Paddling The Haw River In Chatham County

Pittsboro, NC – Do you canoe? I do. I also kayak and enjoy a river rafting trip, too. Here’s a short guide to paddling the Haw in Chatham County.

Paddling the Haw in Chatham

If you’re a paddler, the Haw River in Chatham County provides lots of opportunity to get out your canoe or kayak. The Haw is a classic Piedmont river with an action-packed run. The river is good for kayaking after a significant rain and tends to hold water longer than other Piedmont rivers.

Places to Rent a Canoe or Kayak

Here are a couple of places to rent kayaks or canoes if you don’t have your own or if you’d like to arrange a guided trip:

  • Frog Hollow Outdoors: They offer instruction & guide services, programs, & rentals. Excellent for individuals, families, groups of friends, office retreats, youth groups, school classes, outings, or even a romantic date. Look into some of the Haw River Trips they offer.
  • Jordan Lake Water Sports: They offer memberships with packages that supply kayak, canoe and jetski rentals, tours, pontoon boats and fishing boats for Jordan Lake.
  • Kayak Adventures is a guided tour service for Jordan Lake. The mission is to get closer to nature, enjoy some fresh air, and get some exercise too.  Contact Susanne Gomolski, (919)929-3805 or (919)259-2241.

Another good source of info is the Haw River Assembly, a non-profit group founded in 1982 to protect the river. Lots of good info including USGS water levels on the river.

About The Haw

The Haw River is a tributary of the Cape Fear River, approximately 110 miles long. It begins in northeast Forsyth County near Kernersville. The course of the Haw River meanders east  through Rockingham, Alamance and Orange Counties before flowing into Chatham County and down into Jordan Lake.

4 miles south of Jordan Lake dam, the Haw River joins the Deep River to form the Cape Fear River and flows all the way to the coast.

Paddling The Middle Haw

The Middle Haw runs from Bynum Dam to US 64. The Middle Haw River run begins at the “put-in” at Bynum Bridge. This section will take approximately 1 to 2 hours and is about 4.2 miles in length. There are class I and class II rapids along this stretch. If the water is high, some areas can be tricky for beginners.

Paddling The Lower Haw

This section of the Haw is the most popular run in the Chatham-Wake County area, where a geological phenomenon called the “fall line” has created rapids in a dozen or so local creeks and rivers. It’s a short run with some class II and III rapids. The run is enjoyed by those who want to get their evening whitewater fix after work and is a great place to meet local paddlers on weekday evenings after a good storm.

The “put-in” location is at the US 64 Canoe Access. The Lower Haw’s run ends at the Robeson Creek Canoe Access. The distance between is approximately 1.3 miles and can take 1/2 to 1 hour.

Most of the action takes place in the first half mile or so downstream of the Highway 64 bridge. You have a lot of river to work with but most of the action is to river right. There are a couple really nice waves that can provide hours of enjoyment.

Paddling Clubs

Really ambitious? Join a paddling club:

More Info

Where’s Your Favorite Run?

What’s your favorite kayak run in the Greater Chatham County area? Drop me a note – maybe it will end up in a blog post.

Julie Roland Realty, Inc.
Julie Roland, Owner/Broker
Pittsboro, NC


Photo from Triad River Runners.