shoals, with plenty of natural beauty and wildlife to be seen, but no lilies. You can easily combine this float with a walk down the trail to see the lilies, either before or after your paddle.  

We would meet you at the main park at Landsford, get you situated in your boats, and send you on your self-guided paddle. Paddle upstream as far as you want, then paddle back down to the park where you put in. There is very little current and lots of water, so the upstream paddle is very, very easy. This is perfect for canoes, great for beginners, and is a nice paddling workout for experienced paddlers. Children of all ages are welcome on this float with their parents - any experience level is perfect. This trip is essentially a "round trip" with no need for a shuttle. 

Single kayaks are $40.00, Tandem kayaks are $50.00.


Spider Lily Section

Single kayaks only, no tandems or canoes

Miles: 2.3

Float time: 1-2 hours, depending on water level

Difficulty: * Paddling experience required* 

Participant Requirements:  We require all participants to have had paddling experience and be comfortable with turning their boat quickly, be able to get in and out of the boat often to maneuver over rocks, be happy with being stuck, and follow instructions to find the take out creek. We aren't kidding about prior experience, we do have mishaps on this trip with folks that have over-estimated their skills. When you call to make a reservation, please be prepared to describe the skills of everyone in your group. NO NEWBIES, and no children - this is not the trip on which you plan to learn to paddle, you need to already know how. Our focus is safety first, and fun second. If you already know how to paddle and how to handle swift water, you'll be both safe and have fun.  

Still with us? Great, because this float is worth the effort! This paddle takes you around a large island and into the largest population of the beautiful, rare Rocky Shoals Spider Lilies. Because these lilies only grow in swift, shallow water, this trip consists of rapid water and many, many rocks. Lots of rocks. Did I mention the rocks? You'll be floating through a huge field of flowers that few have the opportunity to see. Take your camera in a waterproof bag, you'll have so many perfect shots! There will be lots of opportunity to get out on rocks (they come in handy sometimes) to enjoy the beauty, take photos, and stretch your legs. 

You will be mostly self-guided with a map in hand, but we will have trained guides on the water as well to make sure you don't miss the tricky take out.

Single kayaks are $40.00, Tandem kayaks are $50.00.

2 options for parking  

During Lily Season, Landsford Canal State Park is extremely popular and the parking areas become congested. We can't get through there with our trailers/vans, and therefore are unable to assist with shuttle of cars/people, So.... 

(1) Bring two vehicles...leave a car at the take out parking area (Lower Entrance to the park, on Canal Road) and then drive your other car to the main park. We will meet you down at the river's edge with your boats/life jackets/paddles. This option has you with a vehicle at both put-in and take-out parking areas.

(2) Drive through main park down to the river parking area (where bathrooms/log cabin/playground located) and meet us at the river's edge. We will get you on the water with gear and instructions/map. After your float you will walk that 1.25 mile easy path back to the main park to your car. Leave the boats at the top of the take-out trail, we'll grab them as soon as possible.