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Flint River in Alabama

Trip Overview

Just bought a used Old Town Discovery 158, so this was our first family canoe adventure.

Put-in spot was at Hayes Nature Preserve off hwy 431 around 1:00 pm. Can't say enough about how nice this canoe launching spot was. Big parking lot, sidewalk to the water, and steps down to a launch area, even a picnic area to watch the launch! Real nice if you can fit it into your Flint River trip.

Take out was at Old Big Cove Road about 3:00 pm, under the bridge. Semi-gravel surface with mud the closer you get to the water. We had a couple of "seasoned" Flint River fishermen veterans there when we arrived. They were using flat bottomed boats with electric trolling motors.

Total float time was a little over 2 hours. It would have been closer to an 1.5 hours, but we had to stop and go around several full size trees blocking the multiple "fingers" of this section of the Flint River. I'm no pro, but there appeared to be sections of the river that had fallen trees across all routes, so you are going to do some canoe carrying and experience that Flint River mud.

Water was pretty tame. No problems for me, my wife and two kids. We did hit a few logs in the water. Good thing the Discovery 158 is a tank!

Only surprises were seeing a big ol' buck crossing a shallow area, and a few turtles.

We had left a vehicle under Old Big Cove Road bridge before leaving Hayes Nature Preserve, so shuttle service was free.

Would do it again, but right now expect multiple fallen trees blocking the route.


Hayes Nature Preserve has a nice canoe launching facility, big parking lot, and a picnic area. Under the bridge at Old Big Cove Road is a makeshift boat launch. Pavement to gravel to mud the closer you get to the water.


No fees. Free.


Hayes Nature Preserve is about 2 miles south of the McDonald's on HWY 431 at Hampton Cove. Old Big Cove Road is right off Old HWY 431, which is about 3-4 south of Hayes Nature Preserve.


Google satellite maps.
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip