Five Mile Creek Paddling Routes

Five Mile Creek Paddling Routes

Map of Five Mile Creek Canoe Launches

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As with any creek adventure, there will be varying water levels and conditions depending upon the amount of local rainfall. To check current creek water levels click on maps/current water conditions on the home page. Paddlers need to be prepared on occasion to exit their “creek vessel” to portage over shallow shoals or even around narrow creek channels. Additional, please be advised that after wind or storms paddlers may encounter a fallen tree or overhanging limbs that may present varying degrees of challenges for paddlers. For a most enjoyable creek adventure all Five Mile Creek paddlers are advised to wear an old pair of “creek shoes” just in case they need to exit their “creek vessel”.

Trail #1 Extreme Upper Kayaking (Lewisburg to Coalburg 5.4 miles)

High Water Kayaking Only Recommended

**NO SHUTTLE SERVICE PROVIDED, We Do Rent Kayaks for Those Interested. This is a must for the skilled kayaker who is looking for a true Alabama adventure. However, this is only available certain times of the year due to inconsistent water levels and rainfall. The best times will be during the winter and early spring rainy periods. If interested check maps/currents for current water levels in the area.

Trail #2 Upper Runs

Option “A” Republic Underwater Bridge to Brookside’s Bensko Park 7.7 miles – Shuttle Service Provided

Paddlers will be shuttled up to the charming and scenic little Cades Cove of Jefferson County known as Republic, Alabama. You will launch your creek vessels at the famous “UNDERWATER BRIDGE”. The bridge is located on the now closed Brackett Loop Road. For many years, the bridge was a place where people migrated during hot, humid summer days to cool off. It was a regular neighborhood gathering spot!
(This area is now privately owned and is only available to the public through rentals and by shuttle service through Five Mile Creek Canoe  Company). Once paddlers leave the underwater bridge they will find shallow shoals, quiet pools, and very beautiful and scenic sites. Sites include the Billingsley Trestle, Bivens Trestle, and Historical Bevin’s Cemetery burial site of William Speer age 101–a revolutionary war solider. This is a must see; just dock your vessel and hike a few hundred yards up to the cemetery. Depending on the water levels you could experience a few challenging class I and II rapids, but usually this is no a problem for paddlers. Closer to Brookside there will be several beautiful rock bluffs and a few large rocks that have made their way into the creek. On your journey you may hear or see the active Norfolk Southern Railroad train, the historical concrete arched bridge, the old iron bridge, the Brookside-Mt. Olive Road Bridge, a lot of kudzu, and finally the ballpark bridge at Bensko Park Canoe Launch. A large stop sign will indicate that your Upper Run has ended. You are required to portage your canoe up the launch and place it on the canoe trailer located just up the hill next to the Five Mile Creek Canoe Company public parking area. You are now back at your starting location which began at Five Mile Creek Canoe Company. We hope you had a great time and brought a change of clothes and some dry shoes. This is an excellent fall foliage trip!

Option “B” Billingsley Trestle to Brookside’s Bensko Park 4.4 Miles Canoeing or Kayaking—Shuttle Service Provided

This is a shorter version of Upper Run Option“A”, but still packed with scenic beauty and historical sites.
Your adventure will begin just off Cherry Avenue at a private launch area located at the Billingsley Trestle. On your journey you will paddle approximately one mile to Bivens Trestle and Historical Bevin’s Cemetery burial site of William Speer age 101–a revolutionary war solider. This is a must see; just dock your vessel and hike a few hundred yards up to the cemetery. Depending on the water levels you could experience a few challenging class I and II rapids, but usually this is no a problem for paddlers. Closer to Brookside there will be several beautiful rock bluffs and a few large rocks that have made their way into the creek. On your journey you may hear or see the active Norfolk Southern Railroad train, the historical concrete arched bridge, the old iron bridge, the Brookside-Mt. Olive Road Bridge, a lot of kudzu, and finally the ballpark bridge at Bensko Park Canoe Launch. A large stop sign will indicate that your Upper Run has ended. You are required to portage your canoe up the launch and place it on the canoe trailer located just up the hill next to the Five Mile Creek Canoe Company public parking area. You are now back at your starting location which began at Five Mile Creek Canoe Company.

We hope you had a great time and brought a change of clothes and some dry shoes. This is an excellent fall foliage trip!

  Trail #3 Middle Runs

Option “A” Brookside’s Bensko Park to Graysville Canoe Park – Shuttle Service Provided

Canoeing or Kayaking–Catch & Release Fishing Recommended! Beautiful Warrior Red-eye Bass are waiting for you!

This voyage is full of scenic beauty, rich in mining history, and packed with great fishing opportunities–the perfect adventure for the well-rounded outdoor person! Your adventure begins at the public launch next to Five Mile Creek Canoe Company headquarters, floats you past the old swimming hole at the new Brookside Beach Public Area and on to the famous “Kissing Rock”- a famous courting site for many youngsters behind the old Brookside Jr. High School site which is also home to the Historic Brookside Cemetery. Just around the bend past “Kissing Rock” one can bank their creek vessel and walk up the Greenway trail visit the cemetery or sit just spell upon “Kissing Rock”.
Next journey under Cardiff Street Bridge and around “Burrell Bend”– you are now entering historical Cardiff, a mining town established in the 1800’s. Just before Linn’s Crossing-Cardiff Bridge you are welcome to once again bank your creek vessel and walk over the bridge and down the train tracks (at your own risk) to visit historical “Jefferson Tunnel” at railroad marker #184, site of massive mining strike murders during the 1890’s.

Upon returning to your vessel continue your float around horseshoe bend, past Prudes Creek and Prudes Creek WWTP. Once you pass the WWTP you will enter a beautiful wilderness. This is a beautiful float, particularly in the “Narrows” an area where the creek channel was re-routed to help the new railroad route around a portion of Five Mile Creek. At the “Narrows” the creek enters a high wall area and you will see seams of coal and other natural rock formations in the cut. High bluffs and large rocks abound in and around the creek. You will need to plan for possible obstacles and possible portages beyond the “Narrows”. Pack a snack or lunch and stop along the way to enjoy nature. The last mile of this run is called Linndale Shoals. The entire creek bottom changes to solid rock underneath your canoe and beware of possible shallow rapids as you approach the Linndale Bridge. You will float under U.S. Hwy 78 and Old U.S.Hwy 78. Take out is on your left under Old 78 Bridge.

We hope you enjoyed your wilderness adventure, took lots of pictures, and remember we practice catch and release fishing on Five Mile Creek!

Option “B” Brookside’s Bensko Park to Prudes Creek 2.5 miles – Shuttle Service Provided

Canoeing or Kayaking—Catch & Release Fishing Recommended!
This is a Shorter Version of Middle Run Option “A”—Recommended for families with small children.
This voyage is full of scenic beauty, rich in mining history, and packed with great fishing opportunities–the perfect adventure for families with small children! Your adventure begins at the public launch next to Five Mile Creek Canoe Company headquarters, floats you past the old swimming hole at the new Brookside Beach Public Area and on to the famous “Kissing Rock”- a famous courting site for many youngsters behind the old Brookside Jr. High School site which is also home to the Historical Foster’s Cemetery. Just around the bend past “Kissing Rock” one can bank their creek vessel and walk up the Greenway trail visit the cemetery or sit just spell upon “Kissing Rock”.
Next, you journey under Cardiff Street Bridge and around “Burrell Bend”– you are now entering historical Cardiff, a mining town established in the 1800’s. Just before Linn’s Crossing-Cardiff Bridge you are welcome to once again bank your creek vessel and walk over the bridge and down the train tracks (at your own risk) to visit historical “Jefferson Tunnel” at railroad marker #184, site of massive mining strike murders during the 1890’s.

This is a very scenic run for those learning to canoe or families with small children. There are very few obstacles, good fishing pools, and only one really challenging rapid—you could tip the canoe and get wet just short of the take out at Prudes Creek. The take out and shuttle van locations are just behind Mountain View Golf Course before you reach Prudes Creek WWTP slightly off Water Trail Road. Paddlers please portage your canoes and place them upon the canoe trailer located a short distance from the creek. We hope you enjoyed your adventure with the Five Mile Creek Canoe Company, took some pictures and made lots of good family memories!

Trail #4 Lower Run: Graysville Canoe Park to Flat Top Locust Fork Take Out 10.5 miles

Canoeing or Kayaking–Shuttle Service Provided
When the water level is just right there is no better adventure for the intermediate paddler. This run begins just north of downtown Graysville at Old 78 Bridge and just keeps getting better and better the farther you paddle into the “Five Mile Wilderness Gorge”. You will float under U.S. Hwy 78 and Old U.S.Hwy 78. The gradient will both increase and decrease thus providing the paddler with a multitude of water challenges. During this run the creek will also horseshoe several times giving the paddler a sense of just going around in circles, thus seeing the same power line several times can make you wonder. Scenic beauty abounds on both sides of the creek! Increasing rapids, large rocks (in the middle of the creek), steep bluffs, sightings of wild hogs, beavers, whitetail deer, bobcats, and Great Blue Heron birds will keep you looking on both sides of the Five Mile. Just before you reach the end of Five Mile Creek and the Locust Fork River you will see the Five Mile Trestle and then the old Southern Railroad Trestle pillars. Bank your canoe at the Five Mile Trestle and hike up the hill and visit the grand Five Mile Tunnel! Hint! (Take a flash light—it’s 900’ long) or turn left and paddle  into the Locust Fork River and continue on for approximately two miles and under the new I-22 Corridor Bridge and around the bend to the Flat Top take out on your right. We hope you brought plenty of food and water for this wild & lengthy adventure. This is also an excellent fall trip for those who enjoy the changing of the leaves while spending the day in the wild of Jefferson County.