Gaston County, N.C. – A favorite spot for outdoor enthusiasts, the Spencer Mountain River Access Canoe and Kayak Launch in Spencer Mountain, N.C. will soon get a facelift thanks to a grant provided by The Gaston Community Foundation.
The grant of $15,000 was awarded to the Catawba Lands Conservancy, which owns and maintains the kayak launch, located along the South Fork River. It is one of the most popular of the nine “put-ins” for paddlers along the river, which is also a designated blueway within the Carolina Thread Trail network. Users who access the river from the Spencer Mountain River Access will paddle through some of the most ecologically diverse lands in our region, many of which are permanently protected by the Conservancy.
Since the launch opened 12 years ago, Gaston County has increasingly come to be a premier destination for paddle sports, one of the fastest growing segments of the outdoor recreation industry, according to the Outdoor Industry Association. However, the wooden launch has sustained damage from frequent flooding and is in need of an upgrade. The funding from The Gaston Community Foundation will be used to replace the current launch with a more sustainable and safe metal launch.
“The South Fork River is a wonderful outdoor recreation spot, right in Gaston County residents’ backyard. We are very grateful to The Gaston Community Foundation for helping us improve the launch so it can better serve residents and provide access to the river,” said Bart Landess, Executive Director of Catawba Lands Conservancy.
The Conservancy hopes to have the launch upgrades completed and open for use in the fall of 2021. The current launch will remain open for use during the 2021 season up until construction begins.
*Special note: The Spencer Mountain access is by permit only. Permits are free and can be requested by contacting the Catawba Lands Conservancy. Please allow up to five business days to process your request.
Photo by Nancy Pierce.