General Info & Whitewater Festival
The Coosa River is one of the largest volume whitewater runs in the Southeast. The majority of the run is flat and the Spanish Moss up in the trees and occasional alligators should alert paddlers that they are in the deep south. You might notice the massive rocks at the base of Jordan Dam, all that remains of 'The Devil's Staircase.' Rumor has it the sound of water flowing over these rocks was heard miles away. The town was aptly named "Wetumpka" which means rumbling waters. The major attraction of the Coosa is the annual rodeo at Moccasin Gap rapid. Moccasin Gap is reputed to be the southern most Class III rapid in Alabama. While an easy Class III drop it presents some exciting play spots and the rodeo is always a great event. Of all of the rivers in the Southeast the Coosa is one of the few whitewater runs where powerboats can interrupt a rodeo. The play spots and rapids outside of Moccasin Gap are all Class II in nature but the local rocks are extremely sharp and can rip up boats or boaters. There are alternative put-ins below the dam that require crossing private land. These are often open during the rodeo.
Info on the whitewater festival: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Coosa-River-Whitewater-Festival/198766436805176
2000 cfs = extremely low
4000 cfs = low, good for beginners and novice paddlers
6000 cfs = better
8000 cfs = ideal flow
10000 cfs = some things may begin to wash out
Put in at the base of Jordan Dam. The first 1.5 mile stretch is flatwater until you get to "river falls" shoals. You'll know you're there when you see a large island in the middle of the river. Most paddlers stay right of the island, as the left channel is shallow and accumulates wood. Stay right to find Maytag Hole and Baby Gap. At 2000 cfs, Mid-river hole can be found left of Baby Gap.
There's about a mile of flatwater in between Baby and Moccasin Gap. Land on the large rock to scout or to watch others surf. The standard line is to hug the right side of the main flow and eddy out to the right, just beside the wave. There's a straightforward Class II line on the left side of the rock beginners may wish to take.
Below The Gap there are a few Class II rapids: Pipeline, Big House and Corn Creek. All are straightforward Class IIs, though there are some swirly, sneaky eddy lines below Corn Creek that may flip the unsuspecting.
Paddlers take out at Coosa Outdoor Center or the Coosa River Adventure property, though you could take out at the Wetumpka Gold Star Park, past the bridge on river left.
Outfitters, Camping and Shuttle Service
There are two outfitters on the Coosa who rent sit on top kayaks and sell whitewater boats and accessories. They'll provide shuttle for a fee. Coosa Outdoor Center also has 20 campsites available for overnight trips.
Coosa Outdoor Center:http://http://www.coosaoutdoorcenter.com/
Coosa River Adventures:http://www.coosariveradventures.com/
See Alabama Whitewater for info.
Put in at the base of Jordan Dam just off Rapids Road.
Best at 8000 cfs
Level must be between 6000 and 8000 cfs
The play spot, largest rapid, and site of the annual Coosa Rodeo. Standard line is run right of the large rock. Line on the left can be run as a Class II alternative.
Named for the big house on river right.
On river left, just above the bridge.
On river left.
http://www.coosariveradventures.com/ runs a shuttle for $10. They were kind enough to run an extra shuttle for me after their last normal one. According to them the river runs @ 2000 CFS weekdays with recreational releases much larger on the weekends. I ran it on a weekday...its a decent beginner run, nothing too scary but introduces them to most of the different things they'll face on other whitewater (wavetrains/holes etc). With a huge flatwater paddle on either side. I probably won't run it again on weekday flows in a WW kayak though...too much flatwater. It'd be a great run in an open canoe though.
We have had releases on this reach but don't show any currently. This information is
gathered by the public. If you know about releases then contact us about them. If
you would volunteer to enter the releases, then reach out to us.
Call 1-800-LAKES-11 and push 4,7,2 for current release and generation schedule. There is a minimum flow of 2000 cfs, so the schedule will always indicate at least one unit. One unit = 2000-5000cfs, two units = 5000-10000 cfs, three units = 10000-15000cfs, four units = 15000-20000cfs. It runs 8000 cfs (the rodeo level) from 9am-3pm everyday from April 1 through beginning of June (as of April 2007 it is scheduled to run 3,000 cfs 12m-12m due to drought conditions). Then there are rec releases on weekends only from June through end of October, alternating between 4000, 6000, and 8000cfs for each day. Rec release season often ends early due to lack of water.
The annual tentative Jordan Dam release schedule is available at boatingbeta.com.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
on Coosa @CR 213 or the dam to River Road
Chris Surfing at Baby Gap
Wavewheel into the Gap
Little Cartwheel Action, Coosa
Loopin in the last hole @ Coosa
Baswell on the back wave, Coosa
Top Wave, Coosa, AL.
In the hole
A Little bit of Air
On the stern
Ash @ The Gap
Brenda @ The Gap
The Pope @ The Gap
Brad @ Mocassin Gap
Looping in the Big Air Competition
Being Blunt at Moccasin Gap
Blunt on the Big side
Huge Space Godzilla
Bryan surfing at Moccasin Gap
David H running Moccasin Gap
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
Log into the American Whitewater website and you can contribute to river descriptions,
flow and access tips, and maps associated with runs you've done. You can even add new
runs to the inventory!