Most people couldn't tell you where Autauga Creek is if you asked them, but that's about to change thanks to the hard work by Prattville's Autauga Creek Improvement Committee.
Above: The old Pratt Mill still stands in the center of town.
Next time you're north of Montgomery on I-65, turn off at Bass Pro Shop and go a few miles into the charming center of town. When you see Daniel Pratt's old mill in front of you, you're near the take-out for the upper run and put-in for the lower run, which joins the Alabama River. It's one of the few places in the state you can paddle to the heart of a town with lots to see and do. It's the only place in the state you can get out of a kayak hungry and walk a short block or two up main street to Uncle Mick's Cajun Market and Cafe or grab a sandwich nearby.
Autauga Creek has a lot going for it because of what's going through it—water. Fed by springs and artesian wells, the creek has water in it when other's don't so you can paddle it's cool waters all summer long. It's shaded by a canopy of trees to the point that we didn't even need sunscreen on a recent trip on the upper part in mid-June. It has current—the typical four-or-so-mile trips go by not only because you're moving, but you're busy picking your way around every turn (don't bring a long boat). In fact, I don't recall a stretch of flat—or straight—water on the Autauga. It can get low, but the volunteers of the Autauga Creek Improvement Committee are constantly cutting and removing obstacles on this remakable run.
Above: JoAnn Johnson of Autauga Creek Improvement Association with saw and cutters on board, on a mission to clear the creek.
Prattville Powersports, a business traditionally catering to offroad and cycle enthusiasts, now rents, sells and shuttles paddlecraft at their creek access. See our Outfitters Page
If you want a guided tour of your own that promises to be lots of fun, see our Events listing on sidebar to the right and join us on our July 21, 22 & 23 paddle weekend. This will be a great beginner-friendly paddle that's great for kids and that seasoned paddlers will enjoy as well.
More information about the amenities and resources along the rail are available from Drew Peterson at Prattville Leisure Services at 334 361 3623. There is no fee for the use of Autauga Creek Blueway.