High Falls Caption

High Falls, Dekalb County, Alabama

August and September Activities

AUGUST 17, SATURDAY, Meet 8:45 a.m.
Short Dayhike and Glorious Swim in the huge pool at the bottom of the 102-foot-high DeSoto Falls in DeSoto State Park

Details: Strenuous walk through the woods and down a short, but very steep hill in DeSoto State Park to the huge pool which many of you have seen from above when at DeSoto Falls.  We’ll be swimming and playing for most of the day in this pool at the bottom of the waterfall which is in the West Fork of Little River.  You can also walk and play in the section of the river that flows out from the pool.  It takes only 20 minutes to walk from where we’ll park our cars to the water. All but the last 75 feet or so is simple walking on fairly level ground. BUT the last 75 feet are quite strenuous, requiring some rock, root and rope climbing. So we are rating the hiking portion of this outing as strenuous.  Please note that we will use a thick, very sturdy rope at two places to go down to the waterfall and at the same two places going up, also.  Your feet will always be on the ground.  You will not be dangling from a rope without having your feet on the ground.  But if you are queasy about this aspect of the walk in and out, please do not come on this trip.

You must be able to swim to participate in this outing!  Well-behaved, properly supervised children age 8 and up welcome, but parents are responsible for all risks to their children. 

Note-To view photos of what we will see on this trip, please click on this link:

Please be sure to click on the link and view the photographs.

After our swim and float, we’ll walk less than one mile back to the cars and then go for showers and an optional dinner. 

Please bring picnic lunch, water, swimsuit, river shoes and any kind of a flotation device you wish.  See float note below for information about acquiring floats. You are required to carry your flotation devices deflated for the walk in and out from the pool.  Dan Frederick will bring his float pump to pump up and deflate floats at the edge of the pool when we get there. 

Hot showers for $2.00 per person are available before dinner.  Please bring shower things and change of clothes if you wish to clean up and change for dinner.  Meet 8:45 a.m. at the Applebee’s Restaurant Trussville.  We plan to depart from there at 9:00 a.m.,  or you may meet the group at 10:30 a.m. in the lobby of the DeSoto Park Lodge where we will stop to use the restrooms before we begin the short drive from there to the start point of our walk.  Please email me at seoutings@bellsouth.net if you would like me to email to you driving directions to the Lodge. 

Info: Dan Frederick, seoutings@bellsouth.net or 205/631-4680

Float Note
Substantial, fabric-covered, inflatable, vinyl, rectangular floats like you use to ride the waves at the Gulf work well on this outing.  Trip leader Dan Frederick has floats 60 inches long for $12 each for sale ONLY at the start of outings Dan attends.  We regret that we are no longer able to find the longer, 72-inch floats for sale anywhere.  Please pay either with exact change or a check made out to SEO.  First come, first served.

Applebee’s Restaurant Trussville (coming from Birmingham)—4711 Norrell Drive, Trussville, AL 35173.  Take I-59 North to Exit #141 (Chalkville Mountain Road Exit).  Exit I-59 at Exit #141.  Drive to traffic light at far end of the I-59 interstate exit ramp.  This is at intersection of the exit ramp and Chalkville Mountain Road. Turn right at the traffic light at the far end of exit ramp.  Drive to first stoplight you come to on Chalkville Mountain Road and turn left.  Applebee’s Restaurant is on Norrell Drive directly behind the McDonald’s (currently under renovation construction) which faces Chalkville Mountain Road.

AUGUST 24, SATURDAY, Meet 8:15 a.m.
Moderately Strenuous Dayhike and Creekwade in Collier Creek, Bankhead Forest

Details: This is one of the prettiest creeks in the Bankhead Forest.  There was even a special magazine article about its beauty!  We hope to see at least six waterfalls running on this outing if we are lucky.  Collier Creek is located in a heavily forested area with lots of hemlock trees.

Participants on this hike will be expected to be able and willing to walk at least 4 ½ miles off trail over rugged terrain including wading 2 miles in two creeks, portions of which may sometimes be knee deep, wear hiking boots and long pants to hike through the woods to and from the creek, and bring and wear old shorts or swim suit and wading shoes for the creek wade.  Sturdy foot protection you don’t mind getting wet and dirty is required to wade in the creeks.  Old sneakers work well.  Bare feet, flip-flops, loose slip-ons and thin-soled “beach shoes” are not acceptable!  Also please do bring a large plastic bag with twist tie or Ziploc in which to put your wet shoes and a hand towel to dry your feet before putting your socks and hiking boots back on for the walk out.  You are strongly encouraged to bring a hiking stick or hiking poles (preferably two of them) with you on this outing for use when you are wading in the creek.  The creek bottom is rocky and uneven.  Poles help you keep your balance and aid in preventing falls.  Also please bring a towel, your picnic lunch and at least a quart of drinking water.  Please come only if you are willing to get wet!

Enjoy an adventure.  Bring a friend.  Well-behaved, properly supervised children age 9 and over welcome.  After the outing we are planning to go to a restaurant for an optional dinner.  You can shower and change clothes at a campground a few miles from the restaurant.  If you would like to shower and/or clean up and have dinner with us at the restaurant, please bring a change of clothes for dinner and your shower things.  No charge to use the campground rest room just to wash up and change clothes.  If you wish to shower, please bring $2.00 exact change cash for shower fee and be sure you give your shower fee to the trip leader on August 24 to forward to the campground owner!.

Meet 8:15 at the Hayden/Corner Park and Ride or at 9:00 a.m. at the Mile 300 Rest Area on I-65 just south of Cullman, Alabama.  We plan to depart from the Park and Ride at 8:30 a.m.  Please note that the group will NOT be meeting at Double Springs at all on this outing.  This outing is in the eastern section of the Bankhead National Forest and not near Double Springs or the Sipsey Wilderness.

Info: Dan Frederick, seoutings@bellsouth.net or 205/631-4680

Probably kayak and canoe trip to a new location

SEPTEMBER 7, SATURDAY, Meet 9:45 a.m.
River Float, Picnic, Swim on the Locust Fork in Blount County near County Line and Trafford

Details: Easy river float on the Locust Fork River.  Have fun swimming and just sitting in the pools in the river. We will be floating from Vaughn’s Bridge to the location of the previous Dean’s Ferry Bridge.  Please bring a picnic lunch, drink, towel, sunscreen and something to float on such as an inflatable vinyl float or air mattress.  Please see float note below for information about acquiring floats.

Also please bring a picnic lunch with you from home or pick your lunch up BEFORE you arrive at the meeting place.  Please do not make people wait while you take time to have your lunch prepared after you arrive at the meeting place at 9:45 a.m.  Also please bring your drink, towel and sunscreen.  Pack these items in 2 plastic garbage bags with twist ties, one bag over the other.  Then put the bags in your daypack and strap the pack to your back.  This keeps your things dry and prevents them from floating away.  Wear swimsuit and sturdy foot protection.  Old sneakers work well.  Bare feet, flip-flops, slip-ons and thin-soled “beach shoes” are not acceptable!  You must be able to swim to participate in this outing!
Well-behaved, properly supervised children age 8 and up welcome, but parents are responsible for all risks to their children.  Bring a friend or several if you wish.

Spring floats, passenger car and pick up truck tire tubes and inflatable boats are not permitted on SEO river floats!  A spring float is a flotation device consisting of an inflatable outer oval with a small, few inch diameter cross section and a large mesh interior.  Those spring floats are meant for floating in swimming pools and on lakes in still water, not for floating the Locust Fork.  They are difficult to steer and therefore unsafe for use on Southeastern Outings river floats.

Meet 9:45 a.m. at the Hayden/Corner Park and Ride.  We plan to depart from there at 10:00 a.m.  Arriving 15 minutes before departure time will allow time to hear announcements concerning the day’s event and form carpools from the Park and Ride.  Because parking at the take out is available for only 3 or so vehicles, we want people to carpool as much as possible from the meeting place in the morning.

Info: Dan Frederick, email seoutings@bellsouth.net or call 205/631-4680

Float Note
Substantial, fabric-covered, inflatable, vinyl, rectangular floats like you use to ride the waves at the Gulf work best.  Trip leader Dan Frederick has floats 60 inches long for sale for $12 each ONLY at the start of outings Dan attends.  We regret that at this time we have been unable to find a source where we can buy more of the 72-inch canvas-covered floats.  Please pay either with exact change or a check made out to SEO.  First come, first served.

Here is an alternative to carrying your lunches, water, towel and sunscreen in a pack on your back.  You can bring with you four 6-7 foot lengths of sturdy cord.  Place your pack with your things in it in the middle of the foot of your float.  Lash the pack to your float with two of the cords, one passing around the float and through the top of the straps and the other passing around the float and through the bottom of the straps of your pack.  Pass the other two cords over the top of your pack and under the float and tie them down tightly.  Then lie on your float with the pack sort of between your knees with your feet splayed out at the bottom corners of your float.  Using this method eliminates your having to float down the river for several hours on your belly with a pack on your back, and it also gives you the option of turning over and lying on your back in the slower-moving sections of the river in order to change your body position and float more comfortably.  If you are an adult, this method of fastening your pack to your float works only if you are using a 72-in long rectangular float.  Either method of transporting your pack is satisfactory and acceptable.  But I learned that people like it when you give them choices.  In any case, your lunches, etc. should be double bagged (or placed in a waterproof canoe bag) inside your pack.

Inflatable boats are not permitted on SEO river floats!

SEPTEMBER 14, SATURDAY, Meet 8:45 a.m.
Canoe and Kayak Trip with Dinner After
Where: Terrapin Creek near Piedmont, Alabama

Details:  Please plan to come on a relaxing kayak and canoe trip on Terrapin Creek in Calhoun County near Piedmont, Alabama.  The section we will paddle is relatively easy with no classified rapids.  This is a scenic stretch of creek located in a very rural area.  Thirty-three Southeastern Outings people participated in this popular outing in June of 2017.

Please note that for this trip you may rent canoes for $50 each or one person sit-upon plastic kayaks for $30 each from Terrapin Outdoor Center.  Rental fees include shuttle service, paddles and life jackets.  Also the outfitter will shuttle for a $10 fee per boat all private boats used on this outing.  If you wish to rent a boat from Terrapin Outdoor Center, please call the Center BEFORE September 14 at 256/447-6666 to reserve your boat.  Please be sure you tell the Center you are boating with Southeastern Outings.

After the canoe and kayak trip we are planning to go to a restaurant in Jacksonville for an optional dinner.  If you would like to wash up and/or have dinner with us at the restaurant after the canoe trip, please bring a change of clothes and a towel.  Outfitter has four changing rooms.  Two are changing rooms only with no toilets or washbowls, and two are restrooms with washbowls, toilets and running water, but no showers. 

Reservations Required: You must email seoutings@bellsouth.net or call Dan Frederick, 205/631-4680 if you plan to come on this outing.  Please advise your name, telephone number, skill level, whether you are bringing or wish to rent a canoe or kayak and whether you need a paddling partner.  You may leave a message on Dan’s voice mail if you wish. 

If you want to come on the September 14 kayak and canoe trip AND you are renting a boat from the outfitter at the site of the trip, you are required to call the BOTH the outfitter to reserve your boat AND ALSO contact Dan Frederick to notify him that you are coming!  Please do not just show up for this outing at the meeting place without making advance reservations!  And if you decide to meet us at some place other than the meeting place specified in this announcement, please notify Dan in advance and directly of this fact.

Meet 8:45 a.m. at Leeds Highway 78 gravel parking lot.   We plan to depart from there at 9:00 a.m.  For more essential information about this trip, please see Note for Kayak and Canoe Trips below.

Info. and Trip Leader: If you have further questions, please call Dan Frederick, 205/631-4680 or email seoutings@bellsouth.net.

Note for Kayak and Canoe Trips
The kayak and canoe outing listed above is suitable for beginner/novice canoeists and kayakers, but each beginner canoeist must paddle with an experienced canoeist.  Life jackets are required and must be worn.  You are responsible for finding your own boat.  Bring your own boat, borrow one, paddle with a friend, or rent from the outfitters listed.

Please bring a picnic lunch with you from home or pick your lunch up BEFORE you arrive at the meeting place.  Please do not make people wait while you take time to have your lunch prepared after you arrive at the meeting place at 8:45 a.m.  Also please bring your picnic lunch, something to drink, sunscreen and a towel.  Put your belongings in a waterproof dry bag in the boat.  Wear old shoes you don’t mind getting wet (old sneakers work well).  Also bring at least 6 feet of sturdy cord to tie up your boat.  If you have further questions, please call the trip leader.

When you make your reservation with the trip leader, please be absolutely certain to provide ALL of the following information:

1.    Whether you want to kayak or canoe
2.    Whether you are renting a kayak or canoe from the outfitter or bringing your own kayak or canoe
3.    Your name
4.    Your telephone number or email address
5.    If you are also making a reservation for someone else coming with you, please give the first and last NAMES of that person.  Don’t just say, “My daughter, my friend, my wife”.
6.    If you are canoeing, please give your skill level. 
7.    If you have already selected a canoe partner and you are making a reservation for your partner, too, please give the name and skill level of your partner.
8.    Please do NOT just show up at the meeting place without making an advance reservation!!
9.    And if you have made a reservation to participate and then decide to cancel, please be absolutely sure to call and notify the trip leader at least two hours before the scheduled departure time from the meeting place.  If you have made a reservation and then don’t show up and don’t cancel ahead of time, you will not be permitted to participate in any future Southeastern Outings events where reservations are required.
10.                        If you have made a reservation for a friend whom you have invited to come on this trip and your friend is not coming, you must notify the leader 1 ½ hours or more before the event departure time of this cancellation! 

Probably kayak and canoe trip to a new location for Southeastern Outings

SEPTEMBER 28, SATURDAY, 11:30 a.m.

Potluck Picnic Lunch followed by Afternoon Kayak or Canoe Paddle or Afternoon Dayhike

Where: Lower Fishing Lake (now called Beaver Lake), Oak Mountain State Park, located at the back entrance to the park.

Details: Prior to the canoeing and kayaking and hiking, boaters, hikers and other Southeastern Outings people and guests will get together at the Mallard Pavilion in the neighborhood of the Flip Side Water Sports office, (FS and formerly the Fishing Center), for a group potluck picnic.  Please bring a dish of food to share with the group.  Please bring all food items to this potluck in dishes with a cover on them (think “like Tupperware”.)  Please do not bring your food in fast food, cardboard or open containers.  There are obvious issues with bees, flies and yellow jackets, etc. when setting up food exposed outdoors to nuisance insects. 

You may bring a bag of potato chips, but if you do, you should bring some more substantial food to share in addition.  Please bring also $5/person ($2 seniors and children) park admission fee, a beverage for yourself and folding lawn chairs if you have them.  Southeastern Outings will furnish plates, cups, knives, forks, spoons, napkins, and ice.  Picnic preparations will begin at 11:30 a.m. We will begin eating lunch at 12:00 noon.

After lunch you can enjoy boating on the lower fishing lake.  You may bring your own boat (no charge) or you may rent a canoe from the park by paying for your rental canoe at the back gate to the park.  The park says they have 5 tandem canoes for rent.  Two of the canoes each used to have one broken seat in them.  Rental rate for canoes is $14 per hour. Cash only.  No credit cards accepted.  First come, first served.

FS has available for rent 5 solo kayaks and 8 stand-up paddleboards.  Rental rate for either is $20 per hour.  Cash or credit cards accepted by FS. 

No shuttle is involved in any of these boating activities.  Share an adventure!  Bring a friend. 

We’ll launch our boats about 1:30 p.m. at the lake shore.

Or you can enjoy a moderately easy afternoon hike along the shore of the upper fishing lake (now called Lunker Lake) in the park.  Hike departs from the Mallard Pavilion about 1:30 p.m. 

You are welcome to participate in the boating or hiking and skip the group picnic; you are welcome to skip the boating or hiking and come just for the picnic; or, as most people did the previous five times we have sponsored this outing, you are encouraged to enjoy the outdoor exercise activities AND the picnic.

Meet at the Mallard Pavilion just downhill from the very far end of the parking lot which is designated for the FS office near the back entrance to Oak Mountain State Park

Info: (picnic) Acyenith Alexander 205/529-2253; (boating) Dan Frederick, seoutings@bellsouth.net or phone 205/631-4680; (hiking) David Shepherd, 205/240-4681

SEPTEMBER 29, SUNDAY, Meet 1:45 p.m.
Moderately easy approximately 6 ½-mile dayhike on the Black Creek Trail in Fultondale and Gardendale, just north of Birmingham
Details: Walk on a rails-to-trails conversion route on an old railroad right of way.  This smooth trail is wide and level.  No hills!  This finely-crushed rock surface trail goes through mostly wooded terrain.  Note that the trail has been extended since we last hiked on it.  Our route on September 29 will include both the previously-hiked section and the new section.  So come out to see and experience what the new part looks like!

No motorized vehicles are allowed on the trail!  This outing should be lots of fun for everyone.  Well-behaved, carefully supervised children age seven and up able to walk 6 ½ miles without complaining are welcome on this walk.  This outing has consistently been one of our most popular events since it is easy and close to Birmingham.

Meet 1:45 p.m. at the Black Creek Park in Fultondale, Alabama.  We plan to depart from there at 2:00 p.m.

Trip Leader: Dan Frederick, seoutings@bellsouth.net or 205/631-4680