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The Riverbum Blog
Your #1 source for information about paddling Alabama’s rivers, creeks, and streams.
Wooden Great Alabama 650 Sign

An Introduction to the Longest US Paddle Race

Who: 20 Racers
What: The Great Alabama 650: 5th Edition of a 650 Mile Alabama Professional Paddle Race
When: September 30, 2023 – October 10, 2023
Where: Alabama Scenic River Trail Core- Weiss Lake to Fort Morgan
Website: AL650.com
Social Media: Instagram (@greatalabama650) and Facebook (GreatAlabama650)

Twenty of the fiercest paddlers from across North America and Europe will converge on Alabama next month for the 5th edition of a state-wide race that tests the will of even the most extreme athletes. Racers face whitewater, battle tidewater currents, and traverse around nine dams in this 650-mile, adventure-style paddle race called the Great Alabama 650. It kicks off in Northeast Alabama at Weiss Lake on Sept 30, and spectators can cheer for racers on river banks in Gadsden, Pell City, Wetumpka, Montgomery, Selma, Fairhope, and more. The racecourse is the core section of the Alabama Scenic River Trail, which as an organization (ASRT), now has 6,500-plus miles of river trail network across the state. The 650-mile core section of the ASRT extends from the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Northeast Alabama through alligator country to the Gulf of Mexico. Racers will have up to ten days to finish the race going all out for a first-place win in one of three divisions– male solo, female solo, and two-person team. Participants can use kayaks, canoes, or stand-up paddleboards interchangeably throughout the event. Spectators can follow the event virtually here on our website, where race organizers will post a live map reporting up-to-the-minute updates on each racer’s progress. Staff will also share live race information through Facebook and Instagram posts, which spectators can find by following official race accounts (@GreatAlabama650) or using the hashtag #AL650.

Link to AL650 Race Details