Paddle Trail Overview

CLOSING NOTICE: The dam at Altamahaw Paddle Access is at risk of failure. This access will remain closed until repairs are complete.

Paddle accesses downstream are open, including: Shallow Ford, Indian Valley, Great Bend Park, and Glencoe Paddle Accesses. In the event of a dam failure, water levels will rise quickly and create dangerous conditions. Paddle at your own risk and stay aware for changing conditions. To avoid this risk, use the paddle accesses south of I-40/85 including Graham Paddle Access, Swepsonville River Park, Saxapahaw Lake Paddle Access, Saxapahaw Mill Race Paddle Access or Union Bridge Paddle Access.

The Haw River Paddle Trail

The Haw River Paddle Trail allows novice and expert paddlers alike to experience the Haw as it was meant to be seen. For locals, seeing their home from the river provides a new perspective and a rediscovery of the natural beauty that surrounds them. For visitors, paddling the Haw is an exciting way to experience the natural and historical features of the Haw River corridor. There are currently 14 paddle accesses offering access to the entire length of the Haw River through Alamance County, from the Brooks Bridge Paddle Access in Guilford County to the new Union Bridge Paddle Access on the Alamance-Orange county line. The installation of Union Bridge Paddle Access in early 2016 completed the Paddle Trail in Alamance County and represents the culmination of over ten years of dedicated effort to provide public access to the Haw River.


Maps

Click on the map’s callout boxes to learn more about each section of the Haw River Paddle Trail, including level of difficulty, river gauge information, and a description of that section’s features. Printable maps are also¬†available below.


Complete Paddle Trail Map

Printed copies of this map are available at all HRT Paddle Accesses.


A Note to Paddlers

Part of the beauty of the Haw River is that it offers multiple types of paddling in close proximity. The shallow rocky sections create excellent rapids for paddling when the water is at normal level. However, these same features make some sections of the Haw difficult to paddle during low water periods.

Due to the historic dams left from the river’s manufacturing past, several sections of the river are backed up to create a lake-like “flat water” paddling experience. These areas are excellent places for beginners to try their first river paddle and are a good choice for dry summer days when the water is low. For flat-water paddling, check out the following sections:

  • Altamahaw Paddle Access-upstream
  • Indian Valley to Great Bend Park- either access
  • Great Alamance Creek Paddle Access
  • Swepsonville Paddle Access- from the lower access go downstream to Saxapahaw or up Great Alamance Creek
  • Saxapahaw Lake Paddle Access