Twin Canal Trail
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
Chef Emile's Twin Canal Trail Log
May 26, 2008
This just might be called the "Mushroom Trail" we saw at least 5 different types of mushrooms. I am NO mushroom expert. I like small button mushrooms over the more popular portabella ones, so go figure! The pics that I took along the trail may well be of the same variety of mushroom. Who knows??
The Twin Canal Trail is my least favorite. In fact, if I had done this one first, I don't know if I would have gone back. OK, so this is gonna take some time to explain. There are plenty of problems with this trail. In several places the fallen trees and over growth are blocking the trail. These should be removed! There is trash on the trail. For me a big NO NO! This is the perfect project for a Boy Scout Troup. In one weekend, they could clean it up and do a great service to the community. OK, Troup 64 this is your challenge.
I have mentioned in other trail logs that there are some things that YA should do to prepare for Jean Lafitte. OK, they were all apparent on this hike. FIRST, ya really need some mosquito repellant. We put some on, but it wasn't enough. Really apply the stuff and bring it with you. The mosquitoes were out in force and so were the horseflies. I don't know if that stuff works on horseflies, but it sure couldn't hurt. SECOND, bring some water. It was HOT and you need some even for a .6 mile walk. THIRD, get some white shrimp boots. We needed them, and had them! Check out the pic with Ann standing along side the canal! (BTW, we got her's from Academy Sports on the Westbank Expressway. FORTH, bring some walking sticks, they are invaluable! You need one to brush away the overgrowth. AND as protection from a possible snake, or worst!
The Twin Canals are NOT twins. The pic on the left (the southern canal) is over run with water hyacinths and fallen trees. The pic at right (or northern canal) is navigable by boats and canoes (you can launch from the trailhead). The trail runs along the piled up mud that was excavated during the building of the canals. There appears to be a pile (or levee) of mud that runs along the most northern side of the north canal. So, I would surmise that the Twin Canal Trail is the mud dredged up by the building of the southern canal. So, what you end up with is a high (8' to 10') bank that runs parallel between the two canals. SOOO, from the parking lot's Trailhead, you walk in a west northwest direction. The Trail for the most part is under the forest canopy. That is a help, because if not for the trees you would be in direct sunlight, and plenty hot!
With all of the above being said, the cypress trees with the hanging moss, beautiful duck weed and sounds of the bayou, makes for a very wonderful place. There are several places where people have made small paths down to the edge of the canal to fish and view the water. Very nice!
There is a cut between the two canals about 3/4s of the way down the trail. A bridge connects the trail so you can continue to the other side. There was quite a lot of activity in the water here. Bull frogs jumping and fish splashing in the water. I would think this might be the best spot to fish. You can see how over grown it is here. You really do need a walking stick to push away the brambles.
OK, as I started this Trail Log off, this could have been called the "Mushroom Trail". These (and the pics of the ones at the top of this log) are just a few of the ones that we saw. I would love to know if they are eatable or even what kind they are. My guess is that they are all the same variety, just some are aged (darken) more than the others.
I have figured out how to add my Trackpoints from my Garmin GPSMAP 76CSx to my webpage. The below is the output from Google Maps, pretty cool! I would suggest to click on the Hybrid button! Then zoom in. You can easily see that the southern canal is clogged with overgrowth, while the northern one has open water! Like I said, pretty cool!!
My Garmin calculated that we walked a total of 1.3 miles, just about right from the info on the park's map.
The Trail ends where the Twin Canals intersect with the Kenta Canal. From the bank you can look southward towards the Kenta Canal Trail. We then hiked back, quickly, the horseflies made the trail miserable.
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