Kayak New Orleans Wetlands
"Good swamp tours are available within an hour of the city. But the new Lost Lands Environmental Tours gives a close-up of the disappearing wetlands that’s well worth the price;
tours begin at $90 a person."
Louisiana’s still-massive cypress and tupelo forests, meandering bayous and sprawling wetlands, which once laced the city itself, are dwindling at an alarming rate. This integral part of the local landscape sits literally at our doorstep, yet remains lamentably off the radar for many whose lives and futures depend on it…. Lost Lands takes you 40 miles away and a million miles from home.” – Renee Peck, Nola Vie
Although vast areas of South Louisiana cypress and tupelo forests were eliminated by loggers and real estate developers, outdoors enthusiasts can go back in time, paddling kayaks through haunting and mesmerizing forested swamps in the Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area about 40 minutes outside the city.
Participants learn about the cypress, tupelo, and oak-forested swamps that were in the city before it was drained to develop newer New Orleans neighborhoods—the same neighborhoods that received most of Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters due to lower elevations caused by draining swamp land. They will also see very clearly why the native forests that once stood between New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico provided the absolute best hurricane protection for communities in South Louisiana.
Our kayaking tours start in New Orleans near Tulane University with an educational session about environmental issues affecting coastal Louisiana. Afterwards we caravan to the closest remaining cypress tupelo swamp 45 minutes west of the city — the ecosystem that used to exist in 80% of what is now New Orleans and for 60 miles between us and the Gulf of Mexico. We paddle for 3-4 hours and return to the city around 3:00.
We provide the guide, kayaks, paddles, dry bags, snacks, water bottles, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, sunscreen and bug spray (which is rarely needed). We sometimes give courtesy rides to people who don’t have a car — in the guide’s vehicle that is hauling the kayaks. There is only room for three-four people in addition to the driver.
Tours are $95 per person when we take out four or more people, $110 each for three, and $125 each for two people. We make efforts to combine groups who are interested in the same time period to try to have at least 4 people on each trip.
Does this sound like what you are looking for? If yes, contact Lindsay (504) 400-5920 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to put your name and available dates on the calendar and we’ll look for others interested in the same dates.
Click here for an article by NolaVie editor Renee Peck about her experience taking a Lost Lands kayak tour.