NEW IBERIA, La. - With amenities along the Bayou Teche National Water and Paddle Trail nearing completion, The TECHE Project has created new maps for those wanting to paddle the trail. Maps are available for each of the four parishes along the trail: St. Landry, St. Martin, Iberia and St. Mary. Safety information and paddling tips are located on the back of each map.
This project was funded in part by a grant from the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area. Maps are available at tourist and visitors’ centers in each parish, on The TECHE Project website at www.techeproject.org/bayou-teche-paddle-trail/map/ and Pack and Paddle. The maps are free and also downloadable and printable from the website.
“We hope these new maps encourage more paddlers, both beginner and advanced, to explore the Bayou Teche Paddle Trail," said TECHE Project Council Member Patti Holland. "Our dock sites in 11 communities make it easy to enter and exit the trail. The maps include locations for restroom breaks, dining, camping, lodging and historic sites.”
“Outdoor, low-impact recreation is an economic driver for rural communities,” explained TECHE Project Executive Director Conni Castille. “It’s our hope that state and local tourism leaders, economic development authorities and business leaders embrace the Bayou Teche National Water and Paddle Trail by using these maps to encourage locals and visitors to explore our heritage by water.”
Running 135 miles from Port Barre to Berwick, Bayou Teche and the Lower Atchafalaya River are often described as Louisiana’s most historic and culturally significant waterway. In 2015, The TECHE Project received the exceptional designation of “National Water Trail” from the U.S. Department of the Interior National Parks Service program. This recognition is one of 33 such designations in the United States and the only one in Louisiana.
In addition to floating docks, other amenities along the trail include 15 information kiosks with maps, safety tips and stories about the locality, the waterway, wildlife, native plants, musical traditions and more.