How to plan the perfect kayaking adventure in Birmingham

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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.

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5 spring kayaking adventures in and around Birmingham

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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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Look at Birmingham’s urban wildlife with Michelle Reynolds (PHOTOS + art)

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Michelle Reynolds outside. Photo via Bob Farley
Michelle Reynolds where she’s happiest. Photo via Bob Farley

If you love the natural world and its creatures, you need to know Michelle Reynolds. Among other things, she’s a regular explorer of Birmingham’s urban wildlife, often posting gorgeous photos of her surprising discoveries so the rest of us can armchair travel with her. Keep reading to find out what I learned during our Q+A.

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Cahaba River Fry-Down

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Each year the Cahaba River Society hosts a catfish cook-off and festival that’s not only good for the planet, but also the palate! This event has become another staple in Birmingham’s dynamic food scene as culinary masters, old and new, battle it out for the top catfish cooking prizes.

The Fry-Down is the Cahaba River Society’s largest fundraiser, allowing Cahaba River Society to continue its work to restore and protect the Cahaba (Alabama’s longest remaining free flowing river), the river’s watershed and its rich diversity of life.

This event features fun for all ages with a carnival-like atmosphere, live music, amazing food, a climbing wall, hula-hoopers, face-painters, educational games, wildlife demonstrations, a beer garden and more! Come bring your family, bring your friends, and celebrate with us as we raise awareness on the importance of the Cahaba River, as well as party in celebration of all that river provides for this community, state & country!

Guided Canoe Tour: Sturgeon Moon Trip

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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.

A moonlit evening on the Cahaba is a delightful, unique, and relaxing way to enjoy a flat water 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.

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. 

Click here to register. One registration form must be completed for each person over the age of 12 who will attend.

 

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.

Guided Canoe Tour: Buck Moon Tour at Old Highway 280

Read Time 2 Minutes

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.

A moonlit evening on the Cahaba is a delightful, unique, and relaxing way to enjoy a flat water 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.

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. 

Click here to register. One registration form must be completed for each person over the age of 12 who will attend.

 

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.

Two New Beers from Cahaba Brewing Co. I’ll Drink to That!

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You can relax now.  We will have two new canned beer options to sit back and watch SEC football with.  Cahaba Brewing Co. has announced the coming introduction, in early September, of OKA UBA IPA (indigenous name of Cahaba River), and Oktoberfest.  We know we need good, clean rivers to make good, clean  beer, right?

PHOTO COURTESY OF CAHABA BREWING COMPANY.
PHOTO COURTESY OF CAHABA BREWING COMPANY.

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