I've got a week off early next month and hoped to incorporate at least a couple of paddling outings in with visiting some friends and relatives in North Alabama. I had contacted The Terrapin Outdoor Center on Terrapin Creek near Piedmont and they said they weren't sure if they would be running any trips that early as it may still be too cool. I thought I may also check out the Flint River near Huntsville...I have the name of an outfitter there but haven't called yet to see if they are going to be running that week. Does anyone have any other recommendations (rivers/outfitters) if these other two don't pan out? I'm normally a coastal/slow river paddler so anything more than Class I or maybe II is a little out of my comfort zone. Thanks!
Look around for Redmond on this site - he’s up (I live mid-state Alabama - it’s UP!) that way. He might be able to help.
The Coosa starts running (Class I-III - sorta) around that time of year and Coosa Outdoor Center opens the weekend the river starts running (should be March 31) - they are just north of Montgomery (a fairly long drive from Huntsville). Phone is (334)272-0952 (Southern Trails - they have the info.
The Flint River Canoe Rentals is out of business. The guy that ran it died and no one has continued it. There’s nothing here in North Alabama that I know of. Now, a little ways north there’s the Elk River (in Tennessee) which has Elk River Canoe Rentals http://www.elkrivercanoes.com/. They’re a pretty good group.
Thanks for the info on Flint River...I was going to try to call them sometime today but now I guess I try the Elk River outfit instead. I can't believe there aren't more outfitters in that part of the state with all of the water and great scenery. Heck, even down here in Southern Mississippi there are 5 or 6 outfitters...1 or more that service every major stream. Perhaps I've discovered a niche for a nice retirement job (in 15 or 20 years)!
I will actually be going right through the Montgomery area on my way up and back to North Alabama so the thought occurred to me that I might leave a day early or detour through Wetumpka and at least see the facilities on the Coosa if not squeeze in a trip.
when you come up
try http://www.alabamawhitewater.com/ there might be somebody there that can help.Don’t let the name fool you there are alot of people that will help you on class I or II runs. Alabama small boats outside Birmingham rents boats.as far as running the Coosa in Wetumpka the outfitter is located in a old house on the river. they rent boats and do shuttles thats it.nothing to look at as far as store wise,but they are real nice people I use them for shuttles when I make that run($8 a boat for shuttle) The run is about 7 miles and can be run anytime.I hope you have fun.
Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge
Near Decatur. Not an outfitter, but an area.
North of Birmingham, just off 65 is Werner’s. I can’t remember the exit number, but they have lots of stuff. I think they are in Gadsden.
sipsey in the Bankhead forest
is great, i’m planning a trip there this weekend (hiking). My home river is the Buttahatchee near Hamilton, AL… there’s also Blackwater in north Jasper area, which pushes class 3 when the water is up.
Check out alabamawhitewater.com, there are run discriptions arranged by rapid class, and the region of the state where they are located. Shoot me an email if you need further info, I don’t come here very often, but am over at AWW more.