Catawba River – Rock Hill, South Carolina

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The Catawba River, named for the Catawba Indian tribe, begins in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, North Carolina. It enters South Carolina through Rock Hill, winds through the Piedmont, and drains into the Lake Wateree reservoir. There it converges with the Big Wateree Creek and becomes the Wateree River. The 217-mile-long course was declared a Scenic River by Governor Mark Sanford in 2008.

Catawba River SC

Thomas Roth of Chester, 2012 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

A section of the river rushes through Lansford Canal State Park just below Rock Hill and boasts the largest stand of rocky shoals spiderlily (Hymenocallis coronaria) in the world. The flower, a species of concern, grows in the rare habitat of exposed rocky shoals in clean, fast-flowing rivers.

Catawba River

Teri Leigh Teed of Camden, 2009 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Though more than sixty other stands of the flower can be found in the southeast, the spectacle of the spiderlilies along the Catawba River is a rare sight and celebrated by nature lovers in May of each year, the flower’s peak blooming season.

Reflections on the Catawba River

Contributor Teri Leigh Teed shares her experience visiting the Catawba River: “On the day before Halloween, I visited the Catawba Reservation and walked the woodland path to the Catawba River. Having the path all to myself was a joy, and it was a short walk to the river’s edge. This photo was taken near the circle cleared in the woods by the river. It is a peaceful place and a great honor to walk here.”

Thomas Roth tells us, “Traveling south off exit 65 on highway nine towards Richburg begins the twelve-mile journey towards the Catawba River and Landsford Canal State Park. Nestled along the eastern shore of the Catawba River this park has several features that make it unique. The park has an easy-to-walk trail and offers the photographer several photographic challenges. It is a short walk from the parking lot to the historic feature of the park.

“The park was created to preserve the remnants of this historic canal, but the park offers more than just historic remnants. The park is also a wonderful chance
to walk along the Catawba River. The nature trail that accompanies the park is an easy trail to walk. Its terrain is almost completely flat and well-maintained.”

Add your own reflections here.

Catawba River Map

Catawba River – Add Info and More Photos

The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Catawba River, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!

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