Guided Float Trips

 

Cahaba River Society offers guided float trips on the Cahaba River. We can supply canoes, paddles, life jackets, and a naturalist with the expertise to allow you a unique, up-close experience with the Cahaba River.

When are the trips?

Click here to see a schedule of upcoming guided canoe trips.

These special outings are in high demand and reservations book quickly. 

The best ways to increase your chances of getting a reservation are to become a member and attend the Cahaba River Society annual meeting.

A schedule of pre-planned trips is released at the Cahaba River Society’s annual meeting, which is held during the last week of January or first week of February. If you would like to request a trip in the interim, contact our office at 205-322-5326 or email [email protected]

How much does it cost?

We request a donation for each person over the age of 12 for the use of our boats and equipment and to cover staff time.

Requested Donation Levels:

    • Donation for members: $20*
    • Donation for non-members: $40 (includes membership)*
    • Children under 12: No charge, but everyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

*Donation must be made at the time of reservation either online or over the phone.

Life vests are required for all participants. 

Policies for Educational Outings

    • You must request a reservation by clicking the links above or calling 205-322-5326 between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. Space on trips is given on a first-come, first-serve basis.
    • Once a trip is full, you may request to be added to a wait list and notified of cancellations.
    • If you make a reservation and then discover you cannot attend, please let us know so we may offer the canoe to someone on our waiting list.
    • Participants are required to follow the trip leader’s guidance regarding safety and behavior, including always wearing shoes and always wearing a life jacket (provided) when you are in a canoe and no alcohol use during the outing.
    • Please be on time for departure.
    • You should bring your own lunch. Remember that being outside in hot weather will require much more water than usual to keep you hydrated.
    • HATS and SUNSCREEN will save you great discomfort!
    • Novice paddlers are encouraged to attend a training session directed by instructors with the Birmingham Canoe Club. For additional details, see “CLASSES” button at www.birminghamcanoeclub.org.

What are the trips like?

The Cahaba River offers a variety of paddling experiences. Read about some of the different types of Cahaba River trips below.

Oxbow Trip

Meandering southern rivers occasionally create unique natural lakes known as oxbow lakes. Perry county now has a beautiful park featuring an oxbow that was created by the Cahaba River. This oxbow has gorgeous tupelo and cypress trees dripping with Spanish moss. We should see Prothonatary warblers as well as many other spring migrant bird species. We usually walk out to The Nature Conservancy’s “Barton’s Beach” too.

Lily Trips

You will see the beautiful Cahaba lilies first hand in their natural setting. These are rigorous outings that require wading and dragging a canoe over shallow rocky shoals. When very low water conditions occur, we alter the trip so we still see the lilies and enjoy the river, but we avoid a difficult hike down the riverbed. These are our most popular outings, so call soon to reserve your canoe.

Day Trips

Day trips are all-day adventures to a seldom seen stretch of the Cahaba River. There will be ample opportunities to stop, explore, and see the sights. Staff will point out wildlife, seine for fish, and discuss the natural history of wildlife and southern rivers when the critters present themselves. It is not unusual for us to spot resident Bald eagles on these trips.

Moonlight Trips

A moonlit evening on the Cahaba is a delightful, unique, and relaxing way to enjoy a flatwater portion of the Cahaba. We usually hear a variety of wildlife, and often see hundreds of glowworms. These outings begin at dusk at the old Highway 280 bridge. We paddle about two hours in the 280 pool and then return to the same place we put in.

Overnight Trip

One of the very best ways to get a feel for the nature of the Cahaba River is to spend a couple of days and a night camping on the river. The first day is much like the Day Trips described above. But instead of crawling out of the river at the end of the day, we find a sand bar, pitch tents, cook a meal, and spend the night by a campfire. Soaking up an entirely different kind of experience on the river is great fun. You must provide your own camping gear and food.