My family, including my 7 yo, are thinking about taking a week trip down the Alabama Scenic River Trail next year. What type of kayaking experience is needed for a trip like this? How can we benchmark if we are ready. We can take 1 day trip on local flat water rivers and lakes.
It looks like the entire trail is 631 miles long, so how much experience is needed will depend on where you go. The map does show some Class 3 rapids and portages (which are pretty miserable) but it does look like it would be possible to find an easy stretch of the river with no portages. The main resource that I found for planning the trip is here.
As far as testing your readiness, I would suggest gradually increasing the length of trips.