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River of History: Exploring the Alabama River into Selma

52 Weekends on the Water
On the Alabama Scenic River Trail, there’s something new to experience every weekend of the year.
River of History: Exploring the Alabama River into Selma


Bodies of Water to Explore

Alabama River

Best Season

Spring, Summer, Fall

Skill Level

Paddles: 1 – no skill, desire to learn; 2 – moderate, knowledge needed; 3 – advanced, know what’s up


19 Mile Paddle

Trip Duration

1-2 Days

Recommended Put In & Take Out
Outfitters Nearby

Consider renting equipment from Coosa River Adventures Tote ‘n’ Float Program.

Trip Summary

Embark on a historic river journey along the Alabama River by paddling from Steele’s Landing passing by landmarks like Gardiner Island (32.43543, -86.85625) before arriving in downtown Selma. Marvel at the iconic Edmund Pettus Bridge, capturing memorable photos of this emblematic site from a new perspective. Conclude your adventure at the SandBar and Selma City Marina, indulging in delicious catfish before heading into town to soak in the rich history of Selma. Experience the heart of Alabama’s past while exploring part of the core Alabama Scenic River Trail.

Please be mindful of river conditions, check water levels, and prepare for this trip before embarking as there are few places to stop between the put-in and take out.  Consider calling a local ASRT Trail Angel for additional recommendations.

Trail Highlights

19 Mile Day Paddle

  • Stop 1Coosa River Adventures Tote ‘n’ Float Program to pick up your rental equipment
  • Stop 2: Drive over and put in at the Steele’s Landing put in (*Note there is a $5.00 usage fee)
  • Stop 3: Spend a full day paddling along the Alabama River (19 miles)
    • You’ll pass by Gardiner Island (Great spot for a picnic) 32.43543, -86.85625, the International Paper Plant, and several miles of peaceful waterway, before reaching downtown Selma
  • Stop 4: The Edmund Pettus Bridge a view from the water like no other this historic site is a great place to take a unique photo as you paddle
  • Stop 5: The SandBar and Selma City Marina, take out and refuel with delicious catfish and weekend music at this Selma restaurant
  • Note: An easier version of this trip would be to put in and take out at the Sandbar where you can paddle as far as you’re comfortable before returning your equipment.

Side Ventures & Optional Activities to Add to Your Trip

Bonus Sightings

  • Largemouth Bass are famous in the Alabama River areas. Learn more about Alabama River fishing opportunities from Outdoor Alabama

Non-Paddler Recommendations

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