The Haw River Trail is the perfect way to explore Alamance County’s most popular river. Visitors can travel the Paddle Trail by canoe or kayak, or walk and hike the scenic Land Trail. Both approaches offer an unforgettable experience.

On the Haw

Named after the Sissipihaw, an indigenous people who once lived along the river, the Haw flows through the heart of Alamance County. For more than a century, the river powered numerous textile mills across the area. Today, the Haw River provides a vital natural resource for Alamance County residents, visitors and wildlife.


Paddlers on the Haw River Trail enjoy picturesque views and an abundance of wildlife, such as bald eagles, river otters and more. You can also discover historic textile mills that still stand on the riverbanks. Many of the former mills, including the Saxapahaw Cotton Mill, have been reimagined as modern riverside communities.


“The northern section of the Haw River offers a quiet, intimate paddle, while the most southern portion of the Haw River offers some of the best whitewater paddling in the Piedmont,” says Guil Johnson, former Haw River Trail Coordinator.


Visitors can walk and hike more than 20 miles of the Land Trail in Alamance County. In addition to Instagram-worthy views, the Land Trail provides a variety of spots to fish and enjoy relaxing picnics.

Glencoe             Saxapahaw Haw Trail Shot

Exploring the Haw from the seat of a kayak or along the 20+ miles of land trail are the best ways to appreciate the river,” Johnson says. “Bring family or friends and visit one of the many Haw River Trail parks, which include playgrounds, wildflower meadows, nature observation platforms, and primitive camping sites along the riverbank. For those who are new to paddling, we offer a list of local river outfitters on our website as well as amenity information for each Haw River Trail park.”


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