Buck Creek

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Wading in Buck Creek below the Davidson Dam in 2010

Buck Creek is a major tributary of the Cahaba River and was used to supply waterpower for manufacturing and industry during the 19th century. Current use is primarily recreational and as a discharge point for municipal water treatment facilities.


Buck Creek is entirely contained within Shelby County. From its confluence with the Cahaba River below the CSX Transportation S&NA South Subdivision railroad bridge, Buck creek extends to the southeast, against the prevailing orientation of valleys and ridges in central Alabama. Buck Creek passes through the cities of Helena, Pelham, and Alabaster. Buck Creek is dammed upstream of Alabama State Highway 261 in the Old Town Helena area to form Lake Davidson which was used for recreation and water wheel power at the turn of the 20th century. This dam is illuminated at night.


The major tributary of Buck Creek is Cahaba Valley Creek which enters Buck Creek near the Helena/Pelham city limits. Cahaba Valley Creek continues to the northeast, following the general orientation of the valley and ridge system of central Alabama to its source within Oak Mountain State Park. Cahaba Valley Creek is dammed to form Beaver Lake within Oak Mountain State Park. Also arising in Oak Mountain State Park, Peavine Creek joins Buck Creek upstream of Cahaba Valley Creek.


Currently Buck Creek is used as a recreational resource and as the discharge point for municipal water treatment facilities in Helena and Pelham. Fishing, wading, and canoeing are popular uses of the waterway. Alabama Small Boats in Helena provide shuttle service and rental canoes for those wishing to canoe the creek.

The Old Town Amphitheater park in Helena lines Buck Creek and is a popular spot for picnics and recreation. Annually the Buck Creek Festival is held at this park every May, drawing thousands of visitors. A historic marker for the Central Iron Works rolling mill, built on the banks of Buck Creek in 1865 and since destroyed, is at the intersection of Lake Davidson Lane and Highway 261 in Helena.

In Alabaster, the Buck Creek Greenway was developed in 2008, linking that city's parks along Buck Creek.


Cahaba River
Dams & Reservoirs

Lake Purdy Dam, Lake Purdy, Birmingham Water Works Dam


Buck Creek, Little Cahaba River, Little Shades Creek, Patton Creek, Shades Creek

Other topics

Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge, Cahaba River Society, List of access locations
Cahaba lily, Cahaba Pump Station, Riverview Wastewater Treatment Plant, Trussville Wastewater Treatment Plant