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Cahaba River in Alabama

Trip Overview

We haven't had any significant rain in Birmingham for quite some time. I really wanted to go kayaking anyway so I decided to float on the Cahaba from Grants Mill to HWY 280. The trip is 12.5 miles. There is another take out spot at Overton Road which is 7.5 miles from Grants Mill.

As expected, there were many places where we had to get out and walk due to shallow waters and many more places where we scraped the bottom determined not to get out. The trip took 7 hours to float (4 hours to Overton and 3 to HWY 280). It was still an enjoyable trip. We saw 6 deer, several cranes, a hawk, bass, alligator gar, and much more.

If you don't want to worry about taking out so much, then wait until we get a descent rain. I would have liked the river to be another 12 inches higher. That would have made it much more enjoyable.

Overall, this is as always a great part of the Cahaba to float on.


No fees


Grants Mill put-in is less than 1 mile off the I-459/Grants Mill exit on left. As soon as you pass The Church of the Highlands look to the left.

HWY 280 take out is about 1 mile off 459S. It will be on the right. Turn at the light before you cross over the river.

  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip