Alabama’s Locust Fork River: Your Hidden Treasure

The National Park Service places the Locust Fork River in the top 2% of all United States’ rivers with “outstandingly remarkable” values. Based upon cultural heritage, fisheries, scenic beauty, geological interest, historical significance, recreational value and wildlife, ninety miles of the Locust Fork River qualified for recognition in all categories.

The Locust Fork River is the major tributary of the Black Warrior River. Nationally known for its premiere whitewater abundance, the Locust Fork was included in the American Rivers OUTSTANDING RIVERS LIST for 1991. The American Whitewater Affiliation named it an Outstanding Whitewater River in 1990. In 1986, the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan included the Locust Fork in their list of priority recreation rivers.

Sadly, Alabama has less than 10 freeflowing rivers left, the Locust Fork is the second longest. In a 1987 study on the value of free-flowing rivers, of five Alabama rivers the Locust Fork was visited most frequently over the previous three years by river recreationists. Whitewater enthusiasts come from all over the Southeast and the rest of the country to enjoy the thrill of the Locust Fork’s whitewater areas. The annual Locust Fork Whitewater Classic, the final race for the Alabama Cup, is held on this river. It is also cherished for its excellent fishing and recreational opportunities. In fact, the Locust Fork boasts:

  • class III and IV rapids of whitewater
  • historic covered bridges
  • abundant fishing availability
  • easy access for swimming and picnicking
  • remarkably beautiful natural scenery

All these tourist attractions give ample aesthetic and economic benefits both to Blount County in particular and to Alabama in general. The Locust Fork River is also home to the following :

  • a multitude of aquatic life, including 74 species of fish
  • abundent migratory and stationary birds & wildlife
  • unique flora indigenous to the area
  • the flattened musk turtle (endangered species)
  • mussels & snails (several endangered species)
  • a possible home to the Red-cockaded woodpecker
  • a possible home to the Indiana grey bat