5 spring kayaking adventures in and around Birmingham

kayak feature
Photo by Keith Bozeman, Kayak at sunset at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge near Decatur, Alabama. Courtesy of the Alabama Department of Natural Resources and Conservation

The weather is heating up, which means it’s time for outdoor adventures. We’ve previously told you why Birmingham is a paddler’s paradise, and now we’re back to let you know how you can get in on it.

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Luckily, the paradise we’re referring to doesn’t call for an expensive plane ticket. All you need is a kayak, a paddle, the proper protective gear, and this guide featuring kayaking adventures for people of all ages and skill levels.

1. Treeline Expeditions Afterschool Paddling

Kids Kayaking
These kids are loving Afterschool Treeline Paddling. Photo via Treeline Expeditions LLC on Facebook

Let’s start off with something for the mini paddlers. Treeline Expeditions provide outdoor expeditions for all ages including backpacking, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, etc. One of their most popular programs is the Homewood Afterschool Paddling on the Cahaba River.

  • Ages: 7-11
  • Pricing: $40 for one afternoon OR $140 for all afterschool paddling days for the month
  • Time Slot: 3:30-6pm (6pm pickup at Mountain Brook Elementary)
  • Transportation: Pricing Includes Transportation. They service Mountain Brook, Vestavia, and Homewood area schools
  • What’s Included? In addition to transportation, guide services and instruction, boat, paddle, and a personal flotation device are also included in pricing

2. No Worries Kayak Rentals

kayaking
Beautiful day on the water. Photo via the Birmingham Canoe Club on Facebook

No Worries Kayak Rental literally makes it so that you have no worries when preparing for your outing. They provide you with everything you need including the kayak, paddle, life jackets; and even a mount for your Go Pro so you can capture every moment.

  • Location: Terrapin Creek
  • Pricing: Kayak $30, Double Kayak $50, Canoe $50
  • COVID-19 Precautions: Boat, paddle, and life vest sanitation is a priority. Minimal-contact and no-contact payment options are encouraged. Social distancing is encouraged.

3. Cahaba Full Moon Paddle

Cahaba Moon
Beautiful shot from a full moon paddle. Photo via Treeline Expeditions LLC on Facebook

Looking to avoid the day time heat? Treeline Expeditions also has a scenic night cruise. On this particular expedition, the moonlight serves as the guide as you paddle down the Cahaba River. This expedition is open to all ages; however, there is a maximum of six paddlers per kayak.

  • Arrival Time: 7:30pm
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Price: $35 per person

4. Coosa River Kayaking

girls kayaking
Cruising down the Coosa River with a smile. Photo via Treeline Expeditions LLC on Facebook

In this outing, you’ll be able to cruise down the Coosa River. This is one of Treeline Expedition’s more popular adventures because they are the only group that actually guides you down the Coosa in Wetumpka. Lunch on the river, and transportation from Birmingham and back are also included!

  • Age Requirements: All ages
  • Duration: 9hrs
  • Pricing: $80 per person
  • What’s Included: Transportation to and from Wetumpka, boat, paddle, personal flotation device, guide service/instruction, lunch

5. Flip Side Water Sports

Birmingham, Oak Mountain State Park
Your paddling adventure awaits. Photo via Oak Mountain State Park

Flip Side Water Sports is located inside of Oak Mountain State Park. Unfortunately, Flip Side suffered a direct hit from the EF3 Tornado that hit Birmingham on 3/25/21. They are currently closed until the damage is repaired; however, we still felt it was important to highlight them.

  • Keep up with their repair progress and reopening updates on their socials Facebook | Instagram.

Proper Preparation is Key

Yak Shak
Getting prepared for a day out on the water. Photo via The Yak Shak

Before beginning your kayaking expedition, it’s important to make sure you’re fully prepared. This includes having the right equipment. Stores like The Yak Shak have everything you need for your paddling adventure. In addition, The Yak Shak offers year-round rentals where you can rent as long as you would like, and two-thirds of the rental totals will go towards the purchase of a kayak if you decide to buy one later on.

Jessica Ray, co-owner of The Yak Shak, gave us some suggestions on what gear is beneficial for your paddling adventure. “Besides bringing the must-haves like your personal flotation device and your paddle, we recommend taking a whistle, a dry bag with a change of clothes, and a cooler with some water to stay hydrated.”

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