Where to Go Paddling

Bayou Fuselier

This route takes you on a beautiful loop through the Indian Bayou portion of the Atchafalaya Basin.  Located within the levees north of Henderson, this area features a winding narrow bayou with small cypress and a variety of other growth.  There are currents that run through this bayou system – and as you paddle the loop you will find that you may paddle both upstream and downstream.
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Bayou Sara Paddle

This route will take you up Bayou Sara (aka Bayou Chaudpis aka Clap Creek) until the water gets too shallow.  Bayou Sara was once a major commercial route with the busy port city of the same name at its mouth.  But the bayou silted up from farming erosion and the city washed away in the Great Flood of 1927.  Today, Bayou Sara is a wide, gentle stream with the Cat Island swamp to the west and jungle-clad hills to the east.
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Bayou Teche – Arnaudville to Breaux Bridge

Follow the historic Bayou Teche from Arnaudville to Breaux Bridge. This 15.5 mile route is challenging for a day trip but do-able for most paddlers. You’ll pass beautiful trees and houses on your trip downstream to Breaux Bridge. Once you arrive, you may want to eat in one of the great local restaurants or just hang out and soak up the culture.
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Bayou Vermilion – Lafayette Nature Station to Vermilionville

This 9.5 mile section of the Bayou Vermilion Paddle trail will treat you to a windy path through the trees on your way from the Nature Station to Vermilionville. Both ends of this section feature beautiful kayak launches that make it easy to get in and out of your paddle craft. Along the way you will pass the intersections of the Ruth Canal (which provides a side trip to Lake Martin) as well as Bayou Tortue (providing a side trip to Lake Charlo).
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Buffalo Cove

Buffalo Cove is a remote area of the Basin that provides paddlers with a true adventure.  It’s access and navigation requires a higher level of attention than most of our other routes.  Also, the paddling distance and the currents provide additional challenge for paddlers.  The payoff?  Imagine paddling through a flooded forest of Cypress and Tupelo.  Your only likely neighbors are the migratory and wading birds and the occasional crawfishermen that frequent these waters.  A true Louisiana adventure!
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Fausse Point State Park and Canoe Trail

This beautiful park is located on the edge of the Atchafalaya Basin Spillway and offers a marked canoe trail with primitive campsites, several miles of hiking trails, waterfront cabins, campsites, boat launch, pavilions, conference center and a playground. There are miles of waterways for canoeing and kayaking. Located south of St. Martinville on the west guideline levee. Rental canoes are available at the Park Store.
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Forgotten Atchafalaya Paddle

This route connects the Bayou Portage Road boat launch with the boat launch at Fausse Pointe State Park.  Along the way you will see many large cypress,  beautiful flaming Swamp Maples in the spring and lots of bird life.
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Lake Martin

Lake Martin is owned by the Nature Conservancy and is open year round and has free admision. It is a wondreful place to visit for all types of wildlife viewing . It is only 7 miles from Lafayette. Nesting season begins in early March and ends in late June. The best times to visit are during April and May. There is a trail just off of Rookery Road that leads to the best viewing area, however the trail is closed in late May to October because of Alligator nesting. Rookery Road is open year round.
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Saline Bayou Paddle Trail
Sampson’s Cove

Sampson’s Cove offers the paddler a chance to see beautiful ancient cypress along a sweeping cove just northwest of Lake Fausse Pointe.  Some of these trees are 1,000 years old.  The unique line of trees that follows the arc of the cove 200-300 yards out was caused in an era where this area was dredged for boat traffic.
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Southern Atchafalaya Eagle Route

You’ll see many of the trees and critters that the Basin is know for: Cypress and Tupelo, Great Blue Herons, migratory songbirds, alligators, snakes and much more.  Combine all of this with sightings of majestic Southern Bald Eagles soaring high overhead or perched on stumps and you have a route that is memorable, beautiful, challenging and exciting.  For the best chance to view the Southern Bald Eagles, paddle this route between late September through late March.
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The Forks Paddle

This short route takes you through a beautiful area outside the confines of the levee that was part of the original basin.  This area has very high banks in many areas – pushed up eons ago as the Mississippi River snaked its way to the coast.  Because of these high banks, beautiful live oaks line the bayous.  Take time to explore all the forks or just follow the route for a very nice 2.5 mile afternoon paddle trip.
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Two O’Clock Bayou

Two O’Clock Bayou is an out and back paddle route will take you into the northern reaches of the Atchafalaya Basin. This easy paddle is perfect for beginners or families looking to see lots of birds and beautiful cypress without exposure to places with tougher conditions. The route goes south from the boat launch along the bayou.
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Virgin Cypress Paddle

Paddling the Virgin Cypress of Lake Fausse Point is a true wonder.  With trees that are over 2,000 years old, this experience rivals that of seeing the giant Redwoods of California. Most people treat this trip as an “out and back” paddle.  You can spend all day or just a few hours. There is also an option to do a shuttle between the Northwest corner of the lake and the Grand Avoille Cove boat launch at the Southeast corner of the lake. Then paddle virtually the entire perimeter of the lake.
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Other Paddling Opportunities:

Magee’s Creek

Riffles and channel constrictions make the river challenging for the experienced canoeist. Located near Tylertown, Mississippi.
Canoe and Trail Outpost 601.876.6964   www.canoeandtrailoutpost.com

Okatoma Creek

The scenery along the Okatoma is exceptional. The river has many easy “rapids” that drop quickly over clay bars. There are several ledges that provide challenge to even experienced canoeist. The best part of the river is between Seminary and Sanford. Okatoma is near Hattisburg, MS.
Okatoma Outdoors 1.888.OKATOMA  www.okatoma.com

Tangipahoa River

The Tangi is a beautiful, challenging river. There are obstacles and shoals along the upper and middle parts of the river. The camping is superb, since the river has many sand-gravel bars. Best canoeing part of the river is from Tangipahoa to Arcola. About a 2 hour dive from Lafayette.

Toro Bayou

Beautiful and remote, the Toro offers easy white water, rock gardens, an abundance of sand beaches, good fishing, and numerous side streams for exploration. Located Hwy. 392, two miles from Toledo Bend Dam.
Tack-A-Paw Expeditions 337.286.9337  or 800.256.9337 www.tackapaw.com

Whiskey Chitto River

A gentle flowing stream with white quartz sand bars invite paddlers to swim, fish, and picnic. Located 9 miles north of Oberlin on Hwy. 26. About a 2 hour drive from Lafayette.
For the most current listings of rental operations on Whiskey Chitto, please google: whiskey chitto canoe rental