Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge Paddling Trails

Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge (BTNWR), established in 2001, is located in St. Mary Parish in southeast Louisiana. The 9,028 acre refuge is composed of wet bottomland hardwood forests laced with bayous and canals. The primary mission of the refuge is to preserve and manage habitat for the Louisiana black bear, a federally threatened subspecies of the American black bear. The refuge also provides excellent habitat for wading birds, neotropical songbirds, waterfowl, reptiles, and amphibians. Other objectives are to provide habitat for other fish and wildlife species, environmental education, and opportunities for public recreation.

Trails: Alligator - Black Bear - Wood Duck - Yellow Bayou

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, and thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 63 Fish and Wildlife Management offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

The refuge’s waterways set aside for paddling offer a unique area of tranquility for wildlife and visitors alike. Please visit the Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge website for maps and information regarding paddling on the refuge.

Here is the link to a map:

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Latitude: 29.74019 Longitude: -91.477311 Elevation: 1 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Carrie Stansbury

Best Access Points

Alligator/BlackBear/Wood Duck Paddling Trails:

  • Fairfax Foster Bailey Boat Launch - From Highway 90, take the Franklin Exit #3211. Turn onto Northwest Boulevard. At the four-way stop, take a right onto Chatsworth. After you cross the bridge, take an immediate right onto Willow Street. Take the first right to the Fairfax Foster Bailey Memorial Boat Launch, located under the overpass.
    GPS: N29 47' 02.0" W-91 31' 28.0"

Yellow Bayou Paddling Trail:

  • Verdunville Boat Launch #1- From Hwy 90, take the Centerville/Burns Point Exit. Head towards Centerville on Hwy 317. At the red light, take a left onto Hwy 182. Take a right to cross the Centerville Bridge over the Bayou Teche. At the stop sign, take a right onto Hwy 87. Travel about two miles until you come to a paved road on the left. Turn left and head to the levee. Take another left onto the road on the side of the levee. The boat landing will be approximately one mile on your left.                                            
    GPS: N 29 46’ 30.7” W -91 24’ 23.6”

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