Louisiana Bayou

I am planning a 4-5 day trip with a friend and am interested in feedback and suggestions.

We are lookng at the bayou in late April, and are interested in: remoteness, cypress stands, birds, gators. Ideally, we want places to camp that are dry, too.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

We are both very experienced w/ wilderness canoe camping, and practice ‘leave no trace’. We’ve completed Okefenokee and Everglades trips before, and I have done the Allagash, Dismal and ACE basin.

Does anyone have ideas on a good 5 day route that is remote, has loads of cypress, gators and birds?


The Atchafalaya Basin
The Atchafalaya basin could easily eat up 5 days. Your biggest problem will be water levels, since river stages are usually pretty high in April. Finding solid ground to sleep on could be a problem, unless you use a mothership or camp on the levees that contain the basin from Morganza to the Gulf.

Try this site: http://bayoutrails.org/trails/

Thats and outstanding link!

– Last Updated: Feb-12-05 10:21 PM EST –

That is a great site Kingfish, Yowsa dere Amos!

swamp camping
How about using a hammock? Just swingfrom two trees crawl in and you’re home.

You can…
try that if you’re game but be forewarned-

We have lots of critters down here that might want to crawl in there with you.

The gator trappers down here will hang their baits above a certain height in order to eliminate catching the smaller gators. You’ll want to be sure to hang your hammock well above the spot where the largest gator could jump up and grab you. :^)

i’d like to add that in the spring, if ya hear lil baby gator peeps or barks… get the heck outta there cause momma is a commin…

You’ve been a good help. I’ve been to that site (you’ll see a few posts there…). I think mr proctor will be a great resource, and I was just branching out a bit for other input.

Do you have any specific camp sites / locations to recommend? If you read my posts over there, you’ll see that he mentioned some minor barge traffic. Yikes. I really want to avoid that! Defeats the purpose, IMHO.

What is your take on the barges?

Do you know of anyone who’s gone in there for 5 days with a route they really enjoyed?


ever call a gator up?
One time camping, I was making owl noises that drew out a momma gator & made her mad. She must’ve had young ones nearby.

That’s why I want to avoid the hammock idea if at all possible.

Is the area subject much to tidal influence?

I assume most of the water level issue is tied to the northern melt finally making its way down the Mississippi?


Here are two links I found some time ago. I haven’t paddled them and can’t vouch for them but I thought you might find them worth looking into.

Kisatchie Bayou - Shuttle service available. Overnight camping at campground or on sandbars


Toro Bayou and Sabine River - Shuttle service available. Several options including a 50.3 mile trip offered here.


Those shuttle services might be defunct by now. I leave it to you to find out. We’ve considered the Sabine River trip but haven’t done it. In the plus column are the numerous sandbars that you could camp on and the shuttle service that’s offered (if they’re still doing it).

Canoeman has probably paddled the Sabine. He could probably offer more insight.

The folks at Pack & Paddle in Lafayette would be another good resource.