BHPC Trip Information

Attakapas Paddle Trail Network by Juliette Navratilova

The Attakapas Paddle Trails network contains some of the most scenic trails on the west side of the Basin. It is in one of the more remote and hard to reach corners, requiring driving various backroads to reach the Basin, then the rough and unpaved west levee road. Like the Butte la Rose Trail Network, most of the trails follow the main Atchafalaya channel south. One can continue southward from the Butte la Rose trail network or access the trails from several different boat landings along the west protection levee. From north to south the landings are: Bayou Benoit, Grand Bayou, Sandy Cove, Ruiz, Charenton, Myette Point, Grand Lake and Verdunville. Though initially hard to drive to, with the exception of the Gravenburg Trail, the trails hop from landing to landing along the scenic western edge of the main channel, giving paddlers many options for selecting different length trips.

At the north end of this network is the Gravenburg Trail, truly a crown jewel of the Basin. Here one can paddle through beautiful Cypress forest; the canopy, when green, obscuring sunlight from overhead. There is little understory in this aquatic environment so one can look far through the woods to see countless wading birds and waterfowl. Great Blue Herons, Great White Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Ibis, Yellow-Crowned Night Herons, Little Blue Herons,Louisiana Herons, even Wood Storks can be seen hunting and fishing. Accessing this wonderland will depend on water levels in the Basin. Little Bayou Gravenburg descends from the Si Bon canal, which is always open to its west from the Main channel, but only open to its east, from the GA Cut, when water levels at Butte la Rose are greater than 10’. However, paddlers can always enter Bayou Gravenburg directly from the GA cut, below the Si Bon Canal and below Sandy Cove Boat Launch, through the bank across from Little Lake Long. When water levels are up, there is a small cut, when water levels are low, it is a short portage (@ 50 yards).


In the southern reaches of this section, the trails again follow the immense channel of the river to Miller Point (below Myette Point), where the main channel goes southeast, and the trails network goes southwest. Along these paddle trails, one sees not the clay bluff banks found further north but instead indistinct borders of aquatic, moss draped Cypress and Tupelo Gum trees. It is easy to paddle with the current, hugging this scenic border. Many wading birds fish along the edge, while Terns and raptors fly and dive from overhead. Paddlers may also choose to “island hop” between great and small islands and islets within the channel. Here can be found campsites with unparalled views of the great river. Paddlers need to remain aware that above Miller Point the channel is a commercial shipping thoroughfare where large boat traffic may be encountered.

For maps of the area, go to http://www.bayoutrails.org

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