World’s Longest Paddle Race Returns to Alabama (Including Weiss Lake), on Saturday, September 18th
Around twenty of the most fierce paddlers in the world will converge on Alabama this month for a state-wide race that tests the will of even the most extreme athletes. Racers face whitewater, battle tidewater currents, and hike around a dozen dams in this 650-mile, adventure-style paddle race called the Great Alabama 650. It kicks off in Northeast Alabama this Saturday, Sept 18, and spectators can cheer for racers on river banks on the Causeway on Highway 9 between Centre and Cedar Bluff as well as in Gadsden, Pell City, Wetumpka, Montgomery, Selma, Fairhope, and more.
That event will get underway on the Causeway at 10:00am Saturday
The racecourse is the core section of the Alabama Scenic River Trail, a 6,000-plus mile mapped river trail system. The 650-mile core section of the river trail extends from the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Northeast Alabama through alligator country to the Gulf of Mexico. Racers will have up to 10 days to finish the race and vie for a first-place win in one of three divisions – male solo, female solo, and two-person teams. The participants will be allowed to use kayaks, canoes, or stand-up paddleboards throughout the event.
Spectators can follow the event virtually at AL650.com where race organizers will post a live map that reporting up-to-the-minute updates on each boats’ whereabouts.
The map will be augmented with Facebook and Instagram posts from the field, which spectators can find by following official race accounts or by using the hashtag #AL650.
Great Alabama 650, Core section of the Alabama Scenic River Trail
Sept. 18th – Oct. 28th
The Alabama Scenic River Trail is the longest river trail in the United States; it was established in 2008, the river trail was comprised of just one 650-mile stretch of contiguous waterways, extending from Weiss Lake in northeast Alabama through the Mobile Bay, a waterway so biologically diverse it’s called “America’s Amazon.”; today the river trail includes more than 6,000 miles of mapped river trail and 60 boat rental shops exist on its banks to help paddlers tour the state’s vast aquatic resources.