Your #1 source for kayaking and canoeing information.               FREE Newsletter!
my Profile
Places to Paddle > AL > Tennessee River & Cypress Creek Add a Report

Email Page Printer Friendly Version Submit a Report
Tennessee River & Cypress Creek - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Day Trip Report
Trip Dates: January 3, 2008
Nearest City: Florence, AL
Difficulty: Easy
Submitted by: lunarkayaker

Description:

I launched from the swimming beach at McFarland Park around 6pm. I listened carefully for a lock discharge whistle when setting up. There was no whistle, so I knew there would not be a downstream barge any time soon.

Winds were about 4 knots and the water on the Tennessee River was relatively calm. As always when paddling around McFarland Park or the facilities nearby, night blindness from the excessive lights was a problem.

I paddled 1 knot downstream to the entrance of Cypress Creek. I turned my headlamp to medium and entered the creek. Although I paddle this creek frequently, the substructure can change daily, so I stayed in the middle of the channel in order to avoid any newly fallen logs or debris.

I paddled upstream past the Coffee Road (#20) bridge without incident. Shortly thereafter, a family of beavers began surrounding my kayak and slapping their tales as they dived.

I had intended to paddle upstream to the ariel pipeline - the point at which an upstream paddle from the TN River usually becomes difficult to shallow water.

The further upstream I went, the more agitated the beavers became. I have spent much time around beavers at night, but the behavior of this family was unusual. I thought, at one point, that a large beaver was going to leap onto my boat or attack me.

I continued about one half knot upstream, but began to feel nervous. I have learned that if a paddle trip doesn't feel right, to listen to the "little voice." I said, "Alright, alright, I'm leaving." to the bold beaver who had kept off my starboard beam and turned around.

I paddled downstream to the TN River, but observed the spotlight of an approaching tug and tows. The tow was downstream and had just passed 7 Mile Island. As the bow wake and subsurface suction is quite dangerous on this narrow section of the river - especially with upstream tows - I paddled back upstream a hundred yards or so and waited for the tow to pass. Even at my distance, I could clearly feel the unmistakable water changes as the tow passed. I waited ten minutes and then entered the TN River.

The paddle upstream to the park beach was pleasant and uneventful. There was about 5 knots of current to paddle against, so the return required a bit of effort.

I scanned the beach carefully before landing (3 watt LED headlamp). Even though I had scouted the beach before launching, a barge tow passing can easily wash up large rocks or other debris. My launch point was still safe, so I landed at the beach and disembarked.

My paddling trip was cut short, but it was a short, safe trip. Much better than a longer trip that might have went badly...

Accommodations:

Safe, well-lit. M/F restrooms.
Boat slips are free at the marina, but the swimming beach is much safer to launch/land.

Fees:

No

Directions:

McFarland Park. Near the boat ramp. Swimming beach is just downstream of the marina.


Show All AL Reports - Submit Your Report



 Great Products from the Buyers' Guide:

Kayalite

Hardshell Kayak Sail Rigs

Gedi Convertible Helmet

Bent Shaft Canoe Paddles

Paddler's Truck Rack












2-6 Day Kayaking Trips
San Juan Islands
Camping & Inns
www.crystalseas.com/KayakCamp

Follow us on:
Free Newsletter | About Us | Site Map | Advertising Info | Contact Us

©2014 Paddling.net Inc.
Sweepstakes Shirt Sale