Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bayou St. John Jazz Fest Map

     Bayou St. John is a great paddle.  There are historic homes to see from the water and plenty of wildlife in this urban setting (turtles, birds and stuff.)  There are several commercial tours offering kayak trips on the bayou and at least one will let you paddle the waterway on your own.  Look elsewhere on this blog or search the Web for details.
     When planning a Bayou St. John Paddle here are a couple of things to know.  There are no established kayak or canoe launches on the bayou.  Everyone has their favorite.  The Dumaine bridge has no concrete retaining wall so it is easy to get in and out of a kayak but its mucky.  The slanted concrete retaining wall between the Magnolia Bridge and the Esplanade Bridge is popular though getting in and out of a boat here can be tricky.
     I have seen some commercial operations use the bank across from the Shell service station at the Esplanade Bridge and also the bank near the LSU School of Dentistry near I-610.  There is no parking on the grass banks flanking the bayou.
     Some of the bridges are a little spooky to paddle under but there is plenty of room (if you don't swing your paddle much) under all of them except the Magnolia Bridge where it is almost always a tight fit.  Be safe and wear a life jacket.  The bayou is shallow but some places may be over your head.

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