As local communities continue to update Covid-19 regulations, local destinations for outdoor recreation may be closed. Please visit official websites for the latest information.

5 Excellent Places for Beginners to Kayak in Louisiana

By Ian-Spiegel Blum

5 Excellent Places for Beginners to Kayak in Louisiana

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As a state with an abundance of rivers, waterways, and marshland, it’s no wonder that kayaking is one of the most popular outdoor pastimes in Louisiana. Kayak fishing in particular is a local favorite. If you’re just starting out on the water, consider bringing along a guide or taking a safety course before you go. These five places are excellent introductory options to the world of kayaking.  

1. University Lake at Milford Wampold Memorial Park, Baton Rouge, LA

Milford Wampold Memorial Park is home to University Lake, which is one of the most convenient and easy locations to become comfortable in a kayak. The lake, near Louisiana State University, has several boat launching areas and access to the “Paddle Up” program helps acclimate new kayakers to the sport before hitting the water. The lake is calm and popular, which means plenty of people to help newbies learn the ropes.

2. Cane Bayou, Mandeville, LA

Canoe and Trail Adventures, a kayak tour company in Louisiana, offers incredible guided kayaking tours of Cane Bayou as well as rentals. This is an ideal route for beginners. The pace is relaxed and the tour is guided throughout, making for a safe environment for a new kayaker to become comfortable with his or her boat while enjoying the awe-inspiring beauty of the waters. You can, of course, kayak Cane Bayou without a guided tour, but for a beginner, taking a tour will give them the opportunity to learn and help build confidence. 

3. Bayou St. John, New Orleans, LA

Bayou St. John is a naturally occurring bayou in New Orleans proper. The water runs directly through the city, offering a staggering perspective on the sprawling urbanity not usually seen from street level. Local business Bayou Paddlesports offers first-time kayakers rentals and a one-hour lesson, perfect for getting your feet wet. Nothing quite beats kayaking down the middle of one of the most well-known cities in the world, and the fine folks at Bayou Paddlesports are more than happy to help you make it happen.

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4. Lake Charles

Lake Charles is one of the busier tourist spots in general, with casinos and golf courses on-site and ready for use, but one of the less traveled kayak destinations, making for an easier passageway for new boaters to try their stuff. Rent a kayak at Bayou Kayak Rentals and take it out on the water to explore or to fish. Fishing opportunities include brackish and salt water fishing, as well as others. 

5. Ouiska Chitto Creek, Vernon Parish, LA

Also known as Whiskey Chitto Creek, this spot “is one of Louisiana’s most scenic waterways,” according to Louisiana Travel. The creek is quite long, covering over 70 miles and flowing through beaches, streams, the Kisatchie National Forest, and historic sites. New kayakers can take a guided trip, or venture out on their own. Why is Whiskey Creek great for new kayakers? The wildlife. Whiskey Creek is one of the most popular kayak, canoe, and paddle boarding spots in the state, partially because of the splendid wildlife views. “The waterway affords views of wildlife, including deer, turkeys, raccoons, and other animals,” says Louisiana Travel. 

As local communities continue to update Covid-19 regulations, local destinations for outdoor recreation may be closed. Please visit official websites for the latest information.