Events > 2021 > September > Lake Guntersville Bat Cave Paddle / Friday-Sunday, September 17th-19th

About this event:

Created by Terri Abbott

Lake Guntersville, Alabama

Trip Coordinator – Patrick Berry

Fellow GCAers, I’ve had this trip on my TO DO list for some time.  Just over the border in Alabama lies a cave with a large bat colony, accessible only by water for viewing.  Each evening, 50,000+ thousand bats leave the cave to feed at dusk.  To view this experience from a kayak my plan is as follows:

Please contact me at 404.216.2779 or email patricksocial@yahoo.com 

Lodging

September 17-19, 2021

Lake Gutersville SP

Book a room with a view of the bluffs, I suggest a room with a balcony:

https://www.alapark.com/parks/lake-guntersville-state-park/lodge-rooms

FRI 9/17

Arrive Lake Guntersville SP

Happy hour/get together – relax, play pool, whatever in Hickory Lounge and watch sunset from balcony.

Dinner, many options, will continue to do some research but open to suggestions

SAT 9/18

Breakfast on site at the Pinecrest Dining Room 

Sat late morning/early afternoon – daytime hike, bike, paddle from the park, whatever you want to do, you are on your own – the main event is the night paddle.  I will grab lunch in-town.

Sat afternoon – depending on weather, we have a few options.  We will need to drop cars as the mileage is roughly 11 miles from the Lake Guntersville SP boat ramp to the Hambrick Bat Cave + the paddle to the take-out nets us 12 miles one way.  This is a lake, not a river, so not much current

We start at the dam, hit the bat cave in one mile, enjoy sunset, take short break on shore at some point and paddle to the SP.  Of course, this paddle would be almost entirely after the sun went down.  See below for after dark paddling regulations.

Info to keep in mind: 

Sunrise 6:30ish

Sunset 6:48ish

Skill level: Skilled trained beginner and above

Duration: 6 hours

Total River Miles: 12 miles

Boat specifications: highly recommend a 12’ boat or longer

Don’t forget GCA policies: approved PFD must be worn at all times; no helmet requirement on this paddle

Water Class: flat/class 1

Bad weather plan:

If we have threatening weather we start at the damn, paddle the mile to the cave and return to the put-in quickly should the weather change. 

Saturday paddle info.:

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Boat+Ramp+at+Lake+Guntersville+State+Park,+24+State+Campground+Rd,+Guntersville,+AL+35976/TVA+Guntersville+Dam,+Guntersville+Dam+Road,+Grant,+AL/@34.4108495,-86.3664495,12z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x888a010471da4881:0x1a31a4695419648a!2m2!1d-86.2090672!2d34.399448!1m5!1m1!1s0x8889fd117e903219:0x2f4bff42652e6d5!2m2!1d-86.3919665!2d34.4265309!3e0

A few write-ups on this paddle:

https://tsaccent.com/hambrick-bat-cave/

https://www.outdooralabama.com/nongame-wildlife-program/bat-watching-alabama

SUN 9/19

Breakfast on site at the Pinecrest Dining Room

Check-out

We paddle from the park, NE into Town Creek.  This is an out and back, so anyone wishing to leave early can turn around and return to the SP boat ramp.

Lunch and/or head home

Skill level: Skilled trained beginner and above

Duration: 2-4 hours

Total River Miles: 4-8 miles

Boat specifications: highly recommend a 12’ boat or longer

Safety: approved PFD must be worn at all times; no helmet requirement

Water Class: flat/class 1

We will cap this event at 8 participants.  To ensure safety and confirm ability, each participant will speak to the TL.  Do not book a room until verbal confirmation from TL.

Contact me at: patricksocial@yahoo.com 

Lodging

September 17-19, 2021

Lake Guntersville SP

Book a room with a view of the bluffs, I suggest a room with a balcony:

https://www.alapark.com/parks/lake-guntersville-state-park/lodge-rooms

NIGHT PADDLING IN ALABAMA REGULATIONS

Safety: https://paddlecamp.com/alabama-kayaking-laws/#Alabama_Kayaking_Lights_Laws

AT A MINIMUM A YOU NEED A HEADLAMP.  I have paddled parts of the ICW and own the following:

For my bow:

https://www.kayalu.com/secure_server/kayalu/tektite-navlite-portable-led-redgreen-kayak-running-lights-p-263.html

For my stern:

https://www.kayalu.com/secure_server/kayalu/kayalite-kayak-light-p-33.html

Miscellaneous fyi/Possible FRI night in-town gigs and backup plans

https://restaurantguru.com/live-music-Guntersville-m9630

https://restaurantguru.com/Main-Channel-Brewing-Company-Guntersville

Other boat launch areas/emergency take-outs:

https://explorelakeguntersville.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/OnTheLake2.pdf