Last weekend my kayak buddy and I went to Alligator Bayou. We arrived on a cloudy Sunday morning that was warm for a December day, even by south Louisiana standards. We unloaded our boats around the owner's curious but friendly dogs, (the dogs roam free) and paid our launch fee. Beware of dog poop.
We paddled through Alligator Bayou to the Cypress flats. For the first part of the trip we paddled through moss and duck weed. The water was very calm and shallow. We saw ducks and nutria. About ten minutes into our paddle, we spotted an eight foot alligator sunning himself on the banks. We quietly passed him, took some photographs, and did not disturb him. He watched us go by and did not move. Seeing an alligator that large and up close had my heart racing. We reached the Cypress flat and paddled to the left; the right side is too shallow and overgrown with duck weed and cypress knees to maneuver. We saw two more alligators in the water hanging around some cypress knees. These gators were smaller, probably between four and five feet. My kayak buddy wanted to get near them to take a close up photograph. The gators must have been trying to spoil her fun; once she got in range they sank below the waters and swam away.
We paddled through the Cypress flats and into the bayou channels. There are several bayou channels that lead to Spanish Lake. Many times, the water level is not high enough to get a boat through, but since it had recently rained we were able to paddle some of them.
The paddle was easy. Bring a camera as the Cypress flats and abundant wildlife are very picturesque. Alligator Bayou offers guided tours and information about the area.
Alligator Bayou has two cabins that can be rented.
There is a $5 per boat launch fee.
From Baton Rouge or New Orleans take I-10 to Exit 166 at Highland Road. Travel east on La. Hwy. 42 (Highland Road) for half of a block and turn right on East Perkins. Take another right at La. Hwy 928. Immediately after crossing over I-10, turn right on Alligator Bayou Road. Follow Alligator Bayou Road until you reach the landing. There are signs along the way.
Alligator Bayou Tours at 1-888-3SWAMP.