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Hatchet Creek in Alabama

Trip Overview

Hatchet is well known to locals but fairly obscure if you are not close by. It runs approximately 41 miles, northeast to southwest, originating near the town of Goodwater and terminating into Lake Mitchell. We ran the section from U.S.Hwy.231 (just north of Rockford) to Kelly's Crossroads. This is an all-day trip but may be broken into two roughly equal segments by using King's Bridge as a put-in/take-out. Hatchet is beautiful! The creek is narrow enough that the trees on the tall, sharply inclined, and rocky banks form a canopy over you for much of the trip but broad enough that you have room for maneuver. The bed is rocky and if you try a float with under a 300 cfs flow you will walk as much as ride. The only structures you will see are occasional cabins and a few bridges. Wildlife is abundant. Hatchet is a clean creek, being fed by springs and rainfall, and reacts quickly to rainfall; level and flow may go up dramatically in a very short time with heavy rain. We had two guys in a Mad River Teton and two in a Coleman and had a great trip. Sand bars abound at moderate to low flow rates and provide great places to take a paddling break. Many shoals but only one true rapid, a 1-2 depending on flow and an old, broken spill dam just below King's bridge that looks a bit hairy but actually is not.


Camping on the sandbars is fine. There is no outfitter so bring everything you need.


You may put-in at the bridge on U.S 280 about 15 miles north of Alexander City; put-in/take-out at U.S.231 bridge about 4 miles north of Rockford; take-out at Kelly's Crossroads bridge; all good facilities.

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

Locations on this Trip