5 Lake + River Activities in North Alabama for the Ultimate Summer, All Within 3 Hours of Birmingham



Kayaking in northern Alabama. (Terrapin Outdoor Center / Facebook)

Summer is in full swing with scorching heat outside. Luckily, you won’t have to travel far to find a body of water in Alabama. To refresh yourself less than three hours from Birmingham, here is where to go and what to do in northern Alabama for the pleasure of the lake and the river.

1. Enjoy a boat ride + visits to Lake Guntersville

North Alabama
Take a boat ride on Lake Guntersville. (Lake and River Fun / Facebook)

From public fishing piers to designated swimming areas, there are countless reasons why people live their best lake life at Lake Guntersville.

One lake activity to put on your summer bucket list is boating. Whether you choose a slow and steady pontoon boat ride or opt for a fast and airy speedboat ride, it’s a great way to reconnect with friends and nature.

Fun tip: You can take a charter cruise or a tour along Lake Guntersville with Pleasure of the lake and the river. A must visit they offer is the visit to the bat cave. Taking place at sunset, you will see thousands of bats soaring and swooping in the sky above you. Believe me when I say this wonderful show is one you will never forget!

2. Cast your line at Lake Wilson

Bait your hook and cast your line. (Brady Rogers/Unsplash)

Do you like to fish? We have the perfect spot for all anglers: Wilson Lake. Located in northern Alabama, the lake stretches from the city of Florence to Wheeler Dam. With an abundance of catfish, largemouth bass, and smallmouth bass, you’re sure to get a catch.

Ready for the ultimate summer refreshment? Visit North Alabama Tourism Website and plan your trip.

3. Kayak or canoe on the Elk River

All you need this summer is a kayak. (North Alabama Canoe and Kayak/Facebook)

For an exciting summer adventure, get ready to paddle with a trip on the County Limestone Canoe and Kayak Trail. The trail begins just north of Elkmont, Alabama on Veto Road, a short drive from I-65 at exit 361. Stretching 21.9 miles long with five entry points and Easy outings, the trail winds lazily all year round through towering cliffs, untouched forest and rolling meadows.

4. Swim at Hippie Hole in Fort Payne

hippie hole
Swim at Hippie Hole in the Little River Canyon National Preserve in Fort Payne, Alabama. (Huntsville Adventurer/Facebook)

Swimming has always been my favorite summer activity. Not only is it fun, but it’s the easiest way to stay cool on those long hot days. Where to go for a refreshing swim? Hippy hole to Little River Canyon National Reserve at Fort Payne.

5. Tubing the Flint River

Take your crew for a day of tubing. (Vicky Lewis / Bham Now)

For one of northern Alabama’s best tubing spots, grab your favorite float and visit the Flint River. A stone’s throw from Huntsville, it’s a lovely place to spend the day drifting along a beautiful scenic backdrop.

For even more fun on the lakes and rivers this summer, visit North Alabama Tourism Website for everything you need to know.

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