What: 5th Annual Caddo Lake Earth Day Paddling Flotilla
When: Saturday (Apr 22) onsite registration and check-in starts at 7:30 am.
Where: Shady Glade Resort, 449 Cypress Dr. Karnack, TX 75661
Register Online: www.Eventbite.com (use search terms Caddo Lake Flotilla). Canoes and kayaks may be available. If you want to reserve one, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information: Find us on Facebook at Cypress Basin Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist
Call: (903) 672-5524, (903) 736-3063, (903) 679-9817
Put in your canoe or kayak for a beautiful morning on one of three paddling trails that leave from Uncertain, TX, on the shores of Caddo Lake, in northeast Texas, on the border of Texas and Louisiana. Caddo Lake is one of the best examples in the southern United States of a mature bald cypress forest. The area is known for its exceptional wildlife diversity. The “lake” is actually a sprawling maze of bayous and sloughs covering 26,810 acres. The Caddo Lake area has 10 trails designated as part of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Texas Paddling Trails system. Each trail has unique features and all are good for birding, photography and so much more. The trails include:
From Johnsons’ Ranch – The Turtle Shell Trail will take paddlers through a well-marked maze of boat roads where they will see a beautiful, mystical and almost primeval Cypress swamp. Paddlers will be amazed by the expanse of American Lotus lining this trail. Standing several feet above the water and in some areas hanging over the trail, with their large yellowish/white flowers and “showerhead” seed cones, these plants are some of the most photographed on the lake. This trail will pass by charming cottages hidden along the shoreline as you return to the put in.
From Shady Glade – The Cathedral Trail on Caddo Lake is a turn-around trail. From the launch, travel along the Boat Road U passing charming residences and B&Bs. Marvel at some of the older trees that stand alone in the water. The trail is a short, but exhilarating stretch of towering bald cypress trees and inviting sandy rest stops. When the rain is right, the forest floor is covered with a variety of ferns, jack-in-the-pulpits, and lizard’s tail. Don’t forget to look up for Wood Storks and Prothonotary Warblers.
From Crip’s Camp – The Old Folks’ Playground Trail starts out in Goose Prairie, an area known for its abundance of white water lilies, their large white flowers open in the mornings and close in the afternoon. Other areas along this trail have large stands of American Lotus. This plant has large pads that sometimes stand up out of the water in excess of 3 feet. The flowers of this plant can also stand out of the water and the seed pods resemble inverted showerheads. Paddlers will pass by a portion of the Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge.
Registration: $17 per person; paddlers 13 and under are $5. Register online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/5th-annual-caddo-lake-earth-day-paddling-flotilla-aka-regatta-tickets-32274120764 or in person at Shady Glade Resort beginning at 7:30 am on the 22nd. Same day Adult tickets are $20. Cash and check only accepted the day of the event. Registration includes a t-shirt and two raffle tickets; breakfast snack, juice, and water; launch fees for Crip’s Camp, Shady Glade or Johnson’s Ranch. Hot dogs, chips, Frito chili pie, veggie burgers, yogurt, fruit, desserts, and drinks will be available for purchase.
Prizes: Raffle tickets will be drawn for prizes at 12 noon at the Registration tent. You must be present to win. Prizes include a hand-painted canoe paddle and a hand carved paddlefish by local artist, life jackets, blue bird boxes and other fun items. There will be a silent auction closing at 12:30 pm; you do not have to be present to win silent auction items.
Event Sponsors: Cypress Basin Chapter TMN, Caddo Lake Institute, Greater Caddo Lake Association, Shady Glade RV Park and Marina, Bass Pro Shop-Bossier City, La, Tree Health Lady, Heart’s Cottage, Caddo Cabins, Riverbend Outfitters and Smoothie King. The 5th Annual Caddo Lake Earth Day Regatta is hosted by Shady Glade Resort. Net proceeds from the Regatta fund maintenance of the paddling trails on Caddo Lake and the Big Cypress Bayou.