Whitewater began development of the U.S. National Whitewater Center in 2001 as a not-for-profit enterprise seeking to reimagine how urban markets access and engage the outdoor lifestyle.
The mission of the Whitewater Center is to build stronger communities through promoting healthy and active lifestyles, developing environmental stewardship, and encouraging family and civic interaction.
Whitewater partnered with six local municipalities and the State of North Carolina to create a world-class outdoor center within a 30-minute drive of over 4 million people. This effort culminated in the development and operation of the USNWC on 1,300 acres of protected forest along the Catawba River. The USNWC employs almost 1,000 people and attracts over 1.1 million visitors annually.
Activities at the Whitewater Center currently include the world’s largest man-made whitewater river, 45 miles of singletrack trail, the world’s only artificial deep water solo climbing complex, a 1.5 mile canopy tour, two outdoor rock climbing walls and 20 ropes courses and ziplines.
The Whitewater Center produces and operates over 110 races and competitions, nine festivals, over 65 outdoor concerts annually. The 1,300-acre facility has multiple food and beverage outlets, an outfitters store, a conference center, as well as summer camp and outdoor instruction programs. In addition, the Center hosted the Olympic Trials for Canoe Slalom in 2008, 2012, and 2016.