Sipsey River - Alabama

I am headed to Tuscaloosa this weekend and I would like to canoe/camp the Sipsey at least one night. Can anyone give me some info on where to put in and what stretches are good for camping?



I was just down there flyfishing about 2 weeks ago. Call Brandon at the Riverside Fly Shop up near Smith Dam. He can help you out on where to put in, camp, etc. He also has a great store there near Jasper. Web is

Sipsey Camping
I take it that you are talking about the Sipsey River that runs through Tuscaloosa county not the Sipsey fork in the Bankhead Forrest. Forever Wild has land from Old Hwy.82 downstream for several miles that might be used for camping.

I have always heard how beautiful the Sipsey is so I wanted to check it out while I was in Tuscaloosa. Any outfitters there that might have some info?

Link to photos

I don’t think you will have enough water
for the river section, but if you paddle on the lake you should be OK. The Sipsey watershed runs off very fast, about as fast as any I’ve seen in the Cumberland Plateau. If you check the Sipsey gauge on the USGS site, you want at least 200 cfs for a decent run, maybe more if you’re carrying camping gear. I’ll go check the gauge and get back with a link.

I think he said that he’s talking about the Sipsey River, not the Sipsey Fork.

It’s the Grayson gauge, located on
a paved county hwy. I believe the hwy number is 60, but don’t quote me on it. Here is the gauge link.,00060

The gauge shows under 50 cfs, which is too low.

That county road is the usual put-in for the lower Sipsey. The take out is near a state highway, 33 or something I think. Check

and look in their “guide” section.

Hey Josh
I think that most of the folks recently who have talked about how beautiful the Sipsey is were talking about the Sipsey Fork.

Tuscaloosa Outfitters
There are no outfitters in Tuscaloosa that I know of. Several roads cross the river for good access. We have had plenty of rain latley so you should have plenty of water. Lake Lurleen State Park is close for camping as most land along the river is private. Remember this is a swamp river in Tuscaloosa. Get a good map, GPS and plenty of batteries.

Gage Link,00060

Here is the link for the gage @ Elrod. It’s on the Old Hwy 82 bridge. This is the upstream put-in on the Forever Wild Land. I have ran sections below here with only 5’ on the gage. There are plenty of deadfall and strainers in thes river.

Thanks for trying to clear the confusion
Obviously the gauge I cited below has reference only to the Sipsey Fork up in Bankhead Forest.