Experience the Louisiana bayou as we kayak and bike the heart of Cajun country. We'll paddle the Bayou Teche, a former route of the great Mississippi that is now one of the country's 17 designated national water trails. With our eyes peeled for wildlife from river otters and basking turtles to wide-eyed gators, we'll navigate the beautiful tree-lined waterways. If we're lucky, we may be treated to a spontaneous Cajun jam, folks fiddling and picking away on their docks. We'll jump ship the next day and give our paddling arms a rest as we peddle down the Atchafalaya Wilderness Bicycle Trail, a semi-paved ride along the levee starting in Henderson, winding past the beautiful Lake Fausse and all the way down to Charenton. It's a true Louisiana experience of funky zydeco music, delicious Cajun food, quaint river towns, and old cypress and oak trees dripping in that famous Spanish Moss.
Activity Level: Class II; Involves full days of physical activity, but as long as you know how to swim, no prior skills are needed!
Lodging: Hotel, prices based on double occupancy.
Included Meals: Breakfasts, some lunches, and some dinners.
We'll meet in Baton Rouge and drive on down to historic Breaux Bridge, one of the cutest bayou towns you'll ever see, founded by Ms. Scholastique Breaux at the age of 33. The first evening will be spent strolling the charming downtown streets in search of live music. Breaux Bridge is Louisiana's crawfish capital, for which it hosts an annual crawfish festival, and the town is teeming with cafes and restaurants as well as art galleries, antique shops, and other charming stores in its well preserved downtown district.
We'll have a group dinner here tonight, but be sure to identify where you want to pop in for lunch the next day on our point-to-point paddle.
Up early with a good breakfast, we head up to the little town of Cecilia (named after the first postal clerk) to launch our tandem kayaks. The flat, calm water of the Bayou Teche is an easy paddle, but by no means boring. We'll see plenty of wildlife on our journey today. It's only a 3 hour paddle or so from Cecilia back into Breaux Bridge, where we'll stop for lunch and a stretch. Before the food coma sets in, we're back off in our boats and headed downriver again, stopping for a snack and a quick break 2 hours downriver in the little town of Parks, and then continuing another 2 hours down to St. Martinville for the night. This lovely French-Louisiana town is home to museums and cafes and streets lined with moss-draped oaks.
We're going to want another good breakfast today for our 40 mile bike ride on the other side of the Atchafalaya area bayou, peddling our way down the top of the levee from Henderson to Charenton. We'll be stopping frequently to give our backsides a break and eating a picnic lunch in a little detour into Lake Fausse Pointe State Park. Once we've arrived in Charenton we'll shuttle up to New Iberia, the Queen City of the Teche, a town that loves to pride itself on its joie de vivre.
We'll nosh on some beignets and make our way back to Baton Rouge, where you're welcome to continue your stay in Southern Louisiana or head back on up home. If you'd like, your DAM girl would be happy to arrange a massage for you in one of the state capital's spas -- you've certainly earned it!
THIS TRIP INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:
Guided kayaking and bike touring, + rentals
Double occupancy hotel lodging for 3 nights (single occupancy available at an extra cost)
Transport to and from activities
One dinner, 1 lunch, 2 breakfasts, and many, many snacks
Transport to and from Baton Rouge and all activities
NOT INCLUDED, BUT WE'D BE HAPPY TO ORGANIZE:
Spa package in Baton Rouge
YOU'RE ON YOUR OWN WITH:
Flights to and from Baton Rouge
Lunch and dinner on day 2, dinner on day 3