Falls Whitewater Park

Last updated Nov. 04, 2014 - 10:37 am
  • Planning
  • Design
  • Construction
  • Completed
  • Park
  • Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources (Lead)
  • Stewart Engineering
  • McLaughlin Whitewater Engineering

Current Activity

The Raleigh City Council has agreed to consider placing a bond proposal on the ballot this fall for projects recommended in a newly adopted System Plan for the City’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department.

At their June 17 meeting, City Council members will consider a vote on placing a $91.7 million bond proposal on the Nov. 4 ballot. The council will also consider adding Falls Whitewater Park to the list of projects to be funded by the bond proposal.


Stewart Engineering, in conjunction with McLaughlin Whitewater Engineering, has prepared the Feasibility Study for an approximately 600 foot long course beneath the tail race of Falls Lake Dam.

The Feasibility study consisted of 30% construction documents with an estimate of probable cost of $2.8 million dollars. Advising the design team was a 17-person Steering Committee made up of representatives from the paddling community, adjacent homeowners, COR staff, US Army Corps of Engineers, the Neuse River Organization, and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. The study was approved by the Parks, Recreation Greenway Advisory Board on April 28th, 2011. The study was approved by City Council on May 17, 2011.


Project schedule with dates and descriptions
July through October 2010Design Development Stage
May 17, 2011Feasibility Study Approved by City Council


The concept started in 1978 with the construction of the Falls dam. Wake County Staff developed the Falls Lake White Water Study to consider a white water park below the dam. That study found that the tail race was a suitable location for white water canoeing but the concept was not pursued. When the Triangle made a bid for the Pan American games, the original White Water Park plan was revisited with the thought of creating a white water slalom course. When the bid was not successful, the course was never built. In 1996, the City Council adopted the Neuse River Master Recreation plan. In 2003, City of Raleigh citizens approved a park bond referendum which included funding for the design of a white water park in the area.

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