Riverbend Park

Riverbend Park features 690 acres with 1.25-miles of shoreline along the Catawba River, and 19.7 miles of trails. You can experience a variety of wildlife habitats that range from fresh water wetlands to upland forest. Come and experience the beauty and diversity of Catawba County's natural heritage at Riverbend Park.


6700 N NC Hwy 16
Conover, NC 28613
(828) 256-9157

Park Location Map

Get a Georeferenced Trail Map

OPTION 1: Avenza Maps

Follow these steps:

  1. Download the Avenza app from Apple store or Google play store
  2. Click the word "HERE" below
  3. For an iPhone, select the save button and scroll to "more" where you can select Avenza Maps. For Android, choose Avenza to open
  4. Once the Avenza maps opens, the map will appear and be ready for use

Click HERE for downloadable georeferenced trail map for use in the Avenza app

Download Printable PDF Map

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Recreational Opportunities

19.7 miles of trails include a shoreline trail that follows the river under the shade of mature river birches and beech trees. An ADA accessible river observation platform located just off the lower parking lot at the trailhead. Single lane natural trails and wide gravel/grass based trails traverse hardwood forest, grassy meadows, and Loblolly Pine forest. Great diversity in plant and wildlife.

8 miles of mountain biking providing a technical, single lane course for the biking enthusiast.

Most tables are located close to the river. Benches can be found throughout the park to sit. Almost any open spot along the river or in the meadows is perfect to spread out a blanket and enjoy the surroundings. A 20 x 45 open picnic shelter with grills is located near the river (reservations available by calling park office).

The access ramp is a short distance from the lower parking area so you can begin your trip just below the Oxford Dam outlet. The park does not provide canoes or kayaks, so paddlers must bring their own equipment. Please use caution as the hydroelectric dam creates rapid water level changes and strong currents. The nearest public takeout is 10.5 miles downriver at the Lookout Shoals access area. For your safety and paddling enjoyment, please check the Dam Scheduled Flow Releases before making your plans.

Enjoy fishing from the bank of the Catawba River or the 3/4 acre pond at the back of the park. Bass, bream, yellow perch and catfish are the common species. Regulations of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission apply.

A variety of habitats and wildlife can be observed at Riverbend Park. Along the river, you will find wetland habitats home to a variety of birds, reptiles, and mammals. Park visitors quite often see great blue herons, Canada Geese, and Wood Ducks. American Bald Eagles have been spotted on most days at the back of the park near the river. In the upland habitat, whitetail deer, wild turkey, and various other birds and mammals can be found, along with a variety of plant-life. Riverbend Park is mostly hardwood and Loblolly Pine forest. There are grassy meadows and wonderful displays of seasonal wildflowers in bloom.

A 1,000 sq. ft. indoor meeting/facility can be used for your educational programs (reservations needed), or your group could contact the park office for a guided outdoor interpretive tour. The park also sponsors educational events periodically. Watch for them on this website or on Facebook.

A fenced 1-acre dog park will allow your dog to run and play with other dogs without wearing a leash. Leashed dogs are allowed on trails throughout the park.

An orienteering course was created in October 2023. Click HERE to access the map.

Riverbend Park eBird Checklist

See what visitors are saying about Riverbend Park on TripAdvisor.