Alabama Whitewater

Cahaba Deerfoot to Happy Hollow

  • Run
    Cahaba
  • Class
    II-III-
  • Put In
    Deerfoot Parkway
  • Take Out
    Happy Hollow Rd (CR132)
  • Length
    2.7
  • Gradient
    25, 25, 30
  • Watershed
    10.8 square miles
  • Primary Gage
  • Indicator Gage
    • none

Description

The Deerfoot section of the Cahaba River is a fairly nice float through what is essentially the headwaters of Alabama's longest remaining free-flowing river. The Deerfoot Parkway bridge is the last public access point on the Cahaba, or the first, depending on which way you are facing. This section is mostly flatwater, easy shoals and slides, and class II limbo moves around and under trees, but does contain a really short "gorge" section with big boulders and easy class III drops. This section is just above the takeout, or about 1.5 miles into the run. The action doesn't last very long, however, and for this reason I recommend it only as an after-work "nature fix", or for when we experience centralized rain in the Birmingham area. It's close to town, you can run it in 40 minutes, and you get to see some crazy Bighorn Sheep in someones back yard along the way.

Put in is at the Deerfoot Parkway bridge off I-59 in Trussville, the takeout is the bridge on Happy Hollow road in Trussville, not far from the Middle School. Minimum for this run is about 150 cfs on the Cahaba at Trussville gauge, but as always, more is better. The Cahaba is teeny-tiny up here, and the water runs off quickly. Best to catch it just after a good rain.

-Shane Hulsey

Details

  • Class
    II-III-
  • Gradient
    25, 25, 30
  • Length
    2.7
  • Watershed Size
    10.8 square miles
  • Put In
    Deerfoot Parkway
  • Take Out
    Happy Hollow Rd (CR132)
  • Shuttle
    Deerfoot / Happy Hollow
  • Water Quality
    water quality ( 2 chickens | 1 = Good, 3 = Gross)
  • Primary Gage
  • Indicator Gage
  • Precip. Gage

Map

No map data avialable.

Video

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Photos

Trip Reports

Cahaba River, Deerfoot Section

Written by Josh Henry

At 275 cfs the Cahaba Deerfoot bridge run was quite pleasant from deerfoot to I59 bridge with cool slides and no real hazards except for strainers. 350 cfs would be better though and maybe more. The short gorge section first drop in the run index picture was runnable but an immediate portage is necessary. The second part of the boulder jumble was unrunnable due to debris and low water. The last mile or so of the trip was unpleasant due to numerous portages around strainers. Fun run, but definitely not worth driving to from out of town, but fun to go down a new to me creek.