Catawba River Basin

Annie Harris

Physical Features

The Catawba River is a part of the Wateree River in North Carolina and South Carolina. Total miles of streams and rivers is 9,389 miles. Total acres of lakes is 50,764. There are 64 municipalities within basin and 11 counties. The size is size 3,285 square miles. It has a population of 1,560,563 according to the 2010 census.
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Recreational Points of Interest

The basin contains a large national wilderness area near its headwaters and a major metropolitan area where the Catawba River flows into South Carolina!! Some tourist attractions include the 6,000-foot Grandfather Mountain, the Pisgah National Forest, Linville Falls, parts of the Appalachian Mountains, and Linville Gorge, one of the deepest canyons in the eastern United States.


  • A globally rare dragon fly named Edmund's Snake tail is only found in two locations in the world; upper and lower Wilson Creek.
  • The Linville River is home to the Grandfather Mountain Crayfish which is found nowhere else in the world.
  • The endangered Carolina Heelsplitter is also found in certain parts of the basin.
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Cool Facts

  • The Catawba was named after the tribe that first settled its banks.
  • It is the most populated river basin in eastern North Carolina!
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Environmental Educational Centers

  • Blue Planet Water Environmental Center
  • Carolina Raptor Center
  • Catawba Science Center
  • Central Piedmont Community College,
  • Center for Sustainability
  • Crowders Mountain State Park
  • Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
  • Discovery Place
  • Energy Explorium
  • Grandfather Mountain State Park
  • Grandfather Mountain Stewardship
  • Foundation
  • Lake James State Park
  • Lake Norman State Park
  • Latta Plantation Nature Preserve
  • McDowell Nature Center
  • Mountain Island Educational State Forest
  • The Charlotte Nature Museum
  • Schiele Museum of Natural History
  • and Planetarium
  • South Mountains State Park
  • Tuttle Educational State Forest
  • Wing Haven Garden and Bird Sanctuary
  • YMCA Camp Thunderbird