Riverkeeper Boathouse open at South Fork Trail and canoe launch

Providing hikers and paddlers a place to relax and refresh

Saturday, June 5, 2021


Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation Executive Director John Searby cheers after cutting the ribbon with CRF Board Chair Tyler Richardson to his left and Gaston Travel & Tourism Executive Director Michael Applegate. Holding the ribbon are Chamber board member Paige Kilburn of Truist Bank and Chamber President Marc Jordan.

 Boathouse has taproom, restrooms, apparel and gear shop 

What do outdoor enthusiasts most desire after an exhilarating summer hike on the South Fork Trail or a long canoe or kayak paddle on the South Fork River? 

Maybe a cool place to relax, a cold craft beer and a clean restroom. 

The Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation is providing all of that and more in the new Boathouse which opened on June 5, 2021, with a large celebration and a ribbon-cutting ceremony conducted by the Montcross Area Chamber of Commerce. 

The Boathouse is at the South Fork River Trail and R.Y McAden Canoe and Kayak Launch at 115 Willow Drive in McAdenville. In addition to restrooms, a taproom offering beers from breweries along the Catawba River and an outdoor apparel and gear retail shop, the large building houses temporary offices for the Foundation, which has relocated from Charlotte. 

The offices are temporary because the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation is breaking ground on June 15, 2021, for permanent offices in downtown McAdenville. In partnership with Pharr Family of Companies, a Pharr building is being renovated to provide the Foundation administrative offices, a large seminar space and more. 

The location is at 100 Main Street, on the lake across from Spruced Goose Station. 

At the Boathouse grand opening, Riverkeeper Foundation Executive Director John Searby made comments along with CRF Board Chair Tyler Richardson, Montcross Area Chamber President Marc Jordan and Michael Applegate, executive director of the Gaston County Department of Travel & Tourism. Searby also accepted a $1,500 contribution from the Mount Holly and Huntersville Sunrise Rotary Clubs presented by Dana Hicks.

Boathouse hours are Thursday and Friday, 4 – 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. 

The Catawba Riverkeeper is the only non-profit, on-the-water advocate for the entire 8,900 miles of waterways in the Catawba-Wateree River Basin, providing accurate, science-based information about the water and the issues affecting it.  

For more information on the Foundation, the Boathouse and plans for the new office building, visit www.catawbariverkeeper.org or call 704.679.9494. 

Grand opening guests at the Boathouse enjoyed draft beers from Catawba River breweries. 



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