The R.Y. McAden Canoe and Kayak Launch officially opened to the public after a dedication ceremony Friday.
The Charlotte-based Catawba Lands Conservancy and Carolina Thread Trail staff held a ribbon-cutting at the launch along the South Fork River in McAdenville. The structure, just south of Interstate 85, replaces the old takeout just north of the McAdenville Dam and is one of five access points for paddle recreation on the South Fork River in Gaston County.
The 8.4-mile South Fork River Blueway starts at Spencer Mountain and flows to Cramerton. The access area for the R.Y. McAden Launch also features the South Fork Trail, a 2.1 mile natural-surface trail, which weaves through portions of the 95-acre Pharr Yarns Preserve permanently protected by the Catawba Lands Conservancy.
Funding for the new launch came from the W. Duke Kimbrell Family Foundation, Pamela K. Warlick Fund, McAdenville Women’s Club and the Community Foundation of Gaston County. The land for the access area was made available by Pharr Yarns LLC.