Bayou Coquille & Kenta Canal Trails
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
Chef Emile's Bayou Coquille and Kenta Canal Trails Log
May 13, 2007
The Bayou Coquille Trail leads directly to the Kenta Canal Marsh Overlook Trail. This trail is entirely build on about a 5 foot wide walkway that lines the northeast side of the canal. The Trail is built on the mud that was dredged up in making the canal in the late 1800's. It is about a half mile, one way. There are two overlook bridges that rise about 20 feet above the canal. Cool!
Here is where I saw all but one of the alligators (I saw a small one on the hike back down the Coquille Trail). I counted at least 20 of them, and one was at least 7 foot long! The smallest one was only 18 inches! I reached the canal a little after 4pm, the sun was starting to set in the southwest, so the gators were slowly moving to the northeast bank. Just where the walkway is!!
Since gators are reptiles and thus cold blooded, they like to warm themselves in the last rays of sunlight of the day! That makes for better pictures and faster gators, somewhat disconcerting! As you can see there is nothing to stop the gator from climbing up on the deck, I wonder if they do??
Check out the snapping turtle on the log! Good Eats! I love turtle soup! Note how close the walkway gets to the edge of the canal. Notice how close the gators get to the deck!
In this pic you can see some of the fish in the water. I think they are mullets. Mullets are a salt water fish that will jump out of the the water. I did not see any large fish jump, so they may not be. But these had a sorta flat head like mullets have. Anyway, they were about 14 inches long and swimming in a school together. I probably saw about 40 of them!
There was plenty of action on the canal, the water is constantly being hit with fish strikes, gator rollovers, and turtles splashing off of the logs. There was a giant blue heron on the southwest bank that was fishing for minnows and frogs.
The Kenta Canal feeds into a pipeline canal, the Trail ends with a bridge over looking the intersection of the canals. Sorry I didn't take a pic of the bridge. Once you are over the bridge, check out the Marsh. The entire terrain transforms from a cypress swamp to a cattail and water lilly marsh. The water was crystal clear. I could see thousands of minnows, large fish, plants and insects. WOW.
Now, you just have to retrace your steps back about a mile.
Along the way back I encountered a squirrel that jumped out about 3 feet from me!! It ran up on one of the hand rails of the Coquille Trail wooden decks!! Also, there was a water moccasin that was slithering across the asphalt walkway. SORRY, NO PICS!! I had my dog Ticks with me (there are signs that don't allow dogs, but I had her with me and didn't want to leave her in the truck, and I had to watch out for her!! )
This is a WAY COOL Trail!
Contact us for further details....ChefEmile@CustomCatering.net
Home Cookin' Page
to Hiking Trail Log Page
Chef Emile L. Stieffel, Aurora Catering, Inc.
4016 Red Cypress Dr., Harvey, LA 70058 Phone (504) -329-1344
Copyright Â© 1995 - 2007 [Aurora Catering, Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: December 20, 2011.