Louisiana, the Pelican State, may be one of the most extraordinary states for all sorts of water activities out of the fifty states in the country. The state has access to the ocean, the beautiful Mississippi River, and a plethora of other kayaking opportunities. There are options for kayakers of all skill levels, with a wide range of breathtaking experiences.
Kayaking in Louisiana is a highly popular activity as the state offers some of the widest varieties of habitats and scenery in all of America. There are several kayaking spots in Louisiana that cater to all skill levels, including Lake Fausse Pointe, Bayou Bartholomew, and Whiskey Chitto Creek.
What better way to explore the beautiful scenery the state of Louisiana has to offer than on a kayak with some friends or family? Louisiana boasts such a diverse and extraordinary landscape, making it by far one of the best locations for kayaking. Let us help to get you started on planning your next kayaking trip by exploring some of the best kayaking spots in Louisiana.
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Kayaking In Louisiana
Inland lakes and marshes, coastal marshlands, picturesque minor rivers, canals, and bayous make up around 15% of Louisiana’s 52,000 square miles. Kayaking is undoubtedly the most incredible way to see Louisiana’s waterways and the creatures and plants that live there.
It is no surprise at all that kayaking is one of Louisiana’s most popular outdoor activities, given the state’s wealth of rivers, waterways, and wetlands. Kayak fishing is particularly popular among many of the locals.
There are also opportunities to see a variety of wildlife, including gators and hundreds of species of birds, in addition to the many miles of kayaking journeys available. Remember that if you are new to the water, it is always a good idea to consider hiring a guide or enrolling in a safety course before you set sail!
The Best Kayaking Spots In Louisiana
Let’s explore some of the best kayaking spots in the beautiful state of Louisiana:
Lake Fausse Pointe
Lake Fausse Pointe, part of the Atchafalaya Basin, is located southwest of Lafayette, which is considered the biggest swamp in all of the United States. This is a great area to kayak through flooded cypress forests and to see some of the natural beauty that the state of Louisiana has to offer.
On quiet days, the lake’s water is so still that each tree is wholly reflected in it, providing some absolutely stunning views. However, something to bear in mind is that the lake may get very windy at times, so unless you want to test your skills against some severe weather, check the weather forecast beforehand and try to go on a quiet day.
There is a seven-mile canoe trail and various basic campsites designated for boat-in access around the park. If you are specifically interested in a little more comfort on your excursion, the park also offers some waterside cabins.
Bayou Bartholomew is a designated Natural and Scenic Waterway that actually begins in Arkansas and is known as being North America’s longest bayou. This is, without doubt, an excellent place to visit for a few hours or for a multi-day excursion. If you’re camping by the riverbanks, be sure you’re above the waterline, as the water can quickly rise.
Sections of the bayou in Louisiana are forested, not so heavily as to make navigation difficult, but enough to shade out some of the sunlight, providing for a lovely, shady paddle.
Bayou Bartholomew has interestingly never been redirected or dammed, resulting in the fauna being in excellent shape, especially in the more unpolluted areas. It can also be a superb place to go fishing; however, it’s also worth seeing even if you are not that into fishing.
Whiskey Chitto Creek
Whiskey Chitto Creek is another beautiful river in Louisiana. Also known as Ouiska Chitto, Whiskey Chitto Creek travels through central Louisiana. With slow-moving water that may easily be kayaked in both directions and plenty of white sand beaches to pause for picnics, it can be a lovely location for a kayaking adventure.
The leisurely river meanders for about seventy miles and is home to a diverse range of fauna, including turkeys, deer, raccoons, as well as other livestock grazing near the coastline.
Although guided tours are available, the creek is calm enough that even a first-time kayaker would have no difficulty navigating the waters. There are also several kayak rental options available should you not have your own kayak to use.
Pontchartrain is Louisiana’s largest lake, covering about 630 square miles, and it isn’t exactly beginner-friendly. Kayaking from one side to the other can be a challenge, and strong gusts of wind make it even more difficult in the autumn and spring months.
However, if you are a little more experienced and searching for a kayaking route that will make you work for your destination, Lake Pontchartrain is undoubtedly an ideal place to try.
The famous city of New Orleans is also located on the southern banks of Lake Pontchartrain, making it easily accessible via a kayak.
Many rivers and bayous feed into the lake, providing excellent opportunities for kayaking exploration. The boat ramp in Mandeville on the north shoreline is an ideal place to launch. You can paddle along the gorgeous sandy beaches and lakefront cabins of Fontainebleau State Park.
Lake Charles is somewhat more of a tourist destination, but for those who are interested, there are other popular amenities like golf courses and casinos nearby. What makes Lake Charles ideal for a quiet day out is that there isn’t a lot of kayak traffic here, which is also great for beginner kayakers.
Lake Charles is also a great place to fish, with both saltwater and freshwater species living in and around the lake. If you happen to like both fishing and kayaking but haven’t tried combining the two yet, Lake Charles might be the perfect place to do it.
With so many various types of waterways and kayaking courses to explore, Louisiana may be a terrific destination to kayak. Hopefully, this list will serve you well in planning your next kayaking adventure! As a final thought, keep in mind that the weather in the summer can be scorching, so make sure that you bring along lots of water and sunscreen!