Trek Day 1

19.3 miles, Bayou Courtableau to Dark Forest houseboats

Program – Connection to the Wetlands

The first day of paddling is spent in the Indian Bayou Area, a 28,500 acres piece of swampland operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Though the paddlers begin their day in the 4.4 mile long Grimmett Canal, the majority of the day is spent in challenging and winding bayous of Bayou Fordoche and Bayou Fusilier of the Swamps. A mix of large hardwood trees and shrubs line the narrow bayou providing paddlers with ample shade during the day.

The day comes to a conclusion paddling through the most recognized portion of the Atchafalaya, the Henderson Swamp. This 7,000 acre swamp/lake is known less for its cypress trees, but more for its cypress stumps, remnants of the logging industry over 100 years ago. As the Scouts approach the southern end of the Henderson Swamp, they will arrive at “Dark Forest,” a cypress tree grove where the houseboats are stationed. Here the Scouts will literally live on the water and enjoy a program focused on connecting themselves to the wetlands. During this time they will perform wildlife observations, water quality testing, as well as throwing cast nets to collect small fish and other aquatic animals that live in the water.

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