Calcasieu River (West Fork tributary) - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip
Day Trip Report
May 30, 2011
Lake Charles, LA
Submitted by: Matt_Paddler
Put in at Paradise Marina and RV Resort
The put-in had a disgusting oil and flotsam sheen at the ramp. I wish I had some plugs for the scuppers on my Hobie Mirage Oasis. Other than that, I had no complaints about the launch site. Parking and launch was free! It was your typical gas station, bait shop, RV park and small-craft marina.
As you'd expect of a motorboat launch, the water was plenty deep to use my Hobie mirage drives, so I never had to use the paddle once. This trip was all pedaling. I started going North under the Sam Houston Jones Pkwy (Hwy 378) bridge. It was all smooth, calm bayou waters for the whole trek. I wasn't fishing, but I imagine that a fisherman could have tired himself out reeling in all the alligator gar that I saw. There were plenty of small gar, but I would imagine that the big ones couldn't be far away.
The bayou was very quiet, especially toward the northern part when the banks start getting narrow. Other than fish and turtles, there were no wildlife sightings to report.
After returning to the marina, I went south to the Calcasieu River's west fork and East under the Davis Rd (Hwy 378) drawbridge. That's a nice stretch of river to sit and watch the motorboats putt through the no-wake zone. Be careful though. Only about 3/4 of the boats obeyed the no-wake ordinance.
All-in-all it was a nice half-day trip that covered about 7 miles round-trip. It was a good combination of peaceful nature-watching on the tributary and practicing navigation of motorboat wakes on the Calcasieu.
Gas station & convenience store. There's all the modern conveniences you should need within a 15 minute drive.
No fees or permits.
If you want to launch at the ramp in Sam Houston Jones State Park, I believe it's $2.
from I-10, go North at the Westlake exit. Follow LA 378 toward Moss Bluff. Turn left onto Sam Houston Jones Pkwy and you will see Paradise Marina and RV Resort.
Paradise Marina and RV Resort
2735 Sam Houston Jones Parkway
Lake Charles, LA 70611-3917
Resources: Google Maps
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