Week-long paddle through Alabama's Black Belt
Dates:
Location:
Selma to Millers Ferry, Alabama
Price:
Varies
Description:
Selma to Millers Ferry week-long paddle through Alabama's Black Belt
 
Join us on the Alabama Scenic River Trail for a whole week in the historic Black Belt counties along the Alabama River.

Read below how you can go in this trip free!
  • Gather in Selma for a big kickoff—start the trip with food and fun that's part of Selma's Riverfront Market Days. Riverfront Market Days is a Selma tradition that has been going on for a quarter of a century. It is held on Water Street right next to the river. There is a walkway directly behind the St James Hotel to go up tithe street. You can paddle to it. It has a variety of arts, crafts, and food. On both Friday and Saturday, there will be activities associated with the annual Tale Tellin' Festival at Arts Revive, an arts center also located on Water Street and accessible by boat.
  • Paddle and camp in scenic US Army Corps of Engineers Parks
  • Visit Gees Bend as host of the town of Camden and Wilcox County—food, music, arts and fun
  • Enjoy storytelling and historical and cultural presentations along the way
  • Meet and view the works of the Gees Bend Quilters
  • Shop and enjoy Black Belt Treasures, a gallery where every item was created by an artisan from one of the eleven Black Belt counties
  • Dine on the region's finest soul food in Camden at the renown Miss Kitty's Restaurant
  • Finish the trip with a down-home fish fry and live music at Millers Ferry Campground
  • Food track available—meals and snacks furnished. Meals at hospitality events in Selma, Camden, and at the end of the journey at Millers Ferry are free to all participants. For the other meals, those not on the food track may cook for themselves or dine locally when and where available.


 
Registration begins in Selma at 4:00 pm on Friday at Marina Drive, Selma, AL, 36701-6554. If you need to get in touch with one of the event organizers, call Jim Felder (256 426 0558) or Fred Couch (256 591 0437). These can also be your emergency numbers for anyone trying to reach you during the paddle.
 

Saturday, October 13. Day 1. Selma Marina to Six Mile Campground. Six miles.

 
8:00 Breakfast at Selma , pre-event checklists reviewed
9:00 Vehicle shuttle train departs for Millers Ferry
11:30 Drivers return from Millers Ferry to Selma after dropping off vehicles
12:00 Attend Riverfront Market Day in downtown Selma to enjoy food, music, fun and local arts and crafts
2:00 Transportation to Selma Marina
2:30 Sendoff from Selma Marina
6:30 arrive at Six Mile
 

Sunday, October 14. Day 2. Six Mile to Tills Landing. 11 miles.

 
8:00 Depart Six Mile Park campground
Mid-morning stopover at Little Miami Sandbar
11:00 Arrive for lunch at Old Cahawba Archaeological Park (Alabama’s first capital)
12:00 Tour of park by an expert guide. First 25 participants will ride in a tour wagon; bicycles available to next ten attendees.
2:00 Depart Old Cahaba Archaeological Park
5:00 Arrive Tills Landing, private ASRT campground
 

Monday, October 15.  Day 3. Till Landing to Elm Bluff. 15 miles.

 
8:00 Depart
Lunch stop TBD
5:30 Arrive Elm Bluff
 

Tuesday, October 16. Day 4.  Elm Bluff to Chilhatchee Creek. 10 miles.

 
9:00 Depart Elm Bluff
1:00 Lunch at Bogue Chitto Day Use Park
5:00 Arrive Chilhatchee Creek
6:00 Snack Shack supper
7:00 Story Telling – Linda Vice
 

Wednesday, October 17. Day 5.  Chilhatchee Creek to Gees Bend Park. 13 miles.

 
9:00 Depart Chilhatchee Creek
12:00 Lunch at Bridgeport Landing Beach
5:00 Arrive Gees Bend 5:00 after time to explore backwaters
6:00 Supper
7:00 Storytelling
 

Thursday, October 18. Day 6. Gees Bend Park to Jones Landing. Four miles.

 
8:30 paddle to breakfast at Ferry Terminal, Gees Bend.
9:00 Presentation: Meet the famous Gees Bend Quilters.
10:00 Depart Gees Bend by Ferry for Camden Side. Transportation to Camden provided.
10:30 Visit Black Belt Treasures, shopping
12:00 Lunch at Miss Kitty’s
2:00 and lunch in Camden
2:30 Return to Gees Bend side by Ferry
3:00 Depart for Jones Landing
5:30 Arrive Jones Landing, private ASRT campground

Friday, October 19. Day 7. Jones Landing to Millers Ferry. 8 miles.

9:00 Depart Jones Landing
Lunch TBD
4:00 Arrive Millers Ferry
6:00 Jason Haynes USACE Fish Fry, live music
 
 
Saturday, October 20. Depart (not an official day of the event)
 
All meals on-your own. Optional lock through of Millers Ferry Dam if water levels and US Army Corps of Engineers allow.

Locals are invited to day-paddle with us for free, plus a $5 fee that we have to pay the American Canoe Association to insure our event.


 
Except for the optional last night’s camp at Millers Ferry, all camping is primitive or semi-primitive, with water available at all stops. Hot showers will be available at all stops, either from a US Army Corps of Engineers campground or from our portable hot showers. All camping will be tent camping. Where flush toilets or Corps of Engineers chemical toilets are not available (one stop) we will provide portable toilets.
 
Daily mileage: 8 to 15 miles (with optional assistance on long days)

Meals: On your own with great meals included at Selma and Camden (see this site for the optional Food Track, with all meals catered or cooked on site).

Camping: Included

Shuttle: There will be an opportunity between registration and launching on our first day to drive our vehicles in a group to secure parking at Millers Ferry Campground. Everyone poarticipating will be given a ride back. Cars will be waiting for you upon your arrival at journey's end. NOTE: if you miss this shuttle, you will have to make your own arrangement with another person in the group.

Gear: Gear will be hauled by boat from campsite to campsite.

Cost: $195 for ACA members plus $5.00 personal insurance component for non-members, $95 for children under 14, plus $5.00 personal insurance component for non-members. ASRT members save $15.00 on the event over non-members. Food Track meals $200.

Sign up three of your friends as paid participants, and get your own trip for free! No double dipping allowed—you can't use a recruited friend for more than one free pass. Doesn't apply to food track or anything extra you might want to do outside the official event.
 
Teachers and journalists may qualify for complimentary trips. Email jim.felder@gmail.com or call 256 426 0558.



What you should bring
  • Camping gear and anything you need to make yourself comfortable in camp, including changes of warm clothing
  • Clothing for inclement weather—the event will be cancelled only in the case of extreme weather such as high water, rough water or wind.
  • Water! Bring water and water containers.
  • Food! You're out for three meals times seven days—that's 21 meals, more or less. There will be opportunities on most days to order food or visit a grocery store (and restaurants in some cases). There will be no need to carry anything in your boat but lunch, snacks and a change of clothes (preferably in a dry bag) for the day trips—your provisions will be delivered to you each afternoon. Be sure to bring cleanup supplies for whatever you are cooking
  • Light! Bring flaslights and batteries or lanterns and fuel
  • Containers—bring a marked duffel back and/or latching plastic bin to hold all your provisions. No loose items will be accepted.
  • Camp chairs
  • Any musical instrument you care to entertain us with
  • Everyone on this (and all other ASRT events) event must have a paddle and personal floatation device (life jacket) to be worn at all times we are on the water. No exceptions!
  • Sunscreen, chapstick, a hat to provide protection from the sun and all the medications that you take.

ASRT will provide some spare paddles and first aid items and some water. A food plan is available; subscribers to the food plan will have food and water delivered to them each afternoon. Stoves and some cookware will be provided for communal use; campers are encouraged to bring camp stoves, cookware and cleanup supplies.




Registration

There are two things you need to do to register (maybe three, read on).

First, you need to pay. You can do that online at www.active.com or you can mail a check to

ASRT Treasurer
c/o Edgar and Associates
218 East 12th Street
Anniston Alabama 36207

Second, you need to download, print, fill out and send your forms (bring them if you register within a week of the event). There are two forms; one is the ASRT Event Form and the other is either an adult or a minor American Canoe Association form. Mail the completed forms to

Jim Felder
799 Ashley Drive
Madison, AL 35758

or send an email to jim.felder@gmail.com with a note that you are bringing them to the event.

Third, if you are a member of the American Canoe Association, write your number on the ACA form (see above) and you're done. If you are not an ACA member, bring an extra $5.00 with you to the event to cover the additional insurance expense that is not included in your registration fee. This is explained in more detail in the event description, above, and on the registration page at active.com. This does not apply to minors (under 14) attending the event with a paying adult. The $5.00 ACA personal fee will be covered by the ASRT.

For more information or special requests, please contact Jim Felder