Spring 2020 is for paddling: a guide to kayak & canoe events near Birmingham

Photo courtesy of Auburn University’s Whitewater Kayaking Club

Any paddling enthusiasts out there? This one’s for you. With all the beautiful rivers we have near Birmingham, paddle sports are a go-to for adventurers in our area. Below is a guide to some events coming up this spring!

1) Alabama Cup Racing Series

That looks intense. Photo via the Alabama Cup Races Association on Facebook

The Alabama Cup Racing Series consists of the Locust Fork Race and the Mulberry Fork Canoe & Kayak Races. Featured races include canoe and kayak slalom, boatercross, SUPcross and downriver events. Racers paddle through approximately 25 gates on class II/III rapids, so these are definitely not for beginners.

In addition to the races themselves, there will also be a silent auction, live music and more!

Mulberry Fork Canoe & Kayak Races

When: March 7 & 8, 2020
Where: Near Garden City, Alabama. Location information.
More information.

Locust Fork Race

When: April 4 & 5, 2020
Where: Kings Bend in Cleveland, Alabama off Hwy 231/79. Directions.
More information.

2) Paddling 101

Learn the basics of canoeing and kayaking at Oak Mountain in April. Photo via the Birmingham Canoe Club on Facebook

Not ready for rapids yet? No worries—the Birmingham Canoe Club is hosting a Paddling 101 class at Oak Mountain State Park this spring. The three-hour class introduces students to kayaking and canoeing.

When: April 18, 10AM-1PM
Where: Oak Mountain State Park. 200 Terrace Dr, Pelham, Alabama 35124
Cost: $25
More information.

3) Beginner Whitewater Kayak Class

If you’re ready for whitewater, check out this class also offered by the Birmingham Canoe Club. The Beginner Whitewater Kayak Class includes a session in the classroom and two days on the river. Learn about safety, paddling, equipment and more.

When: May 2, 9AM–May 3, 5PM
Where: Local river TBD
Cost: $100 for club members, $125 for nonmembers
More information.

4) Float the Mostly Lazy River

Photo via the Birmingham Canoe Club on Facebook

No whitewater for this event. Float a local river and spend the day learning how to read it along with safety and trip planning.

When: May 9 from 9AM-4PM
Where: Local river TBD
Cost: $25
More information.

Support Auburn University’s Whitewater Kayaking Club

Photo courtesy of Auburn University’s Whitewater Kayaking Club

The Auburn Whitewater Kayaking Club teaches students and faculty how to whitewater kayak. The club has been chosen for Tiger Giving Day, a 24-hour fundraising event on February 19 that benefits various groups and initiatives on Auburn’s campus.

The Auburn Whitewater Kayaking Club needs support in order to participate in the upcoming Alabama Cup Racing Series and PaddleSouth in Georgia.

“I have personally grown up in the sport competing in these competitions. They have not only given me an opportunity to meet some of the greatest people I have ever met, but it also helps me stay active. If our members had the opportunity to attend these competitions at little to no cost to them, it would really benefit them and the club.”

Caleb Jones, trip planner, Auburn University Whitewater Kayaking Club

Donate here.

What do you think, Birmingham? Do you plan to get out on the water this spring? Let us know @BhamNow!

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Taylor Babington
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