Bayou Teche access – Teche Project floating trailhead docks, like this one in St. Martinville, are making the Bayou Teche National Paddle Trail more inviting for paddlers. The non-profit, all-volunteer organization will soon add one near Arnaudville. A pavilion and restrooms, funded by parish government, are to be considered for installation at the Arnaudville site. (Karl Jeter)
Bayou access expanding in Arnaudville
The town may be the site of a welcoming new trailhead facility with a pavilion and restrooms to accompany the floating dock already in the planning stage.
Offered for later consideration at the March 19 St. Martin Parish committee meeting in Henderson, was an ordinance allowing President Chester Cedars to enter into a cooperative agreement for the use of a half-acre of private land along the Bayou Teche near Arnaudville.
The property, already chosen for the site of a floating dock, will also feature a pavilion and other amenities if the council approves the measure and the required agreement with the owner is reached.
The floating aluminum canoe and kayak launch will be the fifth of 13 to be constructed as part of the Teche Project’s program to improve recreational access along the 135-mile Bayou Teche National Paddle Trail.
Council member Daniel Richard Jr. reported that residents of the area are excited about the plan. He added that the facility could offer a good blueprint for development of similar trailhead facilities at other prospective dock sites to improve bayou access for local paddlers and enhance the experience of visitors to the parish.
Richard told the Teche News that, when the town government of Arnaudville refused to make space available for the dock, the parish began looking for an alternative way to provide access. A suitable site on private land was identified and the owner was receptive to the plan.
Richard suggested that a more elaborate facility might be possible there and Cedars agreed. Richard added that there could even be space made available for a kayak rental and outfitter.
“We want to do all we can to provide the services the public wants,” Richard said, “And not just for the paddlers. Bike riders are using the area a lot more now and the facility could be great for them as well.”