Mary Tutwiler

Urban paddle adventure

by Mary Tutwiler

The Lafayette Paddle Club is launching a trip this weekend deep into the urban jungle: they’ll be paddling Bayou Vemilion right through the heart of Lafayette. The trip begins on Saturday morning with a tour of Lake Martin before a brief portage into the Ruth Canal, which intersects the Vermilion. Paddlers will float as far as the airport, then take a detour at Bayou Tortue and into Lake Charlo. Because of the dense swamp in the Lake Charlo area, there are still some virgin stands of cypress and it’s a great opportunity to see the big trees. Saturday’s trip will end up at a campsite at Vermilionville, with a cookout and dancing to the music of Corey Ledet. Sunday, canoes and kayaks will form a flotilla right through the middle of town, viewing Lafayette from a angle seldom seen. Take out is at Southside Park, below E. Broussard Road.

Organizers say the Saturday portion of the trip is booked solid, but anyone who wants to participate in the camp out and music on Saturday night are welcome, and there a slots open for Sunday’s paddle. Boaters are invited to bring their own canoes or kayaks, or there will be some available for rent from Pack and Paddle. To sign up for the trip, $20 each day, click here , or call Shawn Jolet at 519-8609. The Lafayette Paddle Club welcomes members. They do a number of trips locally on the Teche, in the Atchafalaya Basin, at Lake Fausse Pointe and Chico State Parks, and excursions to the Buffalo River in Arkansas or as far away as the Boundry Waters between the U.S. and Canada. To go to their website click here .