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  North Alabama Paddling
  Posted by: autiger94 on Jul-09-07 11:58 AM (EST)

-- Last Updated: Jul-09-07 12:02 PM EST --

For flatwater:

At the Town Creek boat ramp on Highway 227 in Lake Guntersville State Park they offer canoe rentals. Unfortunately, they also offer fishing boat rentals and this is a public ramp used by powerboaters and jetskis alike. The "creek" is quite wide here on the lower end and power boaters move through pretty quickly kicking up some pretty good size wakes. If you can make it 3 or 4 miles up the creek, it narrows and gets shallower either slowing down the boaters or restricting their access completely. You might inquire as to if they will allow you to rent the boats and take them to other parts of the park. The area of South Sauty Creek from the Morgan Cove Ramp (farther up 227 almost to Buck's Pocket State Park) upstream is pretty quiet. Short Creek (back down 227 closer to the town of Guntersville) is busy right around the ramp but there is a large sandbar and an island just over a mile upstream that restricts boater access....the creek also gets dramatically narrower at that point. Of these 3, I think South Sauty would be your best bet as it is the quietest. If the water levels are up a bit you can see some small falls once you dead end a mile or so upstream from the Morgan Cove boat ramp.

For moving water:

I understand there used to be a rental place on the Flint River just east of Huntsville but it closed a few years back when the owner passed away. There are a couple of rental places on the Elk River 45 minutes to an hour north of Huntsville in Tennessee (I think one is in/near Fayetteville). Do a Google search and you should turn them up pretty easily. If you want to go a little farther, check out Terrapin Outdoors on Terrapin Creek near Piedmont, AL east of Gadsden (they may or may nor be running depending on water levels). Again, a Google search should turn up their site. Terrapin Creek qualifies as Class I bordering on Class II whitewater when the water levels are up so use caution. I believe sections of the Elk do's levels are a little more consistent as it is fed by regular releases of water from an upstream dam.

Good luck!

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