Alabama Scenic River Trail In Alabama

Here is everything you need to know about the Alabama Scenic River Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Alabama
  • Length: 631 miles.
  • Type: Water trail.
  • Surface: Water
  • Managed By: Alabama State Lands Division
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website:

The Alabama Scenic River Trail (ASRT) is a waterway that stretches for approximately 631 miles, making it the longest river trail in a single state in the United States. The trail follows the course of the Alabama River, starting from its origins in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and ending at its confluence with the Tombigbee River. The ASRT was officially designated as a National Recreation Trail in 2008, recognizing its historical and cultural significance.

The history of the Alabama Scenic River Trail dates back thousands of years, with evidence of Native American settlements along the riverbanks. The river served as a vital transportation route for Native American tribes, including the Creek and Choctaw nations, who used canoes to navigate the waterway. European explorers, such as Hernando de Soto in the 16th century, also traveled along the Alabama River, leaving their mark on the region’s history.

During the 19th century, the Alabama River played a crucial role in the state’s economy, serving as a major transportation route for goods and people. Steamboats became a common sight on the river, carrying cotton, timber, and other products to markets downstream. The riverbanks were dotted with bustling towns and trading posts, which flourished due to the river’s accessibility.

In the 20th century, the Alabama River and its surrounding areas underwent significant changes due to the construction of dams and reservoirs for hydroelectric power and flood control. These developments altered the river’s natural flow and impacted the ecosystems along its course. However, efforts have been made to preserve and restore the natural beauty of the river, leading to the establishment of the Alabama Scenic River Trail as a recreational resource for outdoor enthusiasts and a means to showcase the historical and cultural heritage of the region.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Coosa River – Wetumpka
2. Coosa River – Jordan Dam
3. Coosa River – Hokes Bluff
4. Coosa River – Gadsden
5. Coosa River – Weiss Dam
6. Coosa River – Logan Martin Dam
7. Coosa River – Lay Dam
8. Coosa River – Jordan Dam
9. Coosa River – Wetumpka
10. Alabama River – Montgomery
11. Alabama River – Selma
12. Alabama River – Claiborne Dam
13. Alabama River – Camden
14. Alabama River – Millers Ferry Dam
15. Alabama River – Holy Ground Battlefield Park
16. Alabama River – Fort Toulouse-Fort Jackson Park
17. Alabama River – Montgomery
18. Tombigbee River – Demopolis
19. Tombigbee River – Coffeeville Dam
20. Tombigbee River – Gainesville
21. Tombigbee River – Epes
22. Tombigbee River – Aliceville
23. Tombigbee River – Pickensville
24. Tombigbee River – Columbus
25. Tombigbee River – Aberdeen
26. Tombigbee River – Amory
27. Tombigbee River – Fulton
28. Tennessee River – Florence
29. Tennessee River – Decatur
30. Tennessee River – Huntsville
31. Tennessee River – Guntersville Dam
32. Tennessee River – Scottsboro
33. Tennessee River – Bridgeport
34. Tennessee River – Chattanooga

Transportation Available

1. Alabama Scenic River Trail Shuttle – Shuttle service for hikers and paddlers along the Alabama Scenic River Trail.
2. Riverboat Tours – Guided riverboat tours offering scenic views of the Alabama Scenic River Trail.
3. Kayak Rentals – Rental service providing kayaks for exploring the Alabama Scenic River Trail.
4. Canoe Rentals – Rental service offering canoes for paddling along the Alabama Scenic River Trail.
5. Bike Rentals – Rental service providing bikes for cycling near the Alabama Scenic River Trail.
6. Taxi Service – Local taxi service available for transportation to and from the Alabama Scenic River Trail.
7. Car Rental – Car rental service for convenient transportation around the Alabama Scenic River Trail.
8. Public Bus – Public bus service with routes near the Alabama Scenic River Trail.
9. Train Station – Nearby train station for transportation options to and from the Alabama Scenic River Trail.
10. Airport – Local airport for air travel to the vicinity of the Alabama Scenic River Trail.


The Alabama Scenic River Trail offers various amenities for visitors. Some of the amenities available at the trail include:

1. Restrooms: There are restroom facilities available at certain points along the trail, such as at designated trailheads or camping areas.

2. Parking: Parking areas are provided at different access points along the trail, allowing visitors to park their vehicles and access the trail easily.

3. Camping Sites: The trail offers designated camping sites along the river, allowing visitors to set up tents and spend the night. These sites may have amenities like fire pits, picnic tables, and access to water.

4. Picnic Areas: There are designated picnic areas along the trail where visitors can stop and enjoy a meal or snack. These areas may have picnic tables, grills, and scenic views.

5. Boat Ramps: The Alabama Scenic River Trail provides boat ramps at various locations, allowing visitors to launch their canoes, kayaks, or other watercraft into the river.

6. Fishing Spots: The trail offers opportunities for fishing, with designated fishing spots along the river. Anglers can try their luck at catching various fish species found in the river.

7. Interpretive Signs: Throughout the trail, there are interpretive signs that provide information about the natural and cultural history of the area. These signs offer educational opportunities for visitors.

8. Wildlife Viewing Areas: The trail passes through diverse ecosystems, providing opportunities for wildlife viewing. Visitors may spot various bird species, mammals, reptiles, and other wildlife along the trail.

9. Scenic Overlooks: There are scenic overlooks along the trail that offer panoramic views of the river and surrounding landscapes. These overlooks provide great photo opportunities.

10. Information Centers: At certain trailheads or visitor centers, there may be information centers where visitors can obtain maps, brochures, and other resources about the trail and its surroundings.

It’s important to note that amenities may vary at different sections of the trail, so it’s recommended to check specific locations or contact the Alabama Scenic River Trail organization for more detailed information.

Nearby Services

1. Lodging:
– Riverview Campground (Montgomery, AL) – Campground with scenic river views.
– Wind Creek State Park (Alexander City, AL) – State park offering camping and cabins near the river.
– River Rest Bed & Breakfast (Wetumpka, AL) – Charming B&B with riverfront views.

2. Food Services:
– Coosa River Craft House (Wetumpka, AL) – Restaurant serving craft beer and American cuisine.
– The Landing at Parker Creek (Equality, AL) – Waterfront restaurant offering seafood and Southern dishes.
– The Front Porch Grill (Millbrook, AL) – Casual eatery serving American comfort food.

3. Emergency Services:
– Elmore Community Hospital (Wetumpka, AL) – Local hospital providing emergency medical care.
– Wetumpka Police Department (Wetumpka, AL) – Law enforcement agency serving the area.
– Wetumpka Fire Department (Wetumpka, AL) – Fire and rescue services for emergencies.

Alabama Scenic River Trail Difficulty Notes

The Alabama Scenic River Trail offers a challenging and diverse experience for outdoor enthusiasts. Spanning over 600 miles, the trail presents varying difficulty levels, from calm and leisurely sections to more demanding stretches. Navigating the trail requires a combination of physical endurance, navigational skills, and the ability to adapt to changing river conditions. Paddlers must be prepared to encounter obstacles such as fallen trees, rapids, and strong currents, which can add an extra level of difficulty to the journey. However, the trail also rewards adventurers with breathtaking scenery, abundant wildlife, and the opportunity to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Alabama’s rivers.

Features And Attractions

1. Little River Canyon National Preserve: Located in northeast Alabama, this preserve offers stunning views of the Little River as it flows through a deep gorge. It is known for its waterfalls, cliffs, and diverse wildlife.

2. Dismals Canyon: Situated in northwest Alabama, this natural landmark features a secluded canyon with unique rock formations, waterfalls, and a bioluminescent insect called the Dismalites. It is a popular spot for hiking and camping.

3. Tensaw River Delta: This expansive delta is located in southwest Alabama, where the Tensaw, Mobile, and Blakeley rivers converge. It is a haven for wildlife, including alligators, birds, and fish. Visitors can explore the delta by boat or kayak.

4. Claiborne Lock and Dam: Located on the Alabama River, this historical site was built in the early 20th century to improve navigation along the river. It offers scenic views of the river and is a popular spot for fishing and boating.

5. Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge: Situated along the Chattahoochee River in southeast Alabama, this refuge is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including migratory birds, alligators, and deer. It offers beautiful views of the river and marshes.

6. Coosa River: This river flows through central Alabama and offers scenic views, especially in areas like the Coosa Wildlife Management Area. It is a popular spot for fishing, boating, and wildlife watching.

7. Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge: Located near Birmingham, this refuge protects a portion of the Cahaba River, which is one of the most biologically diverse rivers in the United States. It offers opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and photography.

8. Talladega National Forest: This forest covers a large area in east-central Alabama and offers numerous scenic views, including waterfalls, mountains, and forests. It is a great place for hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing.

9. Mobile-Tensaw River Delta: This vast delta is formed by the confluence of the Mobile and Tensaw rivers and is known for its diverse ecosystems, including swamps, marshes, and cypress forests. It is a popular spot for boating, fishing, and birdwatching.

10. Gulf State Park: Located on the Gulf of Mexico in southern Alabama, this state park offers beautiful beaches, dunes, and coastal landscapes. It is a great place for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying the natural beauty of the Gulf Coast.

Usage Guidelines

1. Pets are allowed on the Alabama Scenic River Trail but must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Campfires are only permitted in designated fire rings or grills.
3. Littering is strictly prohibited. Visitors must pack out all trash and dispose of it properly.
4. Hunting or trapping is not allowed on the trail.
5. Fishing is allowed, but visitors must adhere to state fishing regulations and obtain the necessary licenses.
6. Motorized vehicles, including ATVs and motorcycles, are not permitted on the trail.
7. Camping is allowed only in designated camping areas or with permission from private landowners.
8. Respect private property and obtain permission before accessing or crossing private lands.
9. Seasonal restrictions may apply, such as closures during hunting seasons or extreme weather conditions. Check with local authorities or the Alabama Scenic River Trail website for any current restrictions.
10. Leave natural and cultural features undisturbed and do not remove or damage any plants, rocks, or artifacts.
11. Follow Leave No Trace principles, including minimizing campfire impacts, respecting wildlife, and leaving the trail as you found it.
12. Use caution and be aware of potential hazards, such as strong currents, submerged obstacles, or wildlife encounters.
13. Practice water safety and wear appropriate personal flotation devices (PFDs) while boating or paddling.
14. Respect other trail users and maintain a peaceful and enjoyable experience for all.

Seasonal Information

The Alabama Scenic River Trail is a magnificent destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a unique opportunity to explore the natural beauty of Alabama’s waterways. The best times of the year to visit the trail largely depend on personal preferences and the activities you wish to engage in. Spring and fall are generally considered the most pleasant seasons, with mild temperatures and vibrant foliage. These seasons are perfect for hiking, camping, and paddling along the river, as the weather is comfortable and the scenery is breathtaking.

During the summer months, the Alabama Scenic River Trail becomes a popular spot for water-based activities such as kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. The warm weather allows visitors to fully enjoy the refreshing waters of the river. However, it’s important to note that summer can also be quite hot and humid, so it’s advisable to plan your activities accordingly and stay hydrated.

In terms of seasonal closures, it’s essential to be aware of any potential restrictions or limitations that may affect your visit. Some sections of the trail may be closed during hunting seasons, which typically occur in the fall and winter. It’s important to check with local authorities or the Alabama Scenic River Trail organization for up-to-date information on closures and any permits that may be required.

Overall, the Alabama Scenic River Trail offers a diverse range of experiences throughout the year. Whether you prefer the vibrant colors of spring, the water activities of summer, or the peacefulness of fall, there is always something to enjoy along this scenic trail. Just make sure to plan your visit accordingly, considering both the weather and any potential closures, to make the most of your time exploring this natural wonder.


1. Accessible Parking: Designated parking spaces are available near the trailhead for individuals with disabilities.
2. Accessible Restrooms: Wheelchair-accessible restrooms are provided at various points along the Alabama Scenic River Trail.
3. Accessible Trails: The trail offers sections that are specifically designed to be wheelchair accessible, allowing individuals with mobility challenges to enjoy the scenic beauty.
4. Accessible Camping: ADA-compliant campsites are available along the trail, providing accessible facilities and amenities for individuals with disabilities.
5. Accessible Picnic Areas: Wheelchair-accessible picnic areas are provided along the trail, allowing everyone to enjoy outdoor dining and relaxation.
6. Accessible Fishing Piers: ADA-compliant fishing piers are available at certain points along the river trail, ensuring that individuals with disabilities can enjoy fishing activities.
7. Accessible Boat Launches: Wheelchair-accessible boat launches are provided, allowing individuals with disabilities to easily access the water for boating or kayaking.
8. Accessible Interpretive Centers: Interpretive centers along the trail are designed to be accessible, providing educational information and exhibits for all visitors.
9. Accessible Lodging: Nearby lodging options offer ADA-compliant accommodations, ensuring individuals with disabilities have comfortable places to stay during their visit.
10. Accessible Visitor Information: Visitor centers and information kiosks along the trail provide accessible resources and assistance for individuals with disabilities.

Safety Information

1. Strong currents: The Alabama Scenic River Trail may have areas with strong currents, requiring caution while navigating.
2. Hazards in the water: Watch out for submerged logs, rocks, or other obstacles that may pose a risk to boaters.
3. Weather conditions: Be aware of changing weather conditions, including thunderstorms or high winds, which can affect safety on the river.
4. Wildlife encounters: Exercise caution when encountering wildlife such as snakes, alligators, or insects along the trail.
5. Limited access to amenities: Some sections of the trail may have limited access to amenities like restrooms or potable water, so plan accordingly.
6. Remote areas: Certain parts of the trail may be remote, so ensure you have proper equipment, supplies, and communication devices.
7. Navigation challenges: The trail may have sections with poor signage or difficult navigation, requiring careful attention to maps and directions.
8. Water quality: Check for any advisories regarding water quality or potential contamination before using the river for recreational activities.
9. Sun exposure: Protect yourself from excessive sun exposure by wearing sunscreen, hats, and appropriate clothing.
10. Boating traffic: Be aware of other boaters, especially in popular areas, and follow proper boating etiquette to ensure safety.

Conservation Notes

The Alabama Scenic River Trail (ASRT) is a significant waterway that stretches approximately 631 miles, making it the longest river trail in a single state in the United States. The conservation status of the ASRT is of utmost importance due to its rich biodiversity and ecological significance. The trail encompasses various ecosystems, including forests, wetlands, and riverine habitats, which support a wide array of plant and animal species.

Efforts to conserve the ASRT are primarily focused on preserving its natural resources and maintaining the integrity of its ecosystems. The trail passes through several protected areas, such as national forests, wildlife management areas, and state parks, which contribute to the conservation of the surrounding landscapes. These protected areas provide critical habitats for numerous species, including rare and endangered ones.

Conservation initiatives for the ASRT involve monitoring water quality, managing invasive species, and promoting sustainable recreational activities. Regular water quality assessments are conducted to ensure the health of the river and its surrounding ecosystems. Invasive species, such as the giant salvinia and hydrilla, are actively managed to prevent their spread and protect native flora and fauna. Additionally, efforts are made to educate and engage trail users in responsible practices, such as Leave No Trace principles, to minimize the impact of recreational activities on the environment.

Overall, the conservation status of the Alabama Scenic River Trail is a priority for environmental organizations, government agencies, and local communities. By preserving the natural resources and ecosystems along the trail, these efforts aim to maintain the ecological balance, protect biodiversity, and ensure the sustainability of this remarkable waterway for future generations.

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