Lake Fausse Pointe State Park is a 6,000 acre site that was once part of the Atchafalaya Basin. The park is an isolated swamp, bound on the east by a protection levee and on the west by the natural levee of Bayou Teche. The park is accessed via Levee Rd that leads straight to the park entrance. There is a boat launch before the park entrance that lets into the lake portion of Lake Fausse Point but people using the park are required to enter and check in at the park entrance.
From the boat launch we went easterly along the Borrow Pit canal, this is the first leg of the Canoe Trail, the Green trail. All trails are well marked with color-coordinated signs. Not always the same style of sign, but at least the colors all match and the park service does a good job of maintaining the trails. We saw no trash. We passed under the bridge, passed the car camper camp, passed the Boy Scout area. Not far from there is a cove with rental cabins. This cove is the first entrance to the Blue trail. The second entrance is a little further down the Green trail. The Blue trail leads to a large pack or paddle campground and then to the Orange trail that is also known as Old Bird Island Chute. We however did not take the Blue trail. We continued down the Green tail, past Twin Ponds canoe campsite.
The water on the Green trail was calm, slow and muddy. The depth was 5 feet and deeper. We saw egrets, herons, a five-foot alligator who gave us no problems and some fish jumping. There were a few motorboats, all with friendly, courteous drivers.
We reached the end of the Green trail and turned South West to head down the Red trail, also known as Ceabon canal. Dont worry, these arent sewerage canals. This trail is much narrower than the Green trail and did require steering around a few tree branches as well as one submerged log.
Half way down this trail was our campsite, Ceabon canoe campsite. It, like Twin Ponds, is accessible only by boat. We saw no motorboats on Ceabon and I doubt any go there. The park lists Ceabon as an isolated camp. It is, nicely so. There is a small wooden dock that requires you to lift your gear over your head to unload and then climb a short ladder. We decided against that and just paddled up to a spot a few yards ahead where the shore came down close to the water. If we had paddled a few yards past the dock we could have paddled in a small ditch to the backside of the camp.
Our camp had a wooden table with benches, a fire ring with grill top, lantern post, a mostly flat but kind of hard spot of ground cleared for a tent and the dock. There was some left over firewood in a pile and no shortage of dead wood to collect. We heard frogs, crickets and owls all through the night. No people though. The stars were amazing.
We awoke the next morning to find that a large snake had shed its skin on a tree branch next to our tent. After breakfast we continued South West along Ceabon to the Orange trail, Old Bird Island Chute. We turned North West at the South Pass canoe campsite. This trail leads first to the other end of the Blue trail, then to Highland Waters canoe campsite, then to some rental cabins, and then ends at the boat launch at the park entrance.
The water was still slow moving and muddy. Depth ranged from 2 feet to better than 6 feet deep. The bottoms of all trails are muddy and soft. On the left is Lake Fausse Point. It can be entered at numerous points along the Orange trail. There are many small mud-bar, tree laden islands on this side of the lake.
Duck hunting is allowed in the lake so be aware of that during hunting season. We saw a few ducks, fish and a very large black boar. The route we took is called the Outer Circuit, its about 10 miles long.
There are two sets of cabins for rent and all can be driven to. I dont know what they are like as we didnt stay in one. Of the five tent sites only #5 on the Blue trail can be walked to. The other four must be paddled to. There is also a car camping area near the entrance. There is one Ranger station at the entrance and flush toilets are nearby. The boat launch is a cement ramp, not too steep. If you are canoeing or kayaking, I recommend looking to your right at the launch. You will see a little canoe shaped wallow near the bank. Its easier to put in & take out there than at the launch. The front gate is locked between 9pm 6am. The combination to the lock is provided with campsite permits from the Ranger station. The park is manned by armed Park Rangers day and night.
We used a Coleman RAM-X canoe and Beaver Creek paddles. Our tent is also a Coleman as is our stove and North Star lantern. On this trip we also used our homemade pontoons. With these on, even in a loaded canoe, its nearly impossible to capsize. They are not required. No special gear or skill is needed at Lake Fausse Point. A paddle long enough to use as a push-pole is nice though.
There is a $10 fee, per night, for use of the pack or paddle campsites. There is a $2 day use fee if you are not camping.
5400 Levee Road, St. Martinville, LA 70582; 337-229-4764 or 1-888-677-7200 is located south of I-10, approximately 18 miles southeast of St. Martinville on the West Atchafalaya Protection Levee Road. To access the Levee Road from St. Martinville, take LA 96 to LA 679, then to LA 3083. Turn right onto Levee Road for 8 miles. To reserve a cabin, campsite, meeting room or picnic pavilion, call 1-877-CAMP-N-LA toll free (877-226-7652). Alternate directions, from New Orleans take US 90 West or from Lafayette take US 90 East. Turn off on Darnall Rd / LA 320 in New Iberia, you can only turn one way, follow the signs toward Loreauville and then Cotte Homes.
The Ranger station offers two maps of the park. Get them both. Neither is to scale by any stretch of the imagination. They appear hand drawn but are marked with trails and landmarks. The small map shows only park property. The big map shows the park and surrounding area.