Louisiana

Amite River Exploration Trail

 
Amite River Exploration Trail (46 Miles)

 Although this trail consists mostly of common miles by having to double back to the start, the Amite River does have a few POIs worth exploring. Traveling in either direction will offer a few sand bars, while the lower section hooks up with just about any trail heading to Lake Maurepas. One can even use the Start/Finish point on this trail as yet another “Alternate” to the Lake Maurepas Loop.

 
Baton Rouge (61 Miles)

 A PWC cruise of one of the busiest ports in the world?  We got it right here.  Entering the river from the Port Allen Lock & Dam, the trail gives you a river cruise of downtown Baton Rouge and  then travels north another 23 miles for a sandbar break on Thompson's Creek.  Although no fuel is available, a full tank should be more than enough for this roll on the river.

 
Bayou Sorrel Loop (29 Miles)

 Considered the 2nd ride of the day for the "Spillway" rides, this one is probably the most problematic. It’s a pretty little ride that offers a lot of scenery, yet it occurs in a portion of the swamp that sees little traffic. Being such, it is often blocked by lily jams or large growths of hydrilla. The last time I ran this loop was in the dead of winter when the vegetation is more suppressed. Don’t worry though, in addition to the true loop, I’ve also added a just as scenic “abbreviated route”.

 
Belle River to Plaquemine (84 Miles)

This is an easy river cruise that will offer views of bayou life and separated by stretches of isolation.  The route can be started and finished from either end.  The north end of the trail terminates at the Plaquemine River Front Park and historic lock site while the south end finishes at the Belle River bridge where the only food and fuel can be found on this route.

 
Black Bayou Loop - LA (72 Miles)

Because it shares the same starting point as the Sabine River Loop, you'll want to make this one of two trail rides for the day. Running this true loop will have you making the transistion between hard-wood river bottomed swamp to the coastal marshes just above the GoM in both LA and TX

 

Blind River to Belle River (226 Miles)

Although this trip has been done by larger vessels, it is rarely ever done in a single day by smaller ones. And perhaps never, except once, by PWC. To attempt this one day adventure takes quite a bit of preparation in verifying operational hours of all the waypoints, not to mention the logistics involved. While the trip in itself is a race against time, you’ll want to run at cruising speed so as to conserve fuel.

 

Delcambre to Abbeville (97 Miles)

 Centered in the heart of "Cajun Land", there is more than just PWC riding to enjoy on this trail. Views from the water will include coastal Louisiana marshes, bayou life, the O & G industry, and the infamous Lake Peigneur. Off the ski, be sure to check out the world famous Avery Island and the Rip Van Winkle home & gardens of Jefferson Island.

 

Des Allemands to Grand Isle (120 Miles)

Although there's no real land in site, this trail parrallels LA Hwy 1, and like the road, eventually finds Grand Isle. The route encompasses travel from little water to big and from fresh water to salt. As most of the trail takes place in the open marsh, a windless day is better suited for travel.

 

Flat Lake Loop (31 Miles)

This 3rd ride of the day through the Spillway is a neat little ride that, given the water level is high enough, is easy to navigate and offers two unique views on a single trip. Additionally, here’s an opportunity to visit a portion of the nation’s largest river swamp: The Atchafalaya River. Although this ride will appear to be effortless, attempting it during low water may send you backwards. Ride on...

 

Grand Lake Loop (30 Miles)

Don't be confused, the Belle River Public Launch has access to the Spillway only. It takes its name from the local community of Belle River, which is just south of Pierre Part, LA. All though only 30 miles long, this true loop offers quite a bit of change: Travel will take place in the ICW, a few man-made canals, natural bayous and rivers, and one lake crossing.

 

LA Honey Island Swamp Tour (58 Miles)

This nearly true loop offers two unique views of SoLA: Hardwood river swamp on the upper end and estuarial marsh on the lower end. This trail also consist of two small romps through the woods as a means of connecting the dots. Pick a day with little or no wind as the trail starts in large, open waters. Combine this ride with the Louisiana version of the Inside-Out trail and you’ll have all the riding one day can offer.

 

LA Inside-Out Trail (69 Miles)

This trail runs just like its name says: Inside and Out. It also spends half of the inside and outside in both, Louisiana and Mississippi. The second half of the inside run goes through a maze in the marsh, while the outside is just as challenging if there is any amount of wind blowing. Adding the Louisiana version of the Honey Island Swamp tour before or after this trail will give you a full day of riding. 

 

Lake Charles North & West (58 Miles)

 Departing from just south of Lake Charles, this trail will offer grand views from the riverside casinos to assets of the O & G industry. Following the trail further north will put you in twistier West Fork of the Calcasieu River, plus a side trip into the Houston River - each offer alternating views of the classic LA swamp and river life.

 

Lake Maurepas Half Loop (35 Miles)

The Half Loop, as I like to call it, is a nice little ride, although it omits Lake Maurepas, along with the lake’s Sand Bar break and the lower Amite River. On days when the wind is just too much for riding in the lake, I back-track Blind River to run this fun variation of the Loop.

 

Lake Maurepas Loop (64 Miles)

As one of the best trails in SoLA, this ride has it all: Although it starts on a man-made canal with older camps and large upscale homes, bars, restaurants, and fuel right on the water, quite a bit of travel is done on twisty rivers and bayous, and, one very large lake. Additionally, this ride includes two great places for a break. This ride has so much to offer that you’ll find yourself taking the whole day to enjoy it.

 

Lake Verret Loop (70 Miles)

By launching out of Amelia, you'll eventually cover a few common miles at the day’s end. But this ride can be run as true loop from any of the other roadside launches: Doiron’s & Adams Landing (Belle R. access for both.), the Spunky Monkey, Bayside, and the Attakapas Landing. 

 

Larose to Cocodrie (80 Miles)

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Marsh Loop - Little (34 Miles)

Except for the little bit of industry you'll view in the ICW, this small, marsh sampler is all wild with no Key POI’s. How adventurous are you? The Little Marsh Loop is but a taste of bigger, better, and more wild things to come. Less than halfway into the ride, the trees will all but disappear, and you’ll soon enjoy the wide open vistas that extreme SoLA has to offer.

 

Marsh Loop - Middle (55 Miles)

 Taking off from the southern-most point of the Little Marsh trail, this “middle” loop certainly offers a lot more marsh.

 

Mega  Marsh-Mix Loop (96 Miles)

Like the Middle Marsh trail, this "mega" loop expands off the southern-most point of the previous trip. If you get as far as the "La Terre Camp", you will have to decide whether to call it a day and head back or continue on past this “point of no return.” Should you continue on, you’ll then have to decide which route to take in order to get to the next fueling station. Should you attempt this trail during the annual “spring rise,” you may have the unique opportunity of going “down hill” in a SoLA waterway.

 

Mermentau River Review (112 Miles)

This triple digit trail encompases the upper and lower sections of the Mermentau, Lake Arthur, and its three main tributary bayous: Cannes, Nezpique, & Plaquemine Brule. Your starting point is optional but due to fuel being remotely located careful routting and self-sufficiency is the order of the day.

 

NOLA Fort Tour (69 Miles)

A windless day will serve you best as you take this PWC trip through time.  This near full tank run will bring you within range of 6 different positions built for defending the City of New Orleans.  Some are still standing while others are all but gone but the memories will last forever.

 

Pass Manchac Loop (30 Miles)

This short loop offers a nice open run through the pass between Lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain. Next, after a few miles of open water, you'll blast through the marsh by way of a narrow but easily navigable passage. For a full day, consider this trail in conjunction with any of the Tickfaw or (on a really good day) Maurepas runs.

 

Sabine River Loop (56 Miles)

Spending an equal amount of time in both LA and TX, this less than a tank true loop makes for only half of a day of riding. Consider combining this trail with the Black Bayou Loop (above), for a full day of shredding water.

 
 

SoLA Coastal Fort Tour (99 Miles)

Consider this as the NOLA Fort Tour - Part II:  It starts with 2 forts on the lower MS River - one on each bank.  Next is either a long open water crossing across the GoM or Barataria Bay and back.  Make each crossing (with fuel in between) and you'll have completed an impressive loop around a large body of water.

Tickfaw River Tour (62 Miles)

While the Tickfaw watershed can be ridden just about year round, I prefer the late Spring or Fall. The colors are magnificent, and with a few lengthy idle zones near the Hwy 22 Bridge, the summer heat will melt you right into the water. All though the lower sections are deep and wide, the upper reaches of most of these "back-tracked" runs will become twisty and narrow, and perhaps should be left to the more experienced rider.

 

Trans SoLA (356 Miles)

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