Easy river float on the Locust Fork River. Float in the river from Swann Covered Bridge to Powell Falls. We’ll view a genuine, old but newly refurbished wooden covered bridge. Then we’ll float under the bridge and further, about a mile and a half, downstream to the waterfall. We’ll also view the sheer cliffs that rise about 60 feet above the river. So enjoy a flowing river, covered bridge, high rock bluffs and at least one waterfall—all along a one mile stretch of this river. Bring something to float on such as an inflatable vinyl float or air mattress. Substantial, fabric-covered, inflatable, vinyl, rectangular floats like you use to ride the waves at the Gulf work best. See float note below for information about acquiring floats.
Also please bring a picnic lunch, drink, towel and sunscreen. Pack these items in 2 plastic garbage bags with twist ties, one bag over the other. Then put the bags in your daypack and strap the pack to your back. This keeps your things dry and prevents them from floating away. Wear swimsuit and sturdy foot protection. Old sneakers work well. Bare feet, flip-flops, slip-ons and thin-soled “beach shoes” are not acceptable!
Lunch will be on the huge flat rock in the middle of the river beside the waterfall. Have fun swimming in the pools at the base of the rock, jumping into the larger pool, climbing up and down or just sitting in Powell Falls. We will walk back to the bridge on a trail along the river. You must be able to swim to participate in this outing!
Well-behaved, properly supervised children age 7 and up able to swim welcome, but parents are responsible for all risks to their children.
Spring floats, passenger car and pick up truck tire tubes and inflatable boats are not permitted on SEO river floats! A spring float is a flotation device consisting of an inflatable outer oval with a small, few inch diameter cross section and a large mesh interior. The last time a woman tried to float down this river with us on a spring float (now that I know what it is called), I had to order two high school football players in our group to wade out into the river immediately to seize her and her spring float in order to prevent her from being swept over the big waterfall. Those spring floats are meant for floating in swimming pools and on lakes in still water, not for floating the Locust Fork River. They are difficult to steer and therefore unsafe for use on Southeastern Outings river floats.
Bring a friend or several if you wish. Please be at the Cleveland Chevron Service Station no later than 8:45 a.m. ready to depart promptly at 9:00 a.m. Arriving 15 minutes before departure time will allow time to use the restrooms at the service station, hear announcements concerning the day’s event, and form carpools from the Chevron. Parking is extremely limited at the put in point on the river.
Info: Dan Frederick, email@example.com or 631-4680
Substantial, fabric-covered, inflatable, vinyl, rectangular floats like you use to ride the waves at the Gulf work best. Trip leader Dan Frederick has adult size floats for $16 each (72 inches long) and children’s size floats (60 inches long for $12 each) for sale ONLY at the start of outings Dan attends. Please pay either with exact change or a check made out to SEO. First come, first served.
Here is an alternative to carrying your lunches, water, towel and sunscreen in a pack on your back. You can bring with you two 6-7 foot lengths of sturdy cord. Place your pack with your things in it in the middle of the foot of your float. Lash the pack to your float with the two cords, one passing around the float and through the top of the straps and the other passing around the float and through the bottom of the straps of your pack. Then lie on your float with the pack sort of between your knees with your feet splayed out at the bottom corners of your float. Using this method eliminates your having to float down the river for several hours on your belly with a pack on your back, and it also gives you the option of turning over and lying on your back in the slower-moving sections of the river in order to change your body position and float more comfortably. Either method of transporting your pack is satisfactory and acceptable. But I learned that people like it when you give them choices. In any case, your lunches, etc. should be double bagged (or placed in a waterproof canoe bag) inside your pack.
Inflatable boats are not permitted on SEO river floats!
DIRECTIONS TO MEETING PLACE
Cleveland Chevron-36320 AL Highway 79, Cleveland, AL 35049. From Birmingham drive to Exit 128 on I-20/I-59. This is one exit west of the Birmingham Airport exit off I-59/I-20. It is marked Tallapoosa Street which IS AL Highway 79. Coming from downtown Birmingham, as you get to the bottom of the exit ramp, get in the right lane. The ramp curves to the right and then actually merges with AL Highway 79 headed north towards Cleveland. So bear slightly to the right at the end of the ramp. If you are coming westbound from the Birmingham Airport area to exit 128, you will make a right turn onto Tallapoosa Street at the light at the end of the exit ramp. Regardless of the direction from which you come, STAY ON THE VERY WIDE, MAIN CITY STREET WHICH IS TALLAPOOSA STREET. In either case, do not make any turns off of Alabama Highway 79 until you get to Cleveland. Take AL 79 about 34 miles to the traffic light in Cleveland, Alabama at intersection with AL 160. Chevron service station is at far right of that intersection.
DESCRIPTION OF SOUTHEASTERN OUTINGS
Do you wish you had friends who share your active lifestyle and enjoyment of outdoor activities? Then become active with Southeastern Outings (SEO), a nonprofit organization committed and created to serve people who enjoy being active in the outdoors. The organization plans, organizes and leads outings such as dayhikes, easy kayak and canoe trips, stream and waterfall walks, bicycle rides, lake events and other fun activities to beautiful sites in our natural environment. From time to time we also sponsor potluck suppers and other socials. All events and activities of the group are open to the public. Participating in SEO activities is a splendid, simple way to make congenial new friends who enjoy the outdoors.
NO DOGS OR SMOKING ALLOWED, PLEASE, ON ANY SOUTHEASTERN OUTINGS EVENTS.
The organization currently has over 360 members. We scheduled eighty-eight events during calendar year 2016 for an average of 7 fun events per month. We enjoy the outdoors in all seasons throughout the year. Twenty people on average have participated in each outing since January 1, 2017. SEO does not charge for participation in any of its outings. You do not have to be a member to participate in one or two SEO activities. Dues are only $10. Please contact Dan Frederick, President, 205-631-4680, or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to obtain three free monthly newsletters with membership application and a complete description of all our outdoor events. Southeastern Outings now has a website. Just go to seoutings.org to find announcements of all our upcoming outings scheduled plus some brief, general information about Southeastern Outings, a membership application and 1500 lovely photographs from several of our outings. Thank you.