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Overnight Guided Canoe Trip: Perry County – October 19th and 20th


This 12-mile guided canoe trip covers a stretch of the river as scenic and remote as any of Alabama’s wilderness areas. The riparian forest is beautiful and home to some spectacular wildlife.

The Cahaba River changes south of Centreville as it enters the Mississippi Embayment. The Mississippi Embayment resulted when melting ice caps in the late Cretaceous period created a shallow sea covering much of the southeastern US. As these waters receded, they left behind sandy soils that were prone to erosion. The edge of this 65 million-year-old sea is called the “Fall Line” in Alabama. It is the boundary between the harder rocks of the Appalachian Highlands and the softer soils of the Coastal Plain. As the Cahaba River reaches these soft soils in the Coastal Plain, it stretches out and meanders across the landscape, creating one of the most beautiful stretches on the river.

We will camp on Barton’s Beach, a large sandy beach in Perry County owned by The Nature Conservancy of Alabama. We will have the option for an easy night or morning hike into Perry Lakes Park, a county park adjacent to Barton’s Beach.

What to Expect

We will meet on Saturday, October 19th at 8:15 am 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 Perry County 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.

Before we set off down the river, we will set a shuttle to ensure that as many cars as possible are at the take out. That way, you can begin your drive home as soon as we’re off the water. Trip leaders will provide more guidance for this process on the day of the trip.

There is plenty of room for tents at Barton’s Beach, but hammock sites are very limited. Bring some good walking shoes if you’d like to participate in the hike. Participants are responsible for providing their own camping gear, water supply, and meal prep. This includes lunch and dinner for Saturday and breakfast for Sunday. We are generally off the water by lunchtime on Sunday, though you might want to bring a snack.

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

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

Cahaba River Society provides canoes, paddles, and personal flotation devices. Participants are responsible for everything else.

  • Water (at least 1 liter)
  • Camping gear (e.g., tent, sleeping bag, etc.)
  • All Meals: Saturday lunch, Saturday dinner, Sunday breakfast, Sunday snack/light lunch
  • Sunscreen
  • Sun hat
  • Wil Rainer will communicate about camping gear.
  • 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.
  • Walking shoes for an optional easy hike
  • Photography equipment (don’t forget we will be on the water)

You are welcome to bring a cooler, 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