One of the best family friendly float trips in the Mobile area, the Ron Jones Paddle Trail is a 3-mile float trip down a scenic Southern blackwater river where Native Americans once lived and pirates plied the waters. The wide river flows through tupelo and cypress forests as it winds its way to the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta.
One of the best family friendly float trips in the Mobile area, the Ron Jones Paddle Trail is a 3-mile trip down a scenic Southern black water river where Native Americans once lived thousands of years ago and pirates plied once hid in the back channels. At the start of the trip down this lazy river you will be floating through a beautiful swamp tupelo, red maple, and bald cypress forest and near the end the banks are lined with brackish marsh land. And all along the route you may spy an American alligator and as well as large brown pelicans dive bombing the water for a meal.
What Makes It Great
One of the newest canoe trails along Alabama’s Gulf Coast is the 3-mile long Ron Jones Paddle Trail. Named after the man who dreamed of making Chickasaw Creek a canoe trail, this easy-flowing float trip down a lazy Southern black water river is the one of the best family friendly float trips in the Mobile area but one that will be equally enjoyed by those wanting to just dream away the afternoon or families that want to get into the sport of paddling.
Chickasaw Creek is a feeder of the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta and was once the home of Native Americans thousands of years. In more recent history, say a couple hundred years ago, pirates and robbers floated these waters and hid among the many side channels and bayous. Legend has it that some pirate treasure was buried here, but don’t go digging up the banks looking for it.
The trail begins at the county managed Chickasabogue Park. The put-in is located only a few dozen yards before the I-65 overpass. From here the well-marked black water channel slowly widens as it snakes its way eastward. Along the route you will pass side channels where tupelo and cypress swamps are hidden away and American alligator may be seen along the banks. As you near the take-out at William Brooks Park in Chickasaw (just before the US 43 bridge) watch for large brown pelicans as they dive-bomb the water for their next meal.
Who is Going to Love It
If you’re looking for a nice, leisurely afternoon while you’re in the Mobile area, the Ron Jones Paddle Trail is the perfect getaway. The slow flowing Chickasaw Creek is the perfect way to while away the afternoon. That “no-hurry” flow makes this a great float trip for families especially for those wanting to try canoeing or kayaking for the first time (boats can be rented at Chickasabogue Park between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily for only $5 a day). Fishermen will love this creek as well with bluegill, largemouth bass, and catfish being the main catch (an Alabama fresh water fishing license if required).
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Directions to the Put-In: From Mobile, Alabama, at the intersection of I-65 at exit 8 and St. Stephens Road take St. Stephens Rd., 0.7-miles and turn right onto Elba Ave. Travel 0.5-miles and turn left onto W. Main St. In 0.4-miles turn right onto S. Gould Ave. Travel 0.4-miles and turn left onto Whistler St. Travel 0.5-miles and turn right onto Adlock Rd. Follow Adlock Rd. east 1-mile and come to the Chickasabogue Park entrance. After paying your fee continue straight on Adlock Rd. 0.3-miles and come to a “Y”. Take the left fork and in 0.4-miles come to the parking area and boat launch.
Directions to the Take-Out: Travel back to Whistler St. Turn right onto Whistler St. and travel 0.9-miles. Turn left onto N. Wasson Ave. In 0.4-miles N. Wasson becomes Thompson Blvd. Continue 1.1-miles and make a slight left onto 2nd Street. In 300 feet turn right onto 5th St. then in another 300 feet turn left onto Grant St. In 0.5-miles turn left onto US 43 North. Travel 0.8-miles and turn left onto Bellwood Lane and right after the turn make another immediate right. The take-out is about 0.1-miles straight ahead. GPS Coordinates to Take-Out: 30.781981, -88.073481.