Tallapoosa River in Alabama

by  guest-paddler

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

This is our story of the Tallapoosa Rive adventure. There were ten of us in the group. Many of us had experience on shorter trips but this would be the first mulit-day trip for any of us. We arrived at the outfitter (Coosa River Adventures: www.coosariveradventures.com) around 8:45 am. It was a little hectic when we got there, they had to change all of the canoes that we were taking. They gave us a safety briefing and told us what to expect on the trip. We were provided with a map and the 800 # to call for the dam release schedule.

After about a 45 min drive we arrived just south of Tallassee to the river. We loaded up our gear and headed out. It had rained a good bit the few days before we left so the water was up and running good. With the water being up a lot of the banks that we saw on google earth were not there. There were ample places to stop, a few of them were a little tricks. One in particular, it is on the left side of the river. It looks like a hard clay cliff that falls into a rocky slope to the water. Upon getting out into it we found it was all wet clay, you sink anywhere from 2 inches to 2 feet in some spots. Needless to say we spent a lot of time here playing like little kids.

The first day of paddling was pretty easy and very beautiful. There was wildlife all along the river. We saw birds, a beaver, and almost had a fish jump into a canoe. Around 6pm we found a real nice bank to camp on. This is where it goes a little crazy. We set up camp and started to get ready to settle down for the night. Then we noticed the water level rising a little. We didnt worry too much. We had set up camp a good 200 meters from the shore line. We had a nice relaxing dinner and decided to be safe and go ahead and pack up all of our stuff we didnt need into the canoes. The only thing left out was the tents and sleeping gear. A few of us stayed up to keep an eye on the water. At midnight we made the call to wake everyone up. We started packing up camp. The water was within 20 feet of us and still rising. We called the 800# and they made changed the dam release schedule. They were releasing a lot more water than we had planned. At about 1 am we were standing in water about to get in our canoes. We put back out on the water and went until about 3am. We came across another bank that was still a good bit out of the water and covered in tire tracks.

When we got up it was a nice day but had a strong headwind. We put back out on the river for the rest of the trip. The second half had a lot more banks and sand bars than the first which came in handy. At one point the water was so slow and the wind so strong that it would blow you backward if you stopped.

The trip was supposed to be a 51 mile trip, but you can pull out at the 38 mile mark. Because of our later start, our nightly adventure, and the fact that we all had to travel home to be at work the next morning, we pulled out at 38.

The Tallapoosa River is a beautiful and secluded place. We are already starting to make plans to do it again but to take 3 days to do it so we can enjoy the beauty more and take time to explore some of the streams that branch off, and the banks and sand bars that are there.


Old Town Canoes provided by Cossa River Adventures


From I-65:

-Take Hwy 14 east to Wetumpka

-Take Hwy 14 bypass to Hwy 231

-Turn right on Hwy 231 south (stay in the turn lane which becomes Company St)

-Were 7/10ths of a mile on right

South of Wetumpka, take Hwy 231 North:
- Company St. is located two traffic lights north of the Amsouth Bank on Hwy 231
- Turn left at the traffic light and go 7/10ths of a mile

North of Wetumpka, take Hwy 231 South:
- Company St is just 100 yds. south of the Hwy 14/Hwy 231 intersection
- Turn right and go 7/10ths of a mile


We had a map and a handheld GPS (which I would recommend).

Trip Details

  • Trip Duration: 2-3 Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)

Trip Location