The Black Warrior River, named for the mighty Mississippian chief Tuskaloosa, is central to life in Tuscaloosa. Whether you enjoy boating, bass fishing, or are just looking for a beautiful view, the Black Warrior delivers. It flows 178 miles to the Tombigbee River, of which it is the main tributary. A series of locks and dams that have been added through the years has made this river an effective inland waterway.
Navigable along its entire course, the Black Warrior is one of the longest channelized waterways in the US. Without the Black Warrior, Birmingham would not be known as the “Pittsburgh of the South,” as iron and steel products were shipped via the river to locations throughout the world. Coal is barged to Mobile on the river, making it the largest coal port in the Southeastern US. The Black Warrior and its tributaries supply water to cities such as Birmingham, Jasper, Cullman, and Tuscaloosa.
An important part of Tuscaloosa’s history, this river has been home to Central Foundry and Gulf States Paper Company, both of which are no longer in operation. Several organizations work to keep the river clean, including the Black Warrior Riverkeeper, founded in 2001 to protect the Black Warrior. For more information about this group and the river, visit their website at https://blackwarriorriver.org/river-facts/.
For today’s residents of Tuscaloosa, the Black Warrior offers many opportunities. One of the most popular spots along the river is the Riverwalk, a two-lane paved trail along the river’s southern bank near downtown Tuscaloosa. An ideal spot for running, walking pets, or biking, the Riverwalk is a popular place, especially in pretty weather. This beautiful woodsy trail is dotted with benches, gazebos, picnic areas, an enclosed playground, and a splash pad for children located near the Bama Belle dock. There are also restaurants and shops for visitors to enjoy.
The Saturday Farmers Market is a popular place for fresh produce, meats from area farms, homemade jams, and other delicacies.
Due to a generous donation of 19 acres of land from the Pettus Randall family, expansion of the Riverwalk has begun. Known as the Northern Riverwalk, plans for this expansion include a park, trailhead, recreational path, playground, pavilion, and parking area.
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Would you like to find a special home near the Black Warrior River?
We look forward to sharing this special area of Tuscaloosa with you!