Fishing and Floating the Little Cahaba River
The Little Cahaba River is probably best known for its very popular and scenic canoe trails. These trails are enjoyed by canoeists and kayakers, who regularly make the downstream float from Bulldog Bend towards the juncture of the main stem of the Cahaba River. The Little Cahaba is a major tributary of the upper Cahaba River Basin watershed, which includes 190 miles of bluffs, shoals, and sharp ridges before entering the lower Cahaba Basin on the Coastal Plain.
The Little Cahaba River is idea for beginning and intermediate canoeists since it offers shoals and runs, deep pools, and several nice rapids to challenge paddling skills depending upon your level of expertise. Since the Little Cahaba lies above the Fall Line in the Alabama Valley and Ridge region, the river’s path is characterized by large rock outcroppings with ridges running northeast to southwest composed of sandstone and chert while nearby valley regions are made up of limestone and shale deposits.
The Nature Conservancy oversees 480 acres of land, known as the “Glades” (The Kathy Stiles Freeland Bibb County Glades Preserve), located along the Little Cahaba River. This unique preserve is often referred to as a “botanical storehouse” because it is home to approximately 61 rare species of plants, several of which are considered threatened or endangered. In addition, dozens of rare aquatic species and organisms, including the round rock snail, cylindrical lioplax snail, goldline darter, Cahaba shiner, and rocky-shoal spider lilies (commonly known as the Cahaba Lily) are found in the Little Cahaba River as it meanders through the preserve. According to Bill Garland, retired Fish and Wildlife Service biologist, this part of Bibb County is recognized as the most biologically diverse piece of real estate in the state of Alabama.