For this section to be "fun" (from a whitewater enthusiast point of view) minimum is 3.' For those looking for something to paddle, John Foshee states this section can be run all the way down to 1.5.'River Description
The putin on CR 1 (Five Points Rd) has been known to have car break-ins, so be aware.
Described by John Foshee as a "pretty stretch of the Locust" and a nice prelude to the whitewater section by "gradually leading you from shallow shoals to harder shoals to rapids." The first 4.8 miles are pretty flat. When you see a large island and a small island, the 5 foot waterfall is coming up. First timers, and at high-water, land on river right to scout. Similar to Powell Falls, the right side forms a stair step and the left side is more of a vertical drop. At higher water a pretty bad recirculating hydraulic develops here and it may be best to portage.
At mile 6.6 is the Graves Creek confluence. Around mile 8 you'll find yourself at Kings Bend which is the sight of the annual Locust Fork Invitational and Classic races. There are a series of shoals next to a rock bluff on river right which make for a scenic paddle through this section. Just below the "slalom shoals" is King's Hole, about a 1.5' drop which makes a great playspot. The take out for this section at mile 10.2 is on RIVER RIGHT. Park your shuttle vehicle on the old road bed. This is the put in for the "whitewater" section. Like most takeouts in Alabama, it's short but steep. *The river left side at the take-out is off limits to everyone. The owner is not friendly to trespassers. Use river right!*
Race Information - Locust Fork Invitational and Locust Fork Classic
Races are held in February and March each year. Events include Slalom, Boatercross and Downriver. For more information visit: http://www.alabamacupraces.com/index.html Alabama Canoe Rides and Float Trips, Foshee, John
See also www.alabamawhitewater.com.
Put In on Cold Branch Road
Depending on the waterlevel, may want to scout this one.
Site of the Locust Fork Invitational and Locust Fork Classic Kayak races in February and March every year.
Take out at the old Highway 79/231 bridge.
January 12, 2014. Water level 4' / 1300 cfs on the Cleveland gauge. Judging from other comments and pictures of the river, at this water level a lot of rocks and other obstacles are completely underwater, making the paddle more of a point-and-shoot affair rather than one requiring much manoevering, but there were quite a few (8-10) rapids that with the potential to swamp an open boat.
Put-in on 5-Points RD (aka New Cold Branch RD) N34° 2.5957', W86° 29.6243'
From the put-in to the falls was easy; the current was swift, but the channel was wide open, with only a few ~1' high waves in the faster sections.
Powell Falls: 4.86 miles down. N34° 3.5077', W86° 32.6007' (This point is the lip of the falls on river right, the point of no return) We portaged on river right. We lowered the boats down a 3' ledge into the pool below the falls and climbed into them from the ledge, but had a very hard time getting past the eddy at the bottom. It was making a whirlpool 20'-30' across with a 6" depression in the center.
The next 1/4 mile below the falls had 2 rapids; at the lower one the channel constricted to about 1/2 the average river width.
Rapid: Mile 9.32, N34° 1.4853', W86° 34.1166' This was the 3rd most difficult spot, after the two rapids below the falls. It was about a 1.5' drop at this water level, with a couple of 2' waves at the bottom. (Enough of a wave to give a noticeable blow on the chest as it washed over my bow.)
Possible Strainer: Mile 9.86 N34° 1.149', W86° 34.252'
About 1/3 mile before the takeout; it was almost dark when I came to it, so I couldn't see it clearly, but it looked like a 2' dia tree most of the way across from mid-channel to the left bank. It's towards the bottom of an island, which was flooded at the time, so I as able to paddle to the right, over the island (through the trees), and around it.
Take-out: Mile 10.21 N34° 1.418', W86° 34.410'
Just guessing for now on ft to cfs conversion.
Permits are not required for this reach.
Take 5 Points road out of Cleveland Al, drive on it for 6.8 miles as it turns into Coal Branch road on Google maps. There is a bend in the Locust where it is close to the road; park here. Be aware of a trend of car break-ins at this putin.
Local boaters may have access to private putins as well.
For the Takeout, go north on Hwy 79 from Cleveland Al, until the Hwy crosses the river. Turn at the next right and go back down the old hwy road bed and park there. You will take out on river right.
Do NOT attempt to use river left, it is fenced and posted no trespassing. The owners are not friendly to trespassers.
Kings Bend - The NAWF campground
Gavin Gliding Through the Gates
Keith Yell @ The Locust Fork Races
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.
The 4th Annual North Alabama Whitewater Festival, located on Locust Fork of the Warrior River in Blount County, will be held March 7-9, 2008. The weekend will incorporate whitewater kayaking competitions, games, live music, raffles, arts and crafts, food, refreshments, camping, and good times.The organizers of NAWFest, in conjunction with American Whitewater, plan to raise awareness and money for local and national conservation groups such as Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Alabama Rivers Alliance, Friends of the Locust Fork, and The Husley Little River Trust.
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!