In Alabama, we are fortunate to have some of the best waterways and lakes for paddling in the entire country. There are over 5,300 miles of mapped, paddleable water in the state -- the most of any state!
One way to get out and log some quality 100 Alabama Miles Challenge miles is by grabbing a boat and hitting the water. Here are three scenic day paddles that will give you a great workout while seeing all that makes Alabama so beautiful.
Located in Prattville, Autauga Creek is the ideal day paddle for all levels of water enthusiasts. With some quick water and shade from overhanging trees, paddlers can have a great day in a kayak, canoe, or tube. Paddlers can easily do a 4-mile section in a few hours and spend the afternoon visiting the shops and restaurants in downtown Prattville. Outfitters will even supply you with a boat if you don’t have one for this day of fun. Check out the Alabama Scenic River Trail for more information.
If you’re looking for a little bit more of a challenge, check out Terrapin Creek in the eastern section of the state. With its quick current and whitewater, Terrapin Creek promises to provide a day paddle with a splash of adventure. When the water is running high, one option is to put in at the County Road 49 bridge in Borden Springs and take out at Chief Ladiga Trail Campground. This will provide several hours of activity on the water, and like Autauga Creek, there are several outfitters that can set you up with a boat and other needs. Just make sure you take out at the Chief Ladiga Trail campground or you’ll quickly find yourself in Class III whitewater!
Cahaba River Park
One of the newest spots to paddle is Cahaba River Park in Shelby County. The park, which is part of the Cahaba Blueway, was recently completed and features several put-in and takeout spots along the Cahaba River. When the flow is good, you can paddle several miles from the eastern to western side of the park. You’ll pass through beautiful pine forest and tall bluffs. What also makes this destination so great is that after paddling, you can take advantage of the 17 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and trail running. What better way to log many different types of miles all in one location!
Greg Wingo is the manager of the 100 Alabama Miles Challenge Ambassador Program and owner of ROAM Projects, an outdoor recreation consulting company.