Calling all surfers and paddlers! The Asheville area is getting a world-class whitewater wave and 5 miles of greenway as part of the Woodfin Greenway & Blueway Project. This new recreational attraction in the Town of Woodfin (just 4.2 miles north of Downtown Asheville) is funded by The Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority, through the Tourism Product Development Fund (TPDF). (Feature image is an artist rendering by Equinox)
The world-class manmade whitewater wave will be installed in the riverbed and made from natural rock and concrete. This unique attraction will be located adjacent to the newly expanded Riverside Park and include a viewing pavilion and seating to watch folks surf, kayak, paddle and play on the whitewater wave.
Riverside Park and Whitewater Wave plan. Rendering by Equinox.
Woodfin Greenway and Blueway Project Highlights
- French Broad River and Beaverdam Creek Greenways: 5 miles of the greenway project will be constructed along the French Broad River and a short section of Beaverdam Creek and come out near Merrimon Ave at the base of Reynold Mountains in Woodfin. The French Broad section of the greenway will follow the route of historic Drovers’ Road, which connected east Tennessee to South Carolina. The route will offer new river access sites and connections to Silver-Line Park and Riverside Park.
- Silver-Line Park: This park (1050 Riverside Dr) offers 4.5 acres with river access, walking trails, and a children’s playground. It will also be a connection stop on the historic Craggy Mountain Rail Line. Other amenities include a boat ramp for river access, picnic areas, riverbank restoration, parking, natural and constructed wetlands, and public restrooms.
- Woodfin Riverside Park Expansion: This existing park (1630 Riverside Drive) already includes picnic tables, grills, benches, a kayak/canoe launch, paved walking trails, benches, and bathrooms. The existing 4-acre park was originally built in 1998. As part of the expansion and redesign, the park will double in size past the Craggy Bridge. The construction of the whitewater wave and riverfront park area is anticipated to begin in 2023.
- Woodfin Whitewater Wave: This exciting feature of the Riverside Park Expansion is sure to draw a crowd of whitewater paddling and surfing enthusiasts. The Whitewater Wave will be carefully engineered and similar to that of Camphill Surf Park on the Hawea River in New Zealand (see photo below). The wave will be located adjacent to Riverside park and the new greenway in the Town of Woodfin.
Camphill Surf Park, New Zealand (Photo Credit: S2o Design and Engineering)
TPDF funded the connecting River Arts District Transportation Improvement Project which brought 4 miles of greenway, 2 miles of sidewalks, a protected bike lane, public art, and more to the River Arts District. That project was completed in 2021 and will connect to the new system of greenways in the Woodfin Greenway and Blueway Project. Other TPDF-funded projects include attractions like the WNC Nature Center, Pack Square Park, Asheville Community Theatre, and more.
The project is a collaborative effort from RiverLink, Equinox, and the Town of Woodfin. The entire scope of the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.