: This area is home to one of the largest populations of rocky shoals spider lilies in the world.
This large plant has adapted to live in a very harsh environment and puts on one of the greatest natural “shows” on the east coast. During their peak bloom from about mid-May to mid-June, these plants cover the river in a blanket of white.
Another significant feature are the rapids of the Catawba River. Exposed bedrock and an elevation change created a set of rapids or shoals on the Catawba. This created the need for the Lands Ford canal. This part of the river is fun for canoeing or kayaking but difficult to cross. These rapids are usually class I or II, but can become class III with the right amount of water flow.
The park is also home to the well-preserved remains of the canal system that made the river commercially navigable from 1820 to 1835. Locks, a mill site and the lockkeeper's home are among the numerous intact structures from that era.
: A resident nesting pair of bald eagles can be viewed from the park trails from late Feb. to early June.
: One of the largest populations in the world of rocky shoals spider lilies can be found in the Catawba River. These flowers are viewable 3/4 of a mile down the hiking trail, during park hours from mid-May to mid-June, which is peak viewing season.
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