36 mins drive from downtown
Boat-Drop Map (GPS 30°09'44.1"N 90°26'40.7"W)
Manchac Swamp.

Manchac Swamp, part of the Manchac Wetlands is a system of bayou and forest around Lake Maurepas. It is uber green. I really do mean that - it is massively, impressively green. After a few hours kayaking around Manchac Swamp you are in a green daze. Also don't confuse Manchac Swamp with Manchac Bayou (who would do such a thing, right? - definitely not me) as you would end up somewhere else entirely.

On your way to Manchac Swamp (click the 'Boat-Drop Map' above) make sure to turn on to Old U.S. 51. If you accidentally got on I-55 it would be a bit of a headache and you would zoom past the kayak drop point. While I'm on the riveting topic of roads, let me mention the biggest let down of the Manchac Swamp - the traffic noise. It was a little disappointing to realize that one hour in to my kayak journey I could still hear the hum of the interstate. It wasn't deafening, more like an unwelcome constant reminder that civilization still exists. Putting that aside, there were many unique and positive points to Manchac Swamp and Manchac Wetlands in general.

"What do parents owe their young that is more important than a warm and trusting connection to the Earth...?"

Theodore Roszak, The Voice of the Earth

Kayaking the Manchac Swamp begins by passing under the I-55. Initially the passageway is very wide, but if you follow the route I did (refer to 'Manchac Swamp Data') then within a mile the route begins to narrow significantly and in some spots is a little tough going as you push through the plant life that is forever wanting to grow-over and close the passageway permanently.

Owl flying in Manchac Swamp.

The wildlife is lush and diverse. That was what I loved about kayaking in Manchac Swamp. Within the space of a few miles I was very fortunate to see wild southern dewberries, a barred owl, a small alligator and a huge eagle. The barred owl particularly impressed upon me. The rain had just eased off and the drops of water were still dripping off the Spanish moss that drapes from the trees. When I looked up there were two humongous eyes looking back. In near silence, this massive bird flew off. I was lucky to be able to get off a quick couple of photos.

Recommendations?

If you have a favourite kayaking place near to New Orleans, I would love to hear about it! Send any information - location, what makes it great and pictures to:

Email: egretkayak@gmail.com

Disclaimer

I'm not responsible for anything, ever.