We like Henderson Lake as it combines an open body of water and a cypress swamp, and there is suitable paddling in almost any weather.
Bordered on the north by Interstate 10, and on west and south by levees, one should not easily get lost. We put in at the landing directly over the levee when coming down Henderson Hwy., (route 352). One may turn right and follow levee road to other launch sites if one wishes. The launch fee is $4.00.
Put in and paddle straight ahead (east) down long, rather straight stretch of water. Numerous small houseboats are on your right and you will pass the other landings. On your left is the cypress swamp. We paddled down until reaching the open portion of the lake where there are several more large houseboats. Open portion of lake will have bass boats on it especially on the weekends. Fishermen we encountered were very polite and slowed down, but caution is advised. As there was quite a wind we continued only about half way across.
Here, after encountering large flocks of cormorants, 40 or 50 at a time, we turned north towards the I-10. We came across two Osprey nests on cypress trees, both with young chicks and parents. We then turned north by northwest, then west towards the cypress. Interlaced with small open bodies of water the trees were covered in Spanish Moss and bright new green growth. The tress were beautiful beyond words.
We maneuvered between the very tall dense pockets of cypress and were rewarded with herons, egrets, turtles and small birds. We continued west until encountering thickets, so we turned south and after awhile again entered the long east-west passage we had paddled out on. Heading west, this took us right back to our landing.
This is a wonderful early morning or late afternoon paddle. The area of cypress has few motorboats in it and with the exception of the noise from the interstate (on north side of cypress only) one would think one is far away from everyday cares. In summer they provide welcome shade.
Launch site is paved at water and has large graveled area to park. Pat's Restaurant is right at levee or Landry's is at Interstate exit.
Fee is $4.00
Take I-10 to Henderson exit (115), turn South and almost immediately take a left at first traffic light onto Henderson Highway (352). Continue straight until encountering the levee and levee road. You can then drive straight ahead over levee (sign for landing visible) to launch site, or take a right on levee road and look for other landings, there are at least two more.