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?

All trips for 2018 are full! 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. The next schedule is due to be released in early 2019. 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 beginning in 2019:

  • Donation for members: $20
  • Donation for non-members: $40 (includes membership)
  • $10 of the total donation must be paid in a non-refundable deposit at the time of the reservation.

(There is no donation required for children under 12, but everyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.)

Life vests are required for all participants. 

Policies for Educational Outings

You must register by clicking the links above or calling 205-322-5326 between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm for reservations and details about each trip.

  • 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.
  • We request $20 on the day of the trip for each person. There is no charge for children under 12.  However, children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • 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!
  • Participants with their own canoes or kayaks are very welcome to join us, but are still required to make a reservation and pay $10 per person. If you do join our trip, we require you bring and wear your own lifejacket.
  • Novice paddlers are encouraged to attend a training session directed by instructors with the Birmingham Canoe Club. For additional details, see “CLASSES” button at

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.