5 Great Paddleboarding Spots in Alabama

By Ian-Spiegel Blum

5 Great Paddleboarding Spots in Alabama


Paddleboarding can be a fantastic way to get on the water and see the world from a different perspective, while getting a great workout outside of the gym. In Alabama, there are no shortages of beautiful waterways that are perfect for an afternoon spent paddling. Below you’ll find five great places to dip your paddle in the water in Alabama!  

1. Elk River

The Elk River, a tributary of the Tennessee River, runs for around 195 miles and provides plenty of great paddleboarding opportunities. Fort Hampton Outfitters in Elkmont, Alabama, located near the Elk River, offers kayak and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) rental equipment, in addition to paddle lessons. Take lessons at the Joe Wheeler State Park or Point Mallard Waterpark, in which your trained instructor will teach you “the basics of paddle boarding and have you standing and paddling in the water in no time.” If you prefer to purchase your equipment, Fort Hampton Outfitters is more than happy to oblige.

2. The Orange Beach Canoe Trail, Orange Beach, AL

The Orange Beach Canoe Trail consists of different spots along the water. Paddled by You in Orange Beach, Alabama, is one of the top spots along the trail. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Endless Summer offers kayaks and paddleboards for rent or purchase. Stand-up paddleboard rentals start at $25 for two hours, $35 for four, and up from there. Paddled by You is within paddling distance of Bird Island and Robinson Island, two beatific locations to see native wildlife. Stop by Tacky Jack’s, Anchor Bar and Grill, or Pleasure Island Tiki Bar during your paddling for a quick bite to eat. 

3. Upper Kananaskis Lake

Upper Kananaskis Lake is actually a reservoir used for recreational activities, including SUP. If you need equipment, consider Hut of Elberta in Elberta, Alabama. They are a fitness-oriented co-op with the goal of offering “reasonably priced exercise experiences for those of all ages in the town of Elberta and the surrounding areas.” To those ends, they offer yoga classes and stand-up paddleboarding. Sign up for a kid’s or adult paddleboarding trip or kid’s paddleboarding camp. Community paddle clinics, private outings, and one way trips to Wolf Bay are all available with differing prices. 

4. Alabama Gulf Coast

Alabama’s Gulf Coast boasts white sand beaches and little-known vacation spots that run up against the Gulf of Mexico. The water is calm enough for paddleboarders to have a great time. Rent kayaks and paddleboards with Gulf Shores Boat and Paddlesports Rentals to have them delivered to you for free. Not only will they deliver the equipment, but an instructor comes along to help you get started. With free delivery to your waterside retreat, you’ll be able to enjoy the waters of the Alabama Gulf Shore without leaving home. Rates start at $85 for one hour.

5. The Tennessee River

Explore the Tennessee River with Forrest Paddle Boarding. They bring the fun to the North Alabama area of Huntsville. Most of the lessons take place alongside the Tennessee River, but the owner is happy to work with you to schedule a different location. A two-hour trip, including all of the equipment and short introductory instruction, starts at $35 for an individual, and $45 for a guided tour. Private lessons are available as well for individuals and groups.

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