Clinics

Each Friday evening at River Jam, the U.S. National Whitewater Center offers beginners and experts alike the chance to learn more about the outdoors through Clinics. Covering a variety of topics including mountain biking, backcountry camping, reading whitewater, native wildlife, and more, guests at each free clinic will receive the skills and insight to take on their next outdoor adventure. Each clinic will begin at 6:30pm and last an hour. Afterwards, stick around for live music, craft beer, and more at River Jam.

Upcoming

Intro to Map and Compass Navigation

May 24

Pick up a map and compass and learn the ins and outs of wayfinding. This clinic teaches the basics of orienteering including how to read map features and compasses, recognizing symbols and how to effectively use both for navigation.

Meet at the Adventure Pavilion at 6:15.

Group Paddle on the Catawba

May 31

Explore the Catawba River with a flatwater guide in a group setting. Bring your own boat/board or rent one. 

Meet at the Kayak Center at 6:15.

 

Mountain Bike Fundamentals Group Ride

June 7

Combining education and activity, this clinic provides a 20-minute instructional line choice session before heading out on a beginner friendly group ride. Participants are welcome to bring their own mountain bike or rent one from the Trail Center. Helmet, closed-toed shoes, and basic knowledge on how to ride a bike are required.

Meet at Group Check-in at 6:15.

Native Snakes of NC

June 14

Learn about the native snakes of North Carolina, their adaptations, and why snakes are essential to the food chain. The program includes a live snake demonstration and is suitable for all ages.  

Meet at the Adventure Pavilion at 6:15.

Grand Canyon Trip Tips

June 21

Hear from kayakers who have paddled the canyon on how to plan your trip, train, prepare, and handle all the unexpected surprises along the way. 

Meet at the Adventure Pavilion at 6:15.

Bike Mechanics 101

June 28

If you’ve just started riding, this workshop will give you the hands-on experience and necessary skills to perform basic bike maintenance on the trail. 

Meet at the Adventure Pavilion at 6:15.

Mountain Bike Fundamentals Group Ride

July 5

Combining education and activity, this clinic provides a 20-minute session on braking and riding positions before heading out on a beginner friendly group ride. Participants are welcome to bring their own mountain bike or rent one from the USNWC Trail Center. Helmet, closed-toed shoes, and basic knowledge on how to ride a bike are required.

Meet at Group Check-in at 6:15.

Wilderness Survival 101

July 12

This clinic provides an overview of the seven priorities of backcountry survival. From fire craft to shelter building, this clinic will help equip you for your next wilderness adventure.  

Meet at the Adventure Pavilion at 6:15.

Bike Mechanics 202

July 19

For experienced riders, this workshop will offer hands-on experience and necessary skills to perform higher levels of bike maintenance on the trail.   

Meet at Group Check-in at 6:15.

Day Hiking in NC

July 26

Learn in-depth information about local hikes in the Blue Ridge, how to plan and pack, and which guidebook might be best for your adventure.  

Meet at the Adventure Pavilion at 6:15.

Mountain Bike Fundamentals Group Ride

August 2

Combining education and activity, this clinic provides a 20-minute session on cornering before heading out on a beginner friendly group ride. Participants are welcome to bring their own mountain bike or rent one from the USNWC Trail Center. Helmet, closed-toed shoes, and basic knowledge on how to ride a bike are required.

Meet at Group Check-in at 6:15.

Acro Yoga and Handstands

August 9

Practice handstands and inversions in this acro yoga / handstand fusion class. 

Meet at the Deep Water Solo Lawn at 6:15.

 

Backpacking 101

August 16

Intro to backpacking will touch on essential knowledge and tips before embarking on a backpacking trip. Learn about clothing and gear needs, how to find a backpack that is fitted properly, and footwear essentials. 

Meet at Group Check-in at 6:15.

 

Throw Bag Practice

August 23

This clinic geared towards whitewater paddlers provides basic techniques and variations for throwing a throw bag before practicing with a group.   

Meet at the Kayak Center at 6:15.

 

Intro to Trail Running

August 30

Intro to Trail Running covers the proper techniques for the trail running posture, cadence, foot strike, training plans, clothing, and footwear. Instruction will be followed by an optional no-drop run (15-20 minutes) where you can put these new skills to the test on the Whitewater Center’s trail system.  

Meet at Group Check-in at 6:15.

 

Mountain Bike Fundamentals Group Ride

September 6

Combining education and activity, this clinic provides a 20-minute session on ascending and descending before heading out on a beginner friendly group ride. Participants are welcome to bring their own mountain bike or rent one from the USNWC Trail Center. Helmet, closed-toed shoes, and basic knowledge on how to ride a bike are required.

Meet at Group Check-in at 6:15.

Prevent Whitewater Shoulder Injury

September 13

Hear from Liz Koch, a local Physical Therapist and paddler as she demonstrates various exercises that can help prevent shoulder injuries from paddling.  

Meet at the Adventure Pavilion at 6:15.

Intro to the Trail System

September 20

For trail beginners and Whitewater newcomers, learn how to read the Whitewater Center’s trail map, understand difficulty ratings, and review trail etiquette before embarking on a group hike.  

Meet at Group Check-in at 6:15.

Intro to Whitewater SUP

September 27

This introductory clinic goes into the gear and basic techniques needed for negotiating whitewater rapids on a stand-up paddleboard. This clinic is limited to eight people and is filled on a first come, first serve basis.  

Meet at the Kayak Center at 6:15.

Completed

Mountain Bike Fundamentals Group Ride

May 3

Combining education and activity, this clinic provides a 20-minute session on trail etiquette and the USNWC Trail System before heading out on a beginner friendly group ride. Participants are welcome to bring their own mountain bike or rent one from the USNWC Trail Center. Helmet, closed-toed shoes, and basic knowledge on how to ride a bike are required.

Meet at Group Check-in at 6:15.

Tree Identification 101

May 10

Learn how to identify local trees using bark, leaves, and more, then take a short group hike to test your new skills. 

Meet at the Adventure Pavilion at 6:15.

Climbing Gear 101

May 17

Review the types of gear associated with different styles of climbing such as trad and sport, and learn how to assess fit for harnesses and shoes. 

Meet at the Adventure Pavilion at 6:15.