Sipsey Wilderness - Bankhead

I found several websites on campgrounds in the Sipsey Wilderness but I still need some help with canoe put-ins and campsites. If anyone has paddled and camped here, I would appreciate any info.


Scroll down to see the 8 runs under Sipsey

The pages have put-in and take-out info for most of the runs, but realistically the Sipsey and Brushy runs are probably your best after a heavy rain. The large forest really soaks up the water now that the leaves are on the trees, so everything is very dependent on lots of rain over there.

Did Hubbaard earlier this year and we had to cross a dozen or so logjams and get out in some of the shallow spots (2-4 inches of water).

Better to stick with the lower sections unless you are going with someone who knows the run and the smaller sections can be quite dangerous to go it alone.

I also found one of these

at Mountain High Outfitters at Bridge Street in Huntsville.


Thanks Jim
Have you camped there or just done day trips?

I will definitely pick up one of those maps!

Be careful with the Sipsey Fork
The level can spike very quickly in a hard rain. Drops back down quickly also. I saw it rise about 30’ in 8 hours a couple of years ago.

I wrote one of the trip reports in the places to paddle section of this webpage… and have been on the sipsey many times since… If you have more questions send me an email, i don’t get to check the board much.


Just the one day trip,
but the guys I went with were a wealth of knowledge about the different sections and where the rapids were serious and where the cool side trips were.

I think 95% of their trips to Bankhead are in the early Spring and Winter months.

It’s a beautiful area and the water is truly awesome. I will definitely be back over there next year (hopefully with a lighter boat).


Sipsey outfitters
I live in Chattanooga, but grew up in Athens AL. Canoed Sipsey in the boy scouts over 30 years ago. Are any outfitters available for that area? I downloaded the canoe put-in take out map, but hard to figure out and plan the trip. Any suggestions or material available to plan a trip?



Sipsey Guides
North Alabama Canoe and Kayak (NACK) offers guided trips on the Sipsey: