A long-awaited Cahaba River access site in Leeds should be open to the public by the end of the year, according to the nonprofit Freshwater Land Trust.
Called Moon River, the kayak and canoe launch will be on Land Trust property on U.S. 78. The name comes from a river camp/gas station/dance hall that existed nearby during the 1930s.
The Moon River launch will be part of the Cahaba Blueway, a long-term plan to create better access along the 191-mile river for the public’s use and enjoyment. Already, multiple public access sites have been created along the river for recreational purposes, including canoeing and kayaking, swimming, bank and boat fishing, hunting, hiking, picnicking and sightseeing.
The Moon River launch is being built with the support of the Alabama Power Foundation and other organizations and will be maintained through cooperative agreements with the cities of Leeds and Irondale.
“Moon River is an integral part of the Cahaba Blueway,” said Jeffrey Drummond, stewardship director of the Birmingham-based Freshwater Land Trust. “We are hoping to have it done this year. This will be a popular spot for people on the Cahaba. The paddlers love this place.”
Plans are to have a gravel parking area large enough for several vehicles and a trail down to the canoe and kayak launch.
“We are excited about the opening of the Moon River launch, which will further expand recreational opportunities along the Cahaba River,” said Susan Comensky, Alabama Power vice president of environmental affairs and Freshwater Land Trust board member. “A key focus of the Foundation is environmental stewardship, protecting our state’s natural resources and preserving access to our state’s rivers, beaches, trails and parks.”
The closest access sites on the Cahaba Blueway near the Moon River location are Civitan Park in Trussville upstream and Grants Mill Road downstream.
“This is a good missing link along the Cahaba between Civitan Park and Grants Mill Road, another property we own,” Drummond said.
For more information about Moon River and other access sites on the Cahaba, visit cahabablueway.org.