your paddlesports destination

Half Moon Bayou in Louisiana

by prmouton

Trip Overview

I decided on a beautiful afternoon to revisit Half Moon Bayou, a scenic bayou in which I fished regularly with my father. In its still and tranquil waters, I headed south from the landing and passed under the nearby railroad bridge as a train passed overhead.

I then paddled by the Half Moon Pits, large man-made lakes that were dug for the dirt needed to construct Hwy. 190. It was a little after 4 p.m., so I stayed out of the lakes in order to make the most of my time in the bayou with the Spanish moss draped from Bald Cypress trees and dense clumps of cypress knees lining the banks.

Right off the bat I saw an alligator slink into the water from atop a log as came around one of the first turns in the bayou. Soon after, I spotted raccoon on the bank, the first of several I saw on this short trip. There were many more alligators as well, including one that let me get very close to him as he lay suspended in the murky water with only his eyes and snout visible above the surface.

The highlight came when I spied something foraging on the banks while I was watching a nearby alligator. I thought that it was another raccoon until I saw that its fur was much too dark. While a cypress tree was between us, I slowly skulled my canoe toward the animal. Suddenly, a freshwater otter peeked out from around the tree and cautiously watched me for a few seconds. The then walked behind a thick group of cypress knees, stopped among them, and watched me a few seconds more before walking into the water, gradually descending below the surface as it advanced.

There were also plenty of birds, egrets, herons, kingfishers, black birds, etc. I enjoyed the loud, guttural cries of one particularly annoyed egret.

The entire length is about 1.5 miles, ending at a crude bridge used by hunters. After the bridge the bayou gets very narrow and with many obstructions. With only 3 miles paddled, there was a wealth of beauty to enjoy.

Accommodations:

No accommodations

Fees:

Boat Launch Fee - $3

Directions:

On Hwy 190 just east of Krotz Springs, turn south onto Hwy. 3174. Almost immediately turn right onto the old hwy. 190 and the landing will be at the first bridge.
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip