Mound Island

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If you're looking for a real wilderness adventure then experience the rain forest-like Mound Island paddle through the second largest river delta in the country, the Mobile-Tensaw Delta. The trip takes you through narrow bayous and sloughs with Spanish moss laden trees lining the banks then arrives at Mound Island the site of an ancient Native American civilization over 5,000 years ago and is now a National Historic Site.

Written by

Joe Cuhaj


9.0 miles

Destination Distance From Downtown

24.1 miles


4 of 5 diamonds

First, this is a long paddle through narrow bayous and across wide rivers where you will encounter motor boats. And while this paddle is part of the Bartram Canoe Trail and is well marked there is a chance you could float off course down one of the myriads of back bayous. Travel only with experienced paddlers with navigational knowledge.

Time To Complete

8 hours

This is a long paddle.


Spring, Fall, and Winter

From early fall to mid-spring is the best time to paddle this trail. Late spring and summer brings too many mosquitoes to even attempt the trip and the Southern heat and humidity makes it VERY uncomfortable and even dangerous. A river stage of 6 to 19 feet due to heavy Gulf rains or the release of water from Claiborne Dam upstream make this trip dangerous and should not be paddled. Visit for water level information.

Dog Friendly


While people do bring dogs on this trip it is recommended that you don't because of alligators and wild boar on the island itself.

Topographical Map

Mound Island Route Map



An amazing variety of flora and fauna and the opportunity to do a little hiking to an historic Native American mound system deep in the heart of what many  call “America’s Amazon”, the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta, make the Mound Island canoe trip an absolute must do. Paddle down beautiful Southern bayous and cedar bogs then hike a short distance to the center of the island to view eighteen ancient Indian mounds. 

What Makes It Great

The Mobile-Tensaw is the second largest such river delta in the country and has remained undisturbed for thousands of years. This paddle will take you through this natural wonderland with towering cedar trees, murky bayou waters, beautiful green-fly and southern rein orchid, and a slight hint of adventure around every bend with alligators lurking beneath the waters or watching from the banks.

The trip begins at Rice Creek Landing where the narrow channel is a picture postcard of what you would expect a bayou to be with dark, murky water and cedar trees lining the banks. Keep your eyes and ears open as you paddle for motor boat traffic.

About 4.5-miles from the put-in you will arrive at your destination, Mound Island. The island is the site of 18 ancient Indian mounds used by a civilization some thousands of years ago, the tallest being 45-feet tall. Put ashore here and hike the 0.5-miles to the mounds. Be sure to slather on insect repellent and watch for wild hogs. You may have to shimmy up a tree to get away from them.

While the trail is clearly marked with Bartram Canoe Trail signage on trees, it is still very easy to turn down the wrong channel and get lost in this wilderness. Only experienced paddlers should attempt this trip or try using one of the many guides in the area that can lead you through this exciting landscape such as Delta Safaris

Who is Going to Love It

This is the perfect paddle for those seeking adventure! This is a true wilderness paddling experience and while the route is well-marked by the state's conservation department it should only be attempted by seasoned paddlers with navigational skills. Families with older children or lesser experienced paddlers will also love the thrill of paddling with alligators and visiting the historic mounds but they should only make the trip with an experienced guide leading the way.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

From Stockton, Alabama, at the intersection of Hodgson Road and AL 59 take Hodgson Rd. north 0.4-miles and make a slight left onto CR 21 north. Travel north on CR 21 0.8-miles and turn left onto Rice Creek Rd. Travel 1.3-miles and you will arrive at the put-in / take-out.

Before heading out be sure to check the water level. The Department of Conservation warns that a river stage of 6 to 19 feet is too dangerous to paddle the delta. Visit

The state also reminds you that disturbing or collecting plants, littering, and feeding or harassing wildlife is prohibited. Each paddler must have a Coast Guard approved PFD and children under 8 must wear theirs at all times.

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Mound Island

10286 Rebel Rd.
Spanish Fort, Alabama, 36526
31.015651, -87.879705

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