Canoeing Visitor Info

I received a message today from a fellow who paddled in the Basin five years ago and was looking for some information on how to get back out into the Basin for another trip. He is cominng with three friends from all over North America.

I sent him a few links but i thought that it might be useful if i put those links up and asked you to send me more suggestions from your experience. This group is coming in May and needs canoes and guidance but you can send information about guides, canoe rentals, tours, houseboats or anything else you think might be useful. If it gets too commercial, we might have to back it down, but for now, i’ll keep it open. No advertising, just a line including the name of the provider, contact info (electronic or physical) and services available. You can sign in and comment to this message or just email me at charlesc a_t basinbuddies.org

The list for canoeing is just a start, off the top of my head – not exhaustive, so please add to it.
The links are not hot so you will have to paste them into your browser.
I have also included some general notes that i sent him. You can comment on those if you have a favorite place that you think he should see.

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There are several folks who run guide services and some amateurs who just like to go out into the Basin. You might check with Pack and Paddle in Lafayette or Backpacker in Baton Rouge. They occasionally plan outings into the Basin or should be able to direct you to a good place. Also, the Bayou Haystackers paddling club might have some info for you.

There is also Lake Fausse Pointe State Park, just outside the Floodway. They rent cabins and canoes and kayaks and the lake is a nice place to paddle. You could also camp at the Park, then put in across the levee at a nearby boat launch and get into the Basin after you get some guidance. Their web site says that they rent canoes for $20/day. It is possible to put in right where you rent and paddle south through the lake to a portage across the levee into the Basin, but it is a lake paddle.

Here are links for these options.
http://www.bayouhaystackers.com/
http://packandpaddle.blogspot.com/
http://www.backpackerbr.com/index.PHP
http://www.crt.state.la.us/parks/ilakefaus.aspx

Normally, May would have decent water levels, although there is no “normal” year in the Basin. The thaw in the Ohio valley occurred early this year and the water level in the Basin is low. We don’t expect a huge bump from the thaw in the northern Mississippi watershed because it doesn’t affect us as much as the Ohio and high water usually comes when both thaw at the same time. As you know, there is not much fast water in the Basin unless it is on a fast rise or fall. And then, it doesn’t last very long.

In general, I find the area on the west side of the Floodway, above Bayou Benoit landing, and the area on the east side above Flat Lake, north of Morgan City, both nice scenic sites. Back on the west side, Buffalo Cove has been getting attention by the Corps of Engineers so there should be more water flowing through that area and there are nice paths through the cypress swamps.

There are more links on these pages, including a map that might help you sort out the options:
http://dnr.louisiana.gov/sec/atchafalaya/livin.asp
http://www.atchafalaya.org/index.php?page=education-information

These are tourist maps so they might not be as useful but they are free to download:
http://www.atchafalaya.org/index.php?page=maps
Hope this helps.

cr/30


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