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Coosa River in Alabama

Trip Overview

Day 1: Starting at Coosa drive boat ramp to Fitts Ferry road about a 15 mile run. This part of the river changes from a moderate run to an easy laid back enjoy the scenic views and wildlife, depending on which direction you are headed.

Day 2: Fitts Ferry road to Gadsden, about a 15 mile run. Once again depending on direction of travel, the river changes from easy to moderate. At one point while headed west, we actually had to paddle against white capping water. The wildlife is still pretty much the same, but the closer you get to Gadsden the scenic view is gone.

Day 3: A short day for us only about 12 miles from Gadsden to just the other side of Rainbow City. The first 5 miles of this part of the trip was easy sailing,we did it in about 2 hours. The second leg of this trip was about another 5 miles, but it was the hardest 5 we ever did, headed west into a hard wind, had to keep the nose of the canoes pointed west with about a three inch eye of a needle either side of the bow or you would end up blown around and going backwards. the last leg for the day, about 2 miles got a little easier but still fighting the wind.

Day 4: From the small island below Rainbow City to Neely Henry Dam, about a 13 mile run. Pretty much the same as the three days before, depending on the direction of travel it was easy to moderate. We did it in about 7 hours, taking our time and enjoying it when the water would allow.

Authors note: The river between the dams at Weiss Lake and Neely Henry flows in different directions, depending on what the dams are doing. If you think all rivers flow down stream, not this one. The complete run is somewhere between 55 and 60 miles. If you plan to take it, I suggest you have drop point planned where supplies can be brought in or make sure you carry enough with you. There is no place along the river to buy anything.

Outfitting:

Mackinaw 165 and Rogue River 14TK

I don't know if these canoes were designed for river trip,but they worked well for us.

Fees:

There is a small camp ground there, not sure of the fee for camping and a $2.00 (on your honor, small drop box) ramp fee.

Directions:

If you want to put in where we did, take highway 411 north out of Gadsden. Just about the county line there is a small road to the right, Coosa River road, turn right and follow it till it dead ends.

Resources:

We carried a Neely Henry recreation and fishing guide map from "Atlantic Mapping Inc."

  • Duration: Extended Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip