This trip was taken on Easter Sunday 2014 on Bayou Jean de Jean, North of Boyce, LA. Jean de Jean empties into an oxbow on the Red River North of Boyce, LA. Current is almost non-existent. After some recent rains, the river level was approximately seven feet above normal. This makes a trip on Jean de Jean nicer in that you are able to get around logjams that normally block progress beyond about 2.5 miles upstream.
After putting in at the Boyce Red River landing, there is an approximately 1/2 mile paddle across the oxbow (never in the river) to the mouth of Jean de Jean. The bayou is twisty, relatively narrow, and due to the many stumps and trees, does not see much boat traffic.
1/4 mile in, you pass under the Union Pacific railroad bridge followed by the old abandoned LA Hwy 1 bridge that is slowly decaying. A couple of more turns and you pass under the present Hwy 1 bridge and I-49. The noise of the highways quickly subsides as you put more turns and trees behind you. There is a power plant to the North that drones in the distance.
Numerous Cypress trees line, and grow in the middle of the bayou making for a scenic paddle. I found myself anticipating each turn to see the next view. With the high water level, I was able to make it about six miles up the bayou before encountering a log jam; a good place to turn around and head back to the landing.
The recreational area is composed of a concrete boat launch, a small pavilion with picnic tables and a building housing restrooms.
No fees or permits required. There is no camping. The area is open from dawn to dusk
Take I-49 to Boyce. If traveling from the South, the first Boyce exit merges onto Hwy 1 South of town. If traveling from the North, take Exit 103, Flatwoods, cross over I-49 and take Hwy 1 South two miles to Boyce. Follow the Corps of Engineers signs to get to the Boyce recreational area. It is the first left turn when you get to Boyce traveling South or the last right as you leave town traveling North.
River/Creek (Up to Class II)