Alafia River Paddle (Florida White Water Class I)

  • December 16, 2012 · 9:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

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)

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  • Pauline

    Perfect weather, enjoyed the rapids and good to see everyone! Thanks, Sam, for organizing this awesome white water adventure!

    December 16, 2012

  • Brian K.

    It was a great time.

    December 16, 2012

  • Kim M.

    Really fun day!

    December 16, 2012

  • Craig G.

    Excellent day on the water. Thanks to everyone for a attending and making the day so much fun.

    December 16, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Looking forward to it, see you all in the aM! : )

    December 15, 2012

  • Pauline

    Sam..I'll need to rent a kayak, thanks.

    December 11, 2012

  • Sam G.

    The last time our group did this paddle the river was blocked just before the takeout. Thanks to Brian (who sawed a hole in the blockage) the group got through. The river is partially (maybe completely by now) blocked again. I have made arrangements for our group to get off the river before the blockage at the Alafia Canoe Rental location.

    December 13, 2012

  • Joe B.

    Will the take out be at Lithia Springs park?

    For future reference, I live on the Alafia River a couple of hundred yards upriver from the Kings Street extension boat ramp. We could use my yard as a put in or take out point sometime.

    December 10, 2012

  • Julie N

    It will be me plus 1. Saul a new neighbor is interested in trying out kayaking.

    1 · December 4, 2012

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