Trip OverviewI went to the Escatawpa River over the Memorial Day weekend. I used to live in Mississippi and everytime I came thru Mobile I would cross the Escatawpa River and think that one day I would like to travel on it.
I arrived Friday afternoon and established my basecamp at the Escatawpa River Campground. The Campground is located on Highway 98 where it crosses the river and just before entering Mississippi. The campground is very nice and is kept exceptionally clean by the owners. I will camp here again.
The river itself is a blackwater river. It has a deep brown color to it and the contrast between the river and the white sandbars is startling. The river had a good flow to it and numerous times I would just drift with the current.
On Saturday, I was shuttled up to the Mason Ferry Road put-in about 15 miles above the campground. The trip back to the take-out at the campground took approximately 7 hours. I was not in any hurry. The views along the trip were varied and very nice. The woods came to the water's edge and in many places cypress tree roots would come down the back to the river. I stopped several times at sandbars and just enjoyed the nature surrounding me. While I didn't see any wildlife on the trip, I saw plenty of wildlife signs. Since this was Memorial Day weekend there was a lot of campers on the sandbars.
On Sunday, I left from the campground put-in and went south approximately 7 miles to the take-out at the Howell Bridge. This trip took approximately 2 1/2 hours. This portion of the river was a little different from the upper stretch as there were not as many true sandbars. A lot of the "sandbars" also had mud mixed in with them. Also there was more fishing boat traffic on the lower stretch. I will say that everyone I met or talked to on the river were very friendly.
Since I was being shuttled by the campground, I didn't have to struggle to load or unload my canoe. This was all handled by the campground crew.
Over the two days I traveled 22 miles on the river and enjoyed every minute of it. This was a very good trip made more enjoyable by the people at the campground. They were very helpful and ready to give advice about the river.
Accommodations:There are numerous sandbars along the river for camping. I camped at the Escatawpa Hollow Camp and was very pleased.
Fees:I utilized the shuttle service on Saturday and Sunday provided by the Escatawpa Hollow Camp and Canoe Outfitters. Check them for prices.
Directions:The campground is located on Highway 98W from Mobile. It is just a few miles past Wilmer, AL.
Launches:The put-in at the Mason Ferry Bridge was under the bridge and right at the edge of the river.
The take-out and put-in at the campground was on a large sandbar at the campground.
The take-out at the Howell Bridge was steep and you had to walk along the edge of a busy highway. I'm glad the campground personnel took my canoe up.
Contact:Escatawpa Hollow Camp and Canoe Outfitters. (251-649-4233)
Resources:"Paddling Alabama" by Joe Cuhaj and Curt Burdick
"Delorme Atlas and Gazetteer" (AL Editions) and Howell MS-AL
USGS Maps Earlville
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)