Rocky Shoals Spider Lily

Landsford Canal State Park is home to the world’s largest population of Rocky Shoals Spider Lilies. These beautiful flowers bloom each year along the Catawba River and can be viewed from the park from May through mid-June. A 1.5-mile, round trip hike down the Canal Trail takes you to an overlook where the spider lilies can be best viewed.

Lilyfest was held on Sunday, May 20, 2018.  

Check back each week during lily season for a Lily Watch Update and information on when you can expect peak lily viewing at Landsford.  Also, take a look at our video that tells you more about the Rocky Shoals Spider Lilies.

Lily Watch Update

June 20, 2018

The river levels started to stabilize over Father's Day weekend and should be near normal for the next few weeks. The month of high water did take its toll on the spider lilies. They are around 20-30% in bloom and very scattered. Unfortunately, we do not expect any recovery above this level of bloom for this year. They are hardy plants and should be back to normal next year. Thank you for all your inquiries.

June 10, 2018

The river levels are beginning to drop, but we are not at recreational levels yet. It should be in the 2-3 times higher than normal range. This level may be suitable to very experienced paddlers but not beginners or first time on this section. Please use caution. The lilies have taken a lot of damage to the flowering stalks and are only displaying scattered blooms at this time. We do not expect a peak this year due to the water levels, but there will still be some blooms for the next few weeks.

May 30, 2018

Duke Energy had all intentions of trying to return to recreational flow releases this weekend starting June 1. Unfortunately, areas in the mountains have received 7+ inches of rain and three upstream lakes are overflowing. This has changed their operation again which means we will continue to see high water at Landsford until upstream lakes get back to target levels. At this time we are about 3-4 times higher than normal. This may change as they work through this rain event. Please check our frequently asked questions page to find the links to the river gauges. Anything over 4000cfs is dangerous for beginners, over 6000cfs and you loose safe places in the river to stop and get water out of your boats. Please be safe.

May 25, 2018

Duke Energy has confirmed that they will be running high water through Memorial Day and potentially beyond. The water is unsafe for recreational paddling and most of the lilies will be under water until the flow recedes. We will post further updates as we receive them.  Please be safe around the river.

May 22, 2018

The recent rains in the North Carolina mountains are still being managed downstream. At this time, the river is near 12,000 cfs (6-7 times higher and faster than normal). This will make boating by anyone without significant whitewater skills and equipment very dangerous. With the high water, most of the lilies can not be seen. They should be about 50-60% full bloom, but we will not be able to confirm until after the river recedes.  After discussions with Duke Energy, we know the river will remain high the week of May 21-25, and if heavy rains happen during that time it will continue through the holiday weekend. We will post another update as soon as the river returns to normal water levels.

May 16, 2018

As of today, the lilies are starting to show their color.  While we may be between 20-30% they are noticeably increasing daily. Expect them to be near peak sometime next week and continuing through mid-June.

May 14, 2018

The lilies are about 10-15% as of May 14th. Their numbers will be increasing daily and should be at full peak in a week to 10 days. After that, the lilies should look good until mid June. Don’t forget Lily Fest is this Sunday, May 20 from noon until 5 p.m.

May 8, 2018

We are starting to get our first blooms on the river today. We are less than 5% now but will increase daily. Peak bloom should still be mid-May through mid-June. We will continue to observe and post until we are up to full bloom. Enjoy!

May 4, 2018

As of today, the Catawba is getting back to normal water levels. Currently, there are no blooms, but we should start to see a few blooms soon. Boating is available at this time, but remember weather can affect this, so always check our frequently asked question section for links to the river gauges.

April 30, 2018

The spider lilies have been under high water for the last six days and the Catawba River continues to run at dangerous, elevated levels. Typically we should be seeing our first early blooms by now. These should increase in numbers to what we call peak around mid-May and continue through mid-June. When the river returns to normal levels we will post weekly updates on the flower numbers up to 100% (peak bloom). Boaters, please be aware of the river levels before you decide to paddle. Normal water levels should be between 1800 cfs and 4000 cfs. Visit our “frequently asked questions” page to get more information river levels and boating on the Catawba.

More Information

Hours of operation: daylight until dark, daily.

Admission: $5 adults; $3.25 SC seniors (age 65 & older); $3 child age 6-15; Free for children 5 and younger.

Remember, you can buy your park passport at the park for unlimited admission during lily season and special savings!  Contact the park for more information.