The State Lands Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) has recently completed the construction of three new camping shelter locations on the lower delta section of the Bartram Canoe Trail in south Alabama. The Justins Bay, Mudhole Creek and Yancey Branch shelters are now available to reserve for overnight paddling trips on the canoe trail.
“The Mobile-Tensaw Delta is one of the most biologically diverse locations in the United States,” said Chris Blankenship, ADCNR Commissioner. “We encourage everyone to take advantage of this unique way to explore the delta and experience what makes it such an ecologically important place.”
The Justins Bay location features two camping shelters connected by an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible boardwalk and kayak/canoe launch. The shelters face in opposite directions and overlook Justins Bay to the east and the Apalachee River to the west. The Justins Bay shelters are accessible from an ADA compliant kayak launch located at the 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center in Spanish Fort, Ala.
The Mudhole Creek location is the northernmost camping shelter in the lower delta section of the trail. This shelter sits just above the surface of the water and is located approximately 1.25 miles from the mouth of Mudhole Creek. Historic Blakeley State Park in Spanish Fort and Cloverleaf Landing in Bay Minette, Ala., provide the closest access to the Mudhole Creek shelters.
The Yancey Branch shelter is located on the north end of Yancey Bay in the lower delta as part of the Forever Wild Land Trust MTD-Coastal Land Trust Tract Additions property. The shelter faces north providing paddlers with an excellent view of the Delta. The Yancey shelter is accessible from Buzbee Landing in Baldwin County or 5 Rivers in Spanish Fort.
Each new shelter can accommodate up to eight people and includes a fixed dock, cooking table, benches, eye hooks for hammocks and privacy curtain.
The new camping shelters join four floating platforms that are available for overnight paddling trips on the Bartram Canoe Trail. The shelters and floating platforms are available by reservation only (limited to canoeists and kayakers). For more information or to make reservations, visit the Alabama State Lands Division Canoe Trails website www.alabamacanoetrails.com.
Opened in 2003, the Bartram Canoe Trail system provides paddling opportunities to explore the many rivers, streams, lakes, sloughs and bayous of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta – the second largest river delta in the U.S.
In addition to the Bartram, the Alabama State Lands Division opened the Perdido River Canoe Trail in 2016. The trail winds down 19 miles of the Perdido River in Baldwin County. At four stops along the way, paddlers can reserve one of six camping shelters. Additionally, a hiking trail parallels the canoe trail for much of its length.
The ADCNR State Lands Division performs a broad range of land management activities relating to state-owned land. Most lands managed by the Division are trust lands managed for specific purposes including outdoor recreation such as hiking, mountain biking, hunting, wildlife watching and paddling.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.