Place to rent and paddle

My friend and I have two small children and want to find somewhere we can rent a raft or canoe and paddle around for a few hours. We have rafted slow rivers before, but are truly beginners since we didn’t do any of the actual paddling. And we will now have children with us. Is there anywhere around Birmingham or Huntsville, a lake or river, that has this to offer? I would love my child to see how beautifull the water is to simplly glide around and enjoy nature. Thank you, Lisa

If you love your children…

– Last Updated: Jul-08-07 8:10 PM EST –

Hire a sightseeing boat with a captain..

Your's is a recipe for disaster. Beginners in a strange boat in strange waters with small children.

Birmingham - H’ville takes in a large
area. Try looking at Alabama State Parks. I know Oak Mt S. P below B’ham used to rent canoes. Another thoughts are Guntersville S. P. and Wheeler S. P. Oak Mt. Lake is small and relatively safe. The other two are much larger.

North Alabama Paddling

– Last Updated: Jul-09-07 12:02 PM EST –

For flatwater:

At the Town Creek boat ramp on Highway 227 in Lake Guntersville State Park they offer canoe rentals. Unfortunately, they also offer fishing boat rentals and this is a public ramp used by powerboaters and jetskis alike. The "creek" is quite wide here on the lower end and power boaters move through pretty quickly kicking up some pretty good size wakes. If you can make it 3 or 4 miles up the creek, it narrows and gets shallower either slowing down the boaters or restricting their access completely. You might inquire as to if they will allow you to rent the boats and take them to other parts of the park. The area of South Sauty Creek from the Morgan Cove Ramp (farther up 227 almost to Buck's Pocket State Park) upstream is pretty quiet. Short Creek (back down 227 closer to the town of Guntersville) is busy right around the ramp but there is a large sandbar and an island just over a mile upstream that restricts boater access....the creek also gets dramatically narrower at that point. Of these 3, I think South Sauty would be your best bet as it is the quietest. If the water levels are up a bit you can see some small falls once you dead end a mile or so upstream from the Morgan Cove boat ramp.

For moving water:

I understand there used to be a rental place on the Flint River just east of Huntsville but it closed a few years back when the owner passed away. There are a couple of rental places on the Elk River 45 minutes to an hour north of Huntsville in Tennessee (I think one is in/near Fayetteville). Do a Google search and you should turn them up pretty easily. If you want to go a little farther, check out Terrapin Outdoors on Terrapin Creek near Piedmont, AL east of Gadsden (they may or may nor be running depending on water levels). Again, a Google search should turn up their site. Terrapin Creek qualifies as Class I bordering on Class II whitewater when the water levels are up so use caution. I believe sections of the Elk do's levels are a little more consistent as it is fed by regular releases of water from an upstream dam.

Good luck!

Take a look at this website

The search function allows you to find organizations registered with them, which isn’t everyone, but it’s a good start.

More links
Here’s some of the links I mentioned this morning: