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by Joe Cuhaj & Curt Burdick (Falcon Guides)
Borden Creek combines beautiful scenery with challenging paddling. The creek flows through beautiful rock bluffs—not as tall as the Sipsey, but just as impressive. Along the banks waterfalls can be heard and seen carving the rocks. Wildflowers abound, and there are a few small caves you can explore off the river. The creek is narrow, with large boulders to maneuver around and a couple of Class I rapids to give some thrills. Nestled within the confines of the Bankhead National Forest and the Sipsey Wilderness lies Borden Creek. This 5.9-mile trip is often overlooked by paddlers and is probably more famous for its namesake foot trail that runs alongside the river. The Bankhead Forest that surrounds Borden Creek covers more than 180,000 acres of land in two counties. The forest was established in 1918 under the name of Alabama National Forest. As soon as you put in, you will be greeted with bluffs to your right that jut out of the river. Many of the bluffs have interesting undercuts and small caves carved in them from the action of the creek over the centuries. Huge boulders also line the creek. We found ourselves viewing them almost like clouds, seeing images carved into the rocks.
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