6 Fun Adventures You Didn’t Know About in York County, S.C.
From wakeboarding to ziplining to floating a lazy river, York County's recreational offerings can satiate any adventurous spirit.
Think you know about York County, South Carolina? Think again. This hidden gem is only 10 minutes south of Charlotte and is considered to be Charlotte’s Southern neighbor. Comprising of 9 municipalities—Rock Hill, Fort Mill, York, Tega Cay, Clover, Hickory Grove, McConnells, Sharon, and Smyrna (including Lake Wylie)—it is a haven for outdoor adventure and exhilarating experiences.
Instead of double-tapping your phone screen on gorgeous, sunny days, tap into your adventurous side with a day in York County. Whether you love the rush of adrenaline or prefer to be relaxed within nature, York County is full of fun for everyone.
How to Spend a Sunny Day in York County
1. Float the Catawba River
Lazy river enthusiasts, get your floats ready. Head down to the edge of Tega Cay and Fort Mill, and bring a group of like-minded friends or family. Let the Catawba River’s gentle current push you downstream on your float—locals love this relaxing way to cool off during hot summer days. Expect it to take a few hours to get from the launch site, the Lake Wylie Dam, to Riverwalk (1000 Riverwalk Parkway, Rock Hill). It’s a three-and-a-half-mile-long stretch that encounters two Class I rapids (don’t worry, they’re small). If you’re hungry, you can, conveniently, end your tubing journey at The Pump House. Oh, and did we mention floating is free?
Pro Tip: Bring a separate float for the cooler, sunscreen, et al, and don’t forget to link up via rope so your group stays together!
2. Go horseback riding along Anne Springs Close Greenway
Breathe in the fresh air from the Anne Springs Close Greenway’s sprawling 2,100 acres of pristine land. You’ll encounter spacious forests, rambling terrain, shimmering lakes, and rolling pastures in this beautiful, pastoral environment, along with the 28-acre Lake Haigler. There are plenty of ways to enjoy this natural oasis—embark along 36 miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails using your transportation method of choice. Admission is $2 for hiking, $3 for mountain biking, and $12 for horseback riding. The greenway is open from 7 a.m. to sunset, depending on the weather. Call 803-548-7252 for more information.
Pro Tip: Yes, you can bring your dog, but Fido must be on a leash at all times. You can also buy your pup a membership to the Mary Warner Mack Dog Park on-site.
3. Hit the wakeboard park
Are water sports more your speed? You don’t need to be a pro to hit the SouthTown Wake Park in Rock Hill (255 East Rambo Road). This cable park is for amateur and seasoned riders alike to try new things and feel the rush. The wake park is a brand-new and lesser-known attraction for now, so try your skills before the rest of Charlotte finds out.
Pro Tip: For lower-risk fun, the newly-opened Union Aqua Park (an inflatable obstacle course) is sure to make you feel like a kid again.
4. Bike five different ways
Cyclists of all kinds will find a slice of nirvana at the Rock Hill Outdoor Center at Riverwalk, where five disciplines of biking are practiced in one location. Whether your bike sport of choice is BMX Supercross, track cycling, mountain biking, cyclocross, or criterium, you can get your thrill on in Rock Hill.
Pro Tip: The Rock Hill BMX Supercross Track also offers instructional programs, open track sessions, and a pump track.
5. Soar above the Catawba River
No need to jet off to the Caribbean if you’re craving a little island life—Camp Canaan Island is a semi-secret spot in the Catawba River many people don’t know about! This 100-acre island offers plenty of adventure for both thrill-seekers and tree-huggers. If you’re looking to be above the action, take the three-hour Canaan Zipline Canopy Tour to zip across the Catawba River on nine ziplines, peering at kayakers below and native wildlife around you.
Pro Tip: You need a reservation for the various Camp Canaan Island tours and adventures; book at least two weeks in advance.
6. Fish and hike Kings Mountain
Local fishermen looking to change up the scenery will find the perfect place to cast their lines within Kings Mountain State Park. For a small $2 admission fee, this 6,883-acre retreat features two lakes and several streams for fishing, plus almost 35 miles of hiking trails. You can make a whole weekend out of it, too—there are 115 campsites with individual water and electrical hookups, along with 10 tent sites to lay your head (and your fishing rod). For bigger groups, Camps Cherokee and York feature rustic cabins, a dining hall, and bathhouses.
Pro Tip: Check the calendar—during Daylight Savings, the Park is open longer, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Ready to adventure out of North Carolina and into the natural wonders of York County, South Carolina? Click here to learn more about visiting York County.