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Guided Canoe Trip: Kathy Stiles Freeland Glades Preserve – June 16th


Join us on this trip to Kathy Stiles Freeland Glades Preserve for a particularly scenic and enjoyable float between two nature preserves owned by The Nature Conservancy in Alabama

Our journey will cover the last 5 miles of the Little Cahaba River and about 2.25 miles of the Cahaba River above Pratt’s Ferry. The Little Cahaba Section of the float features relatively easy shoals and a few drops of about 1 ft., along with two islands that will require a little maneuvering around to stay in the main channel. The shoals almost disappear after the confluence with Six Mile Creek and become long shallows that may be difficult to paddle during warmer months due to low water. 

This section of the Little Cahaba River takes you through a region of Alabama that is particularly high in biological diversity. The dolomite glades that pepper the hillsides on either side of the Little Cahaba are home to at least 61 rare plant species, some of which exist nowhere else in the world. The Little Cahaba River is also home to dozens of rare aquatic mussel, snail, and fish species. 

Please enjoy this special place, but help us preserve it by leaving it just as you found it. 

What to Expect

Because of the shoals and drops, this trip is rated as moderately difficult.

We will meet at 8:15 at Amped Fitness (3427 Colonnade Pkwy, Birmingham, AL 35243) at the Colonnade in Birmingham to caravan to the launch site. We will depart for the preserve at 8:30 sharp. Join us if you can, but you may also choose to travel to the preserve on your own. If you don’t want to caravan, please contact Wil Rainer at [email protected] to get the coordinates for the put-in location. 

We will unload our boats and gear when we arrive at the put-in. Everyone who drove will caravan to the takeout and return to the put-in in the minimum possible number of cars. 

Significant portions of the journey will traverse private property, so we will stay on the water in these sections to avoid trespassing. 

When we finish our journey, we will pack up our gear, and everyone with a car at the takeout is welcome to head home. 

We will find a comfortable spot to eat our brown bag lunches on the river.

Guided canoe trips are weather and water-dependent. If there are changes or cancellations, Wil Rainer will contact each guest and let you know the plan.

What to Bring

  • Water (at least 1 liter)
  • Lunch
  • Sunscreen
  • Sun hat
  • Close-toed water shoes. Sandals and flip-flops are not protective enough when walking through the shoals. This site shows some of the shoes our team might be wearing. 
  • Photography equipment (don’t forget we will be on the water)

You are welcome to bring a cooler for your water and lunch, but alcohol is prohibited.

Reserve Your Spot

Space is limited! Click here and fill out the registration form to reserve your spot.

Event Details


  • Name: Wil Rainer, Field Programs Director, Cahaba River Society
  • Phone: (901) 210-7850
  • Email: wilr@cahabariversociety.org