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Rocky River (North Carolina)

The Rocky River is a 95-mile-long (153 km)[5] river in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. It begins in Iredell County near Mooresville and flows south into Cabarrus County, where it is the principal waterway in the county. The river continues southeastward to form the line between Stanly, Union, and Anson counties. It empties into the Pee Dee River just below Norwood, North Carolina at the junction of Stanly, Montgomery, Anson, and Richmond counties, at the foot of the Uwharrie Mountains.

Rocky River
Tributary to Pee Dee River
Map of the Pee Dee River watershed showing the Rocky River
Rocky River (North Carolina) is located in North Carolina
Rocky River (North Carolina)
Location of Rocky River mouth
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
Physical characteristics
Sourcedivide between Rocky River and Catawba River
 ⁃ locationMooresville, North Carolina
 ⁃ coordinates35°35′01″N 080°47′15″W / 35.58361°N 80.78750°W / 35.58361; -80.78750[1]
 ⁃ elevation885 ft (270 m)[2]
MouthPee Dee River
 ⁃ location
about 3 miles northeast of Ansonville, North Carolina
 ⁃ coordinates
35°08′36″N 080°04′35″W / 35.14333°N 80.07639°W / 35.14333; -80.07639Coordinates: 35°08′36″N 080°04′35″W / 35.14333°N 80.07639°W / 35.14333; -80.07639[1]
 ⁃ elevation
190 ft (58 m)[1]
Length94.16 mi (151.54 km)[3]
Basin size1,471.3 square miles (3,811 km2)[4]
 ⁃ locationPee Dee River
 ⁃ average1,526.06 cu ft/s (43.213 m3/s) at mouth with Pee Dee River[4]
Basin features
Progressiongenerally southeast
River systemPee Dee River
 ⁃ leftCoddle Creek
Buffalo Creek
Hamby Branch
Dutch Buffalo Creek
Little Meadow Creek
Meadow Creek
Camp Branch
Pumpkin Creek
Rock Hole Creek
Island Creek
Coldwater Branch
Gilberts Creek
Big Bear Creek
Murray Branch
Stillhouse Branch
Spears Branch
Coopers Creek
Jacks Branch
Hardy Creek
Big Cedar Creek
Little Cedar Creek
 ⁃ rightDye Creek
West Branch
Clarke Creek
Mallard Creek
Back Creek
Reedy Creek
Bost Creek
Anderson Creek
Muddy Creek
Goose Creek
Crooked Creek
Reason Branch
Crisco Branch
Cedar Branch
Richardson Creek
Cribs Creek
Lanes Creek
Little Creek
Bowsaw Branch
Camp Branch

Efforts are being made to boost tourism and canoe and kayak recreation along Rocky River "Blueway" [6] as part of the Carolina Thread Trail. [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]

Private, non-profit organizations have developed park lands for improved river access, but some controversy ensued. [17] [18]


  1. ^ a b c "GNIS Detail - Rocky River". US Geological Survey. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  2. ^ "Rocky River Topo Map, Stanly County NC (Mount Gilead West Area)". TopoZone. Locality, LLC. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  3. ^ "ArcGIS Web Application". US EPA. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Rocky River Watershed Report". Waters Geoviewer. US EPA. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  5. ^ "The National Map". U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved Feb 14, 2011.
  6. ^ "Rocky River Blueway". Carolina Thread Trails. Retrieved 2019-03-12.
  7. ^ Record, Anson (2016-06-22). "Anson County tourism boosters tour new kayak and canoe launch at Pee Dee Wildlife Refuge". Anson Record. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  8. ^ "Editorial: Carolina Thread Trail growing Rowan's way - Salisbury Post". Salisbury Post. 2014-12-03. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  9. ^ Kidd, Erin. "Kathy Kitts: Mother, servant, mayor leaves legacy of caring". The Independent Tribune. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  10. ^ "This way, visitors: New signage in Cabarrus guides tourists to attractions". Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  11. ^ Record, Anson (2016-07-14). "Kayak launch opens at Pee Dee Wildlife Refuge". Anson Record. Retrieved 2019-03-12.
  12. ^ Reporters, ActionHub. "Your Guide to Paddling in North Carolina". ActionHub. Retrieved 2019-03-12.
  13. ^, Mark Plemmons. "Whooping crane spotted in Kannapolis". The Independent Tribune. Retrieved 2019-03-12.
  14. ^ "Blueway on the Rocky River in southern Cabarrus could boost county's ecotourism traffic". charlotteobserver. Retrieved 2019-03-12.
  15. ^, Tim Reaves. "Midland officially opens Thread Trail 'blueway' on Rocky River". The Independent Tribune. Retrieved 2019-03-12.
  16. ^ "Ecotourism: Rowin' Down the River | Cabarrus Magazine". Retrieved 2019-03-12.
  17. ^ "Land for first Oakboro park purchased 20 years ago - The Stanly News & Press". The Stanly News & Press. 2018-08-05. Retrieved 2019-03-12.
  18. ^ "Planned Oakboro picnic pavilion sparks parks debate - The Stanly News & Press". The Stanly News & Press. 2018-07-28. Retrieved 2019-03-12.