Fish River in Alabama
We put into Fish River at Bohemian park in kayaks, traveled 6.17 miles (according to GPS) in 2.5 hours, and exited at the Marlow Ferry public launch. This was the first time on this part of the river for our group, and we weren't sure how long it would take to get to our pre-planned exit point. So, we were moving along at a steady pace. Next time, we will stretch it out to at least five hours. We were nearly worn out when we finally got to the end.
The first 3 or so miles are on a shallow & fairly narrow creek portion of the upper section of the river, with a good current. It is stunningly beautiful, and little paddling is necessary except for steering. There is a tree canopy keeping the sun well filtered and providing great light for photography.
Depending on water level, there can be various points that may require a portage. We did not have to get out of the boats at all on this trip, and I would say that the water level was at the normal level. However, some portions could be occluded by fallen trees if the water was much higher, and there were plenty of spots that would have been too shallow to cross if the water were only a couple of inches lower. There are plenty of sandbars along the way to stop and stretch, and maybe even picnic.
The last 3 miles are a very different river. It widens and deepens, and the current slows to a slow creep that isn't even noticeable, requiring steady paddling. This part of the river is well developed, with many houses along the shore, and lots of larger pleasure & fishing boats.
All along the route, opportunities abound for wildlife sightings. We saw plenty of birds, turtles, even a couple of otters. And in the lower portion, lots of large fish. We didn't see any snakes, but they are surely present as well.
24-hour accessible concrete boat ramp at exit point, along with good parking and a picnic area.
Entry point to Fish River is at Bohemian Park, about 4-5 miles east of Hwy 98 on County Road 48 (Fairhope Ave). Exit is at Marlow Ferry public launch, on Honey Road, about 200 yards west of County Road 9, and about a mile south of the County Road 32 intersection
- Trip Duration: Day Trip
- Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
- Skill Level: Intermediate
- Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)