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Alifia River. Alderman Ford to Lithia Springs Park

Alderman’s Ford County Park was named after James Alderman, who, in 1848, sloped the banks in thisin 1902, Democratic Party candidates in Hillsborough County started their political campaigns here. Thistrend continued for more than 60 years. The site became a county park in 1950 and the park nowencompasses 1,141 acres.


The Alafia River provides the paddler with occasional shoals to get the heart pounding. Ibis,wood stork, osprey, red-shouldered hawk, pileated woodpecker, kingfisher, blue heron, songbirds,alligators and turtles can all be spotted. When the water is high and the current becomes swift. Most of the trail’s shorelines are undeveloped and in public ownership.

The canoe launch at Aldermans Ford is on a channel that leads to the main river. Travel approximately 100 yards from the canoe launch and turn left (downstream). You will quickly pass under a small, but high bridge. From this point, the river narrows and proceeds beneath cypress, hardwood hammock and oak trees that provide welcome shade. Along the Alafia, the banks are generally several feet high and heavily vegetated, making it difficult to land or launch.

The river is fairly swift (1 to 4 MPH depending on water levels), with several small sets of whitewater rapids created by limestone shoals in the river. At very low water levels these become difficult to pass without bottoming out and at high water you might not notice them. However, if the water is just right, you'll experience up to 10 sets of class 1 whitewater rapids. Of course, compared to any state north of 30 degrees latitude it's not much, but for Florida, the whitewater is great.

  • Alderman's Ford County Park – On Thompson Road, a half block west of CR 39, one mile north of Lithia.
  • CR 640 Bridge – Six miles southeast of Brandon. (9 miles) No Parking
  • Lithia Springs County Park – One mile east on Lithia Springs Road, off CR 640. (1 mile

We all will need to be ready to Car shuttle at 9:45 am. So ,Please be  ready to go.

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  • Joe B.

    And of course Brian did his usual wonderful job in making arrangements and taking care of all of us. What a great event host. We are very fortunate to have him.

    Joe

    July 20, 2013

  • Laura

    I had a fantastic time! Fun, fun people. Thanks Brian for the great job you did leading this paddle.

    July 20, 2013

  • Stephanie L.

    Finally got to paddle the Alafia and it did not disappoint! Had such a blast! What an awesome group of people! Thanks Brian for another well organized and fun event!

    July 20, 2013

  • Brian K.

    Oh My Gosh. We had a Great time. 4 hours went by so fast. It was a very nice group of paddlers.

    July 20, 2013

  • Laura

    I am on my way. I hope I'm not late!

    July 20, 2013

  • Stephanie L.

    We are approved for launch from Alderma's Ford! See everyone there!

    July 20, 2013

  • Brian K.

    We will all still meet at the launch and see what we will do. Come Heck or High water. I am going to hit the River.

    July 19, 2013

    • Julie A.

      Cancelling since I am coming from Orlando and you won't know until I am well on my way. We are being slammed with storms now and all afternoon - think you must be getting it all as well since coming from the west.

      July 19, 2013

  • Denny

    I have to work

    July 19, 2013

  • Julie N

    have to help someone move. Its fun to own a truck.

    July 19, 2013

  • Brian K.

    The Boat Ramp address is 4020 Alafia Blvd. Which is off of Center rd., off of S. King's rd., off of Bloomingdale rd.

    This info. is a back up only.

    July 19, 2013

  • Brian K.

    As of now. River is open. If they have more rain tonight,they may close Alderman's Ford park. I will know for sure at 8:00am when I call Saturday morning. An Alternate launch site is King's Rd. launch and go up river and float back down stream.

    July 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Brian, is this trip still a go?

    July 19, 2013

    • Brian K.

      As of Friday 7:36 am. Yes. I will call and check levels as soon as they open.

      July 19, 2013

  • Mark

    Will be out of town, see ya all Sunday

    July 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Need a ride

    July 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I would like to attend this. Anyone interested in letting me ride with you? I would chip in for gas. I also have my own yak.

    July 14, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Oh amid I live in Bradenton, real close to 75

      July 14, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I still would like to attend this meetup, if anyone is going from Sarasota let me know please

      July 16, 2013

  • Kristina

    Will you post us regarding water levels.

    July 14, 2013

    • Brian K.

      Higher than normal.

      July 15, 2013

    • Kristina

      Is this similar to the peace river where they close the river due to flood water conditions or is this a beware paddle at your own risk option

      July 16, 2013

  • lois v.

    No, sorry I won't be able to join you on this trip hope you have a wonderful day.

    July 15, 2013

  • Brian K.

    This Event may change ,do to water levels.

    July 11, 2013

8 went

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