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Cypress Creek in Alabama

Trip Overview

The weather for the trip was near perfect for March-bright sunny day with some light wind and a temperature that reached the upper 50's by midday.

My paddling buddy, Wyatt Jackson, had a new Wilderness Systems Critter he was eager to try out and I was in my Mainstream Inspiration.

We put in at the bridge near Mansion View Estates and were on the water by 1030 hours. The float to Cox Creek Parkway was uneventful with only a couple of blow-downs to negotiate, but none, that completely blocked our progress.

Water level was high enough that all rocks and shoals were floated with no problems. It had rained heavily about two days earlier but the initial runoff had already passed, so the Creek was running a little high, fast and clear. The trip to Cox Creek Parkway only took a little over 1 hour with steady, but not especially energetic paddling in the slower sections.

From Cox Creek we continued downstream to the water purification plant with its 4-foot spillway. Water was running about 20 inches to 2 feet over the spillway and a considerable eddy was created at the spillway base. Here we decided to remain relatively dry (the wind was getting a little cool) so we opted for the portage trail around the spillway. The trail has been covered with gravel and is easy to use.

Continuing downstream we observed numerous ducks, herons, kingfishers, one redtail hawk and what we think was a female bald eagle.

The remains of the old gristmill dam about 1 mile before the takeout are scattered to the point that this is no longer much of a obstacle. There is one rough spot just past the new Waterloo Road Bridge where some new large rocks have been inserted as a result of the construction-stay left take the shoot between the two big rocks.

Take out at Wildwood Park is easy and due to the fishermen and mountain bikers using the park, it is a safe place to leave your vehicle.

This was an easy, enjoyable trip. The high water had cleared most of the creek of obstacles and there was little trash to speak of making for a pleasant time on the water. Total time actually floating approximately 2 hours 40 minutes.


Numerous restuarants, motels, etc. in the immediate area. No alcohol sold on Sundays.


From the north end of Oneal Bridge over the Tennessee River take Sanannah Highway to Cox Creek parkway turn right on the Parkway and take the first left (Old Jackson Highway) after you cross Cypress Creek. Stay on the mainroad until you reach the bridge just past Mainsion View estates. The put-in is above the bridge on the east side of the creek.

The take out is at Wildwood Park off Waterloo Road which goes west from the UNA campus.

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip