your paddlesports destination

Sabine River in Louisiana

Trip Overview

I had been researching an overnight paddle trip to do with the family. We are outdoors type people, but not for some years! I saw an article about kayaking the Sabine river below Toledo Bend and was interested.

After some research I contacted Mr. Danny Rowzee, owner of Tack A Paw canoe rentals for some advice. My original plan was to take 2 vehicles leaving one at the put in, and one at the take out so we could do it completely on our own. I am glad we did not do that because the put in/take out spots were very difficult to navigate(for out of shape folks!!!!) Also, leaving a vehicle there would have been very risky as to it's well being.

We decided on a float trip of about 10 miles, starting at about 11 am on Thur. and being picked up the following day at 4 pm. We put in on the LA. side below the Toledo Bend Reservoir in the spill way before any power generation discharge started and we took out at the 110 bridge on the TX. side.

The water was slack when we started and we saw some birds and river wild life. The water was amazingly clear to us, 4-6 feet visibility. On our way we stopped at a great rock ledge near a natural spring just to stretch and explore. We saw a couple people fishing from the TX. bank but that was it as far as people.

About 1pm we stopped because we could not see a way through a shallow area which we later learned was Sandy Creek. That day the generators were coming on at 2 pm, so we explored an incredible rock bed until the water rose and gave us a class 3 rapid to continue on. My son was in his kayak and made the run easily though a little wet. My wife and I in a canoe, made the transit ok but took white wate over the bough. Once through we beached as soon as we could in order to dewater all we could.

After getting back underway it was smooth paddling with great scenery and peace and quiet. About 4pm we were looking for a campsite and found one on the LA. side. We made camp that night and enjoyed a great beef stew and french bread. The water rose about 5-6 feet that day from the dam discharge but we had hauled everything well above that.

The following morning started lazily, as we only had 4 miles left to the pick up point and had until 4 pm to get there. After a breakfast of bacon, eggs, sausage, and french bread we broke camp. The campsite we had found was pretty littered from partiers but we left it in alot better shape than we found it, packing out lots of bud light cans we did not empty.

1045 and we were back on the river with a lazy current. Paddling through 3-6 feet of water and marveling at the bottom was a treat. Deadfalls litter the waterway but rather detract from things they make for an incredibly beautiful journey. Some of the bass we saw swimming easily went 5-8 pounds.

We stopped at a lot of the beaches to look around and none of them disappointed us. The quartz that the sand was comprised of sparkled in the sun and was much whiter than that of Galveston.

One stop was in a stretch of river about 5 feet deep and filled with downed trees. It was easy to traverse through but the beauty of it was hard to describe.

Finally we rounded a bend to see the 110 bridge and our take out, here we saw our first boat on our whole trip. A gentleman quietly fishing along the bank.

Anyone who has not paddled the Sabine I highly recommend it. We took a leisurely overnight to do 10 miles but obviously it can be done much quicker.

We took a kayak(Son) and rented 1 canoe for my wife, I, and gear, we did not travel light, from Tack A Paw canoe rentals. Mr. Rowzee charged us $50 for the canoe and $30 dollars to transport us and our gear to the drop off and the pick up. You could leave vehicles at each end since they are public access but I highly recommend Mr. Rowzee's service since it is so cheap and he has safe parking.


Limited camping sites due to river level


no, unless using private livery service


North of Dequincy, LA.
Can be found easily with internet search


Google Earth, internet research
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip