Canoeing and kayaking in Alabama is some of the best in the entire country, for one very simple reason, the waterways.
These waterways offer skill sets different levels of enjoyment, and if this is your sport, you can find anything from flat-water floating trips to some very wild rides.
Canoeing and kayaking in Alabama starts first with the later, and the most challenging runs for this sport are found in the northeastern part of the state.
However, because of the numerous water systems in this historic state, there are also places to go as far south as Wetumpka and Phenix City.
The river systems in the country have been classified with a six-level rating, and this allows paddlers to determine the difficulty of their potential run.
This scale has been changed over the years, and is rated on a class I to IV, and sometimes a V.
Class I is relatively easy with just ripples and small waves, and Class II is medium with waves about three feet.
Class III is moderate to difficult, and contains high and rough waves, with narrow channels and a lot of action.
Class IV is considered extremely difficult, with very powerful currents and requires a lot of skill.
Canoeing and kayaking in Alabama, will start with the Coosa River, which is just below the Jordan Dam in Wetumpka.
It is a favorite for both locals as well as visitors, and it is rated from a Class I to III.
It is known for its beautiful sites that include the renowned Spanish Moss in the area, wild herons, as well as bald eagles on occasion.
The main attraction here is Moccasin Gap, where you will find large rocks and tons of excitement.
However, there is river system that is as tough if not tougher, and it is the Locust Fork of the Black Warrior River.
Located just north of Birmingham, it is rated a Class II and III, and is the annual home to the North American Whitewater Festival.
This event, held in March each year, attracts kayakers not just from the south, but from around the country.
The next popular place is the Little River Canyon, which sets atop the gorgeous Lookout Mountain.
This river is divided into sections, and the upper section is a real challenge even for the most experienced.
It is a Class IV-V, and it called the “Suicide”, and there is also the “Upper Two” and “Chairlift”, which is slightly easier.
The Canoeing and kayaking in Alabama switch now to the Canoeing Trails,
and there are plenty of these much more friendlier trails.
There are two major the Canoeing Trails in this network, and they include the following.
Between these two beautiful trails, there are over 170 miles to explore, and these offer the boater both day and over-night trips.
Traversing the beautiful Mobile-Tensaw Delta, it is considered to be the second largest river delta in the state.
There is nothing like it in the state, as it is a vast wetland that features marsh, swamps, as well as bottomland hardwood forests.
This area covers a whopping 250,000 areas, and in the year 2003, the Alabama State Lands implemented the upper portion of the Bartram Canoe Trail.
It is located in the Bankhead National Forest and is a designated wilderness area.
It is very family friendly, especially for canoeists, and you and your friends can enjoy the rivers, streams, lakes, as well as the bayous located here.
The State Land Division, which maintains and managers it, currently maintains 6 day-use trails, as well as 6 overnight trails.
There are campsites located on these trails, are based on a first come-first served basis.
There are 2 land-based campsites as well as 4 floating platforms, but the floating ones are limited to 8 or less parties.
The major attraction here is Indian Mound Trail, home to over 18 estimated ancient mounds built by the early Native Americans and found at the Bottle Creek archaeological site.
The Canoeing and kayaking in Alabama located at the Bartram Canoe Trail, also includes additional canoe trails for you and your family to take.
Fisher Island Trail starts at Rice Creek by Stockton, Alabama in Baldwin County, and will take you around the Richardson Island trail, as well as access both Tensaw Lake as well as the bayou.
The Spoon Bill Sandbar and Two Rivers Point trail is a 2-day event, and goes down the Alabama River to Little Bear Creek, as well as Stiggins Lake, and the Tensaw River.
Jug Lake Trail goes into Briar Lake, near the east side of Larry Island.
Canal Island Trail is also considered an overnight trail, and begins at the French Lake Coastal Access, and will take you numerous places along the Globe and Big River creeks.
The final stop for Canoeing and kayaking in Alabama is the Perdido Trails, and these are another series of canoe trails along the Perido River in Baldwin County.
It is over 19 miles long with gentle flowing and tannin-stained water over soft white sand.
There are numerous sandbars located there for breaks, with some campsites available by direction of the Alabama Lands Division.
These beautiful trails for either activity is available for you and your family for free, just please preserve the gorgeous landscape and treat it like your own.
More and complete details of the canoe trails are listed in the reference below.
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