***UPDATE: ALL FALL 2018 TOURS ARE FULLY BOOKED. Sign up for emails from the center to receive advance notice of events and tours, including spring 2019 tours, by emailing request to Joanne_dolan@fws.gov. ***
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service presents free, naturalist-led canoe tours called "Paddling along the Edge." Registration is now open for 2018 guided canoe trips on Bayou Cane at Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge.
These canoe trips offer a chance to see native wildlife and to explore the natural and cultural history of the edge of Lake Ponchartrain while paddling a coastal bayou from forest to marshland. Paddlers experience the excitement of canoeing southeast Louisiana's scenic Bayou Lacombe, while learning about the natural and cultural history of the area and an introduction to canoeing techniques.
The "Paddling Along the Edge" Canoe Tours are free, and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. All paddling equipment and canoes are provided. Registration for all canoe trips in the fall season opens Tuesday, September 18, 2018 at 8:00am and closes at 12:00pm (noon) on the Friday before each canoe trip. These tours fill up fast, so register early.
FALL 2018 OUTINGS:
Each canoe will paddle out to Lake Pontchartrain and back with stops to discuss the natural and cultural history of the area. Each Saturday morning excursion begins at 9:00am and lasts 2-3 hours. Participants should be dressed for an outdoor activity and be prepared to paddle for up to two to three hours on flatwater (no current) and occasionally you may need to paddle into the wind. The group will make several stops to discuss the natural and cultural history.
The trips are geared toward adults, but children 5 and older may attend. Only children aged 10 and older will be allowed to paddle. Canoes seat two paddlers; young children will sit in the space between the seats.
- You must pre-register and receive confirmation in order to participate. Registrations are processed in the order in which they are received. Phone registration is OK; however, email is preferred.
- To register by phone, call (985) 882-2015 and leave a message with your phone number, email address, names of participants to be registered, and the age of any participant under 18.
- To register by email, send your request to Joanne_dolan@fws.gov with the names participants to be registered, and the age of any participant under 18.
From I-12: Take Exit #74 (LA Hwy 434). Go south (towards Lacombe) on Hwy 434 till you hit U.S. 190. Turn right (towards Mandeville) and go 4.7 miles to Cane Bayou and cross the bridge over the bayou.
Park at boat launch.
The Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges, Inc., is a non-profit organization that supports the mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Fees and donations are used to maintain canoe equipment and hire seasonal interns to lead the tours. The USFWS is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The National Wildlife Refuge System, managed by USFWS, is the world's premier system of public lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife and plants.
Stay up to date on tours and events by following the Southeast Louisiana Refuges on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SoutheastLouisiana/, and for more information about refuges in the region, visit http://www.fws.gov/southeastlouisiana.