View Full Version : Pickwick Lake to Mobile Bay, Alabama?

11-10-2014, 05:07 AM
Is it even possible to pilot from Pickwick Lake all the way down to Mobile Bay, Alabama? I've thought that this would be an amazing journey if it was possible. Looking at various maps, it seems like it could be but I've never been through and I know there are probably quite a few locks to consider getting through.

Anyone have experience doing this? Any pointers you could offer?

11-11-2014, 12:21 PM
I have done it. Left Pickwick and went to Pensacola. 5 days, 550 miles, in a 36 foot Gibson, Dual Helm.
It is called "Running the Dirty Dozen" as there are 12 locks to encounter.

Fuel stops and Anchorages are the only challenge. With about 100 miles between the longest.

I used one of those guide books to plan it, I still have it somewhere, but this was done in 2007. So it is out dated.

Fun trip. Most of the "Loopers" (Great Loop Travelers) take this route.

11-11-2014, 12:31 PM
I Looking at various maps,

Get a Corp of Engineers Chart and a Boaters Guide to the Tenn Tom. I used Fred Meyers Cruise Guide, which really helps develop a float plan for fuela dn anchorages.

Here is his book, not sure if this is the best any longer, but you should be able to determine that from the Great Loop Website


11-12-2014, 12:06 PM
Thanks for the reply and information, BananaTom. I can't wait to get stuck into a nice trip like that!

Mountaineer 67
11-12-2014, 01:31 PM
Hi Bishop, I plan on doing it, but I will be starting about another thousand miles north of you. Do a search on the Tennessee Tom-Bigby waterway. That is where you will encounter all of the Locks.

11-12-2014, 02:10 PM
Yep, thanks Mountaineer. And thanks to BananaTom, I've already found some very cool information and charts that I'm ordering such as these: http://www.waterwayguide.com/shipstore/index.php?cPath=33 Maybe I'll stop in the Pirate's Cove Marina on the way...

11-13-2014, 11:07 AM
bishop 311 by all means stop by. We can clue you in, have a safe trip

Tony B
11-13-2014, 04:05 PM
I went the opposite direction this past June. I went from Mobile Bay to Pickwick. I used Activecaptain.com (free) for navigation info and picking anchorages.
I only average about 50-60 miles/day with one really long day. I think it took us 8 or 9 days. I'll have to find my notes. It is very navigable and no real problems this time of year and heading southbound.
Most of the floating logs are now up on the river banks with the lowering of the rivers. The locks are no problem, just have plenty of fenders.
There were 2 outstanding anchorages I remember on the lower section. One was Three Rivers Lake and the other was Sumpter Landing. Three Rivers Lake (I think that was the name) made me feel like I was in the middle of an old Humphry Bogart movie "The African Queen". It was very narrow with the branches from the trees overhead. Going in was the longest 1/2 mile I ever experienced. I kept thinking to myself, "I hope the info is correct, there is no place to turn around". And yes, it did open up into a really nice lake. Seclude, quiet and fairly large for an anchorage. We shared it with another boat we met along the way. We called them on the radio and told them how to get in. They also loved it. When we left, they stayed another few days.
I'm not on here very often so feel free to e-mail me at sailortonyb@msn.com and I will send you my cell number.
Also don't forget to stop by the Pirate in Aliceville, Al. He has a really nice little marina and fuel stop with a free complimentary car so you can shop and visit the Greater Aliceville Metroplex Area.
It's a great trip and it gets substantially warmer the further south you get

11-18-2014, 06:39 AM
Thanks, everyone, for the most helpful advice and information!