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Haw River


A paddle on the Haw is a paddle through history. If you are looking for a natural wonder coursing through the heart of North Carolina’s picturesque landscapes this is the river for you. This captivating waterway is a haven for paddling enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. From its tranquil stretches ideal for leisurely paddles to thrilling sections with moderate rapids, the Haw River promises an unforgettable experience. Prepare to immerse yourself in the region’s rich biodiversity, encounter diverse wildlife, and explore the timeless beauty that makes paddling the Haw River a truly remarkable adventure. Visit for the most up to date info and resources, video guides, history, and more!

These paddles are great for the whole family. These segments are also great if you are new to paddling and looking to get a taste of the paddling world! These segments will be under 2 hours and will have few if any rapids, no dam portages, and are generally calmer areas to paddle in a canoe, or flat water kayak. When its possible, we pick accesses that have bathrooms and formal river accesses. Want to learn more about paddling with the family? REI has an amazing guide. 

These segments will have a great payoff for the hard work you put into paddling. These routes will range from beginner to intermediate depending on rapids and length. Always bring extra water, snacks, and safety supplies. Check out the homepage for a packing list and safety information. Don’t forget to tag @Piedmontlegacytrails or  #Piedmontlegacytrails in your pictures!

These are the sections for you! These segments will cover our Advanced level of paddling with class 2+ rapids. These sections will typically require gear like whitewater kayaks, sprayskirts, helmets, and skills like the ability to wet exit your boat. If you are paddling in advanced rapids, consider taking a swift water rescue course at the White Water Center or Landmark Learning or Cape Fear River Adventures.


14) Great Alamance Creek Paddle Access

Great Alamance Creek
Great Alamance Creek River Access

Great Alamance Creek Paddle Access: 2229 South Main Street, Graham, NC 27253

This is perfect for a logistically easy day. No shuttle needed. This paddle follows the Great Alamance Creek to the Haw River. It is a 1 mile each way trip where you turn around and paddle upstream to return the way you came. Learn more here.


06) Glencoe Paddle Access to Red Slide Park

Glencoe Paddle Access
Red Slide Park River Access

Put in: Glencoe Paddle Access: 2348 Glencoe Street, Burlington, NC 27217

Take out: Red Slide Park: 389 Lang Street, Haw River, NC 27258

The ruins of old mills create ledges and class 2 rapids that will keep you engaged in this paddle. As you paddle under the towering old textile mills you will feel like you are paddling through the ruins of an old mill town. 

This paddle includes Goat Island. This island is home to many mysteries, half man- half goat monsters, local folklore, and some pretty cool geo-cache opportunities only available by padding! Learn more about the paddle here. 


02) Altamahaw to Shallow Ford Natural Area

Altamahaw River Access
Shallow Ford Stairs to Haw River

Put in: Altamahaw: 2996 North NC Hwy 87, Elon, NC 27244

Take out: Shallow Ford Natural Area: 1955 Gerringer Mill Rd, Elon, NC 27244

This section is full of small class 1-2 rapids. The indicator for enough water to paddle the full segment seems to be making it past the first big rapid. If you get stuck, it may be best to find another paddle route for the day! Ensure that water gauges are appropriate before embarking on this adventure! After your paddle explore the Shallow Ford Natural Area. Primitive Camping is now allowed by reservation at the Shallow Ford Natural area if you are looking to plan a multi-day paddling trip! Visit their site for reservations. Learn more about the paddle here.


The Haw River is green. Click on each number to see details of each paddling segment.


The Haw Complete Paddle Trail Map
Lower Haw River State Natural Area Map & Descriptions




Haw01) Brooks Bridge7403 Brooks Bridge Rd, Gibsonville, NC 2724942.5 HoursIntermediate
Haw02) Altamahaw2996 North NC Hwy 87, Elon, NC 272442.72 HoursAdvanced
Haw03) Shallow Ford Natural Area1955 Gerringer Mill Rd, Elon, NC 272444.22 HoursBeginner
Haw04) Indian Valley930 Indian Valley Dr, Burlington, NC 27217145minBeginner
Haw05) Great Bend Park350 Greenwood Dr, Burlington, NC 27217
Haw06) Glencoe2348 Glencoe St, Burlington, NC 2721753 hoursIntermediate
Haw07) Red Slide Park389 Lang St, Haw River, NC 272583.52 HoursBeginner
Haw08) Graham Paddle Access1124 Cooper Rd, Graham, NC 272532.251.5 HoursBeginner
Haw09) Swepsonville River Park2472 Boywood Rd, Swepsonville, NC 272535.53 HoursBeginner
Haw10) Saxapahaw Lake6096 Jordan Dr, Graham, NC 27253Beginner
 11) Saxapahaw Mill Race Paddle Access6079 Swepsonville-Saxapahaw Road, Graham, NC 272535.52.5 HoursBeginner
Haw12) Union Bridge7525 Greensboro-Chapel Hill Rd, Chapel Hill, NC 27253126 HoursIntermediate
Haw13) Highway 15-501 Paddle Access4495 Highway 15-501, Pittsboro, NC 27312    

For more info on the Lower Haw River accesses Visit: or to view the maps scroll back to “printable blueways guide”


Haw River Canoe & Kayak Company

6079 Swepsonville-Saxapahaw Rd Graham, NC 27253 Rentals: Kayak / Canoe / SUP / Shuttle

GetOutdoors Pedal & Paddle

1515 W Gate City Blvd. Greensboro, NC 27403 336-294-3918 Rent or Purchase: Kayak / SUP


The Haw River Trail provides public access to Alamance County’s most important natural feature. Built on the idea of conservation through recreation, the land and paddle trails allow the community to explore and appreciate its river while helping to conserve and protect this important resource.

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Disclaimer: This information is used entirely at the reader’s discretion and is made available on the expressed condition that no liability, expressed or implied, is accepted by the author or publisher or any of its associates, employees, branches, or subsidiaries for the accuracy, content, or use thereof. River channels are dynamic features and thus change frequently; the boater must be aware that hazards exist and be wary of them. Paddling poses significant potential hazards, including the risk of injury or death, and each person participating in this activity needs to understand the risks involved, obtain the necessary training, and take all the needed precautions. This guide provides general information on the topic of paddling, and by providing this information, we do not assume any liability for its use.