How to plan the perfect kayaking adventure in Birmingham


Canoeing at Oak Mountain State Park. Photo via Oak Mountain State Park on Facebook

Summer is here and there’s no better time than now to break out the canoes, kayaks, inner tubes + more and hit the water! Whether you’re new to the game or a seasoned paddler, Birmingham has multiple rivers & lakes that are perfect for a paddler of any skill level. Here’s everything you need to get started.

Gear Up With The Yak Shak

The Yak Shak
Kayaks on display at The Yak Shak. Photo via The Yak Shak on Facebook

Before you hit the water, you’ll want to make sure you have the proper gear. Luckily, The Yak Shak has everything a budding outdoor enthusiast needs to thrive. Located in Pelham, The Yak Shak carries kayaks & kayak accessories, life jackets and other safety apparel, fishing tackle and much more. And if you don’t have anywhere to store a kayak year-round, you can always rent from The Yak Shak when you’re ready to hit the water!

Find a Place to Paddle

Did you know that Alabama is a paddler’s paradise? In fact, Alabama is home to the world’s longest paddle race, the Great Alabama 650! But before you set sail on a 650-mile journey, spend some time getting to know the lakes & rivers near Birmingham—here are a few suggestions!

1. Oak Mountain State Park

Canoes and paddleboats ready for action in Oak Mountain State Park’s marina. Photo via Oak Mountain State Park on Facebook
  • Address: 200 Terrace Dr, Pelham, AL 35124
  • Open: 7AM-7PM, year-round

As the largest park in Alabama (clocking in at 9,940 acres), the lakes at Oak Mountain State Park are fan favorites among local paddlers. At Oak Mountain, you’ll find three paddle-able lakes: Double Oak, Lunker and Oak Mountain Lakes. As Oak Mountain’s primary recreational lake, Double Oak offers a beach, marina with docks & boat rentals and tons of fishing opportunities. Lunker and Oak Mountain Lakes are smaller and quieter—perfect for floating around on a lazy afternoon!

If you’re looking to fish, Oak Mountain State Park keeps their lakes stocked with largemouth bass, bream, catfish and crappie. If not, you can still have a great time exploring the hidden coves throughout the lake!

P.S: The Yak Shak is a quick, 15-minute drive away from Oak Mountain State Park.

Click here to learn more about the lakes at Oak Mountain State Park!

2. Logan Martin

Birmingham, Logan Martin Lake, lakes
Logan Martin Lake. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now
  • Address: Logan Martin Dam Road, Alpine, AL 35014
  • Open: 6AM to 7PM

Next on our list is the ever-popular Logan Martin Lake. Located along the Coosa River between the Logan Martin and Neely Henry Dams, Logan Martin is affectionately known as “the lake with a thousand coves” due to the countless twists and turns along its coastline.

Click here to learn more about ways to enjoy Logan Martin Lake!

Pro Tip: City officials in Lincoln, Alabama are working on a new, state-of-the-art public fishing park on Logan Martin Lake! Once complete, this $6M project will offer a new public access point featuring ten boat launches + a 1,400 foot-long boardwalk!

3. Cahaba River

Cahaba River
Photo via Cahaba Riverkeeper on Facebook

Did you know that the Cahaba River is the longest free-flowing river in Alabama? With a résumé like that, it’s so surprise that the river is a favorite of Birmingham-area paddlers. With dozens of public access points, the Cahaba River is perfect for fishing, camping, wildlife watching & paddling.

Click here to learn more about kayaking opportunities on the Cahaba River.

Want to learn more about Kayaking in Birmingham? Visit the experts at The Yak Shak!

The Yak Shak
Plan the perfect kayaking trip in Birmingham with The Yak Shak. Photo via The Yak Shak on Facebook

Oak Mountain State Park, Logan Martin Lake and the Cahaba River are just a few of the kayaking opportunities in the Birmingham. To learn more about all the rivers, creeks and lakes that kayakers love + plan your next trip, be sure to visit the experts at The Yak Shak!

What is your favorite place to kayak in Birmingham? Tag @yakshakofficial to share your thoughts!

Sponsored by:

Nathan Watson
Nathan Watson

Senior Content Producer at Bham Now

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