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Turkey Creek - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Day Trip Report
Trip Dates: May 18, 2006
Nearest City: Jigger, LA
Difficulty: Moderate
Submitted by: Modie Mascagni

Description:

Mike (Angel-eyes) Schleuter and I discovered this beauty of a gem on Sunday of this week. We wanted to meet somewhere between Shreveport, LA where Mike lives and Natchez, MS my new home.

I had searched my Louisiana Atlas and Gazetteer for a body of water that appeared to be full of trees. From the looks of it, Turkey Creek seemed to offer everything we were looking for. A body of water with plenty of shade that would make summer time paddling more enjoyable. The plan was to meet on Hwy 15 at Gilbert and then follow each other down to the launch.

Having moved away from the wonderful paddling destinations in the north Louisiana area at the end of last year. I have for the past couple of months been searching for places to try and match it's beauty. My favorites in the Shreveport area are Bodcau Bayou, Bayou Dorcheat, Clear/Smithport Lake, and Caddo Lake launching over at Uncertain, TX (Cripp's Landing).

When we drove up to the launch at Turkey Creek in Jigger, LA, I knew I had found the spot.

We met J.P. Nealy at his newly constructed boat launch at the end of Hwy 874. I forgot my map so J.P. explained the layout of the swamp, he was the perfect host. J.P. said if we got lost to just stay put he would come looking after dark if we did not return. We did have a few close calls. When paddling cypress swamp the 100 yards of water in front of you looks just like the 100 yards you just paddled.

Turkey Creek (NO FIREARMS ALLOWED) is around 12-13 miles long and 1/2 to 3/4's mile wide. We never left the north end which is primarily a cypress swamp full of duckweed and water hyacinth. We saw gator, nutria, bullfrogs, songbirds, cormorants, anhinga, wood duck, pileated woodpeckers, etc. With an exception of a few old yoyo's hanging from tree limbs Turkey Creek was void of floating debris. We paddled for over 5 hours and did not one time have to pick up empty beer cans, drink cans, and water bottles. Whoever uses this water way has an appreciation for it. Also we were the only ones in the water, we never heard a boat motor the entire time we were out. If you like a scenic paddle with lots of wildlife I am sure north end Turkey Creek at Jigger, LA will meet your every need.

When you go to launch your boat at J.P.'s ramp be sure not to get startled when you see Leroy, J.P.'s pet gator. He is usually laying across a submerged boat at the right on the way into to swamp.

Accommodations:

They have trailer hook-ups and a concrete ramp.

Fees:

$3.00

Directions:

Take Hwy 128 west out of Gilbert, LA travel about 5.5 miles and take a left Hwy 874 (south). At the end of this road (4.8 miles) is J.P. Nealy' s launch.

Contact:

J.P.Nealy (launch)
468 James Thomas Rd
Jigger, LA 71295
Home: 318-723-4882
Cell: 318-237-6918


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