Know the river before you go! Here are resources to learn about a particular run and also resources to determine it’s current flow/water level, which can have a big impact on how difficult it will be.
Founded in 1954, American Whitewater is a national non-profit organization (Non-profit # 23-7083760) with a mission “to conserve and restore America’s whitewater resources and to enhance opportunities to enjoy them safely.” American Whitewater is a membership organization representing a broad diversity of individual whitewater enthusiasts, river conservationists, and more than 100 local paddling club affiliates across America. The organization is the primary advocate for the preservation and protection of whitewater rivers throughout the United States, and connects the interests of human-powered recreational river users with ecological and science-based data to achieve the goals within its mission.
Full descriptions of whitewater runs in Alabama- and there are some great ones! Generally these rivers run winter through spring because none of them are dam controlled so they are totally dependent on rainfall. Check out the Run Index if you are looking for a river to run, and check out the Flow Page for current levels.
The National Weather Service provides predictive rainfall data through it’s Weather Prediction Center website. This data is very accurate and can help you plan your paddling trips around rain, which can have a huge effect on non-dam controlled rivers. You will find yourself addicted to watching this site!
This is the source of all data on river levels past and present.
Provides detailed real-time USGS gauge levels for rivers and streams as well as detailed information for whitewater runs from the American Whitewater Association.
This site provides information (i.e., beta) on the most popular whitewater runs, park-and-play spots, squirt boating destinations and flat water paddled by Asheville, NC canoeists and kayakers. You’ll find real time streamflows, rainfall totals and weather forecasts, predicted flows on ungauged runs, information on interpreting flows and rainfall totals, river descriptions, directions from Asheville to the put ins and take outs, a searchable photo archive, camping, eating and entertainment recommendations and much more.
Here are brief but comprehensive description of the run’s of Walden’s Ridge area. Walden’s Ridge is located just north of Chattanooga Tennessee, and is really the same chunk of plateau as Sand Mountain in northern Alabama. It slopes east to west rather than west, is not as wide, and has longer harder runs than most on southern Sand Mountain creeks. Readers should keep in mind that Mark is a highly skilled paddler and many of these runs are considered Class V.