Honey Island Swamp Tour

Trip Start Jan 01, 2010
1
35
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Trip End May 14, 2010


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Flag of United States  , Louisiana
Wednesday, March 17, 2010

There were three things I wanted to do while in Louisiana last time - go to the French Quarter, see a plantation home and go on a boat in the swamp.  We accomplished 2 of the 3.  So we had one thing left to do when we returned.
On Wednesday of our New Orleans Revisit, we went to Slidell, LA for a Swamp Tour.  The previous day in New Orleans, we had stopped at a travel store to ask for the best trip to go on and prices.  The guy there was trying to sell us a $90 tour he had on sale for $70.  That's per person.  We didn't want to go THAT bad.  So we picked up some brochures and left.  We found this tour which costs $50 a person if you get picked up at your hotel.  However, if you're willing to drive the 20 miles yourself, it only costs $23.  So we drove ourselves.

We took a dirt road to where it ended almost in the river.  Parked and walked into this little cabin to buy our fare.  Not long did we wait before our names were called to head out on the first of four tours scheduled at 2pm.  We climbed on the boat - the first ones on, we went all the way to the front. 

The next hour and 40 minutes we spent on the river with our guide, Greg.  We found it was a river - not a bayou, technically.  A river has a current in one direction.  A bayou has a tide with water coming in then going out.  And a swamp stands still.  So we were in a flowing river.  We saw swamp birds, BIG turtles, snakes, crawfish in a live trap and an alligator!  Our guide fed the alligator hot dogs and marshmallows.  He was about 6 foot long and we were firmly warned not to put our hands outside the boat.  They had no teeth - they'll just rip your hand or arm off with their jaws.  We also saw a lot of Hurricane Katrina damage.  There are entire camps of homes floating on pontoons or just built on stilts out there.  Most of them are destroyed - the owners evacuated and never came back.

We felt we'd gotten our moneys worth and really enjoyed the time on the water, the wildlife and the stories from our guide.  Enjoy the pictures!
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Comments

Eric on

Hi...I happend across these pictures and yes, Katrina tore up alot of camps along pearl river in Honey Island Swamp. The storm also destroyed most of the swamp itself. Cypress trees, towering 80 to 100 feet, many oak trees of all varieties that made a wonderful canapy, many fell and sadly leaving this swamp changed forever. It is hard to see the swamp now if you have lived here, like I have, my entire life.

In your pictures, you show the camps. The Sugar Shack is my camp. The Sugar Shack today has also changed quite abit. It is nicer then ever but has much more to go before we are completely finished our plans. As you show, the Sugar Shack is #3. Shack 1, destoyed by Hurricane Betsy in the early 1960's and Shack 2 was actually taken by erosion. If you were riding on the river, could you ever believe that Shack 2 was infront of #3? The front of Shack 3 was the back of Shack 2 which had a foot print of 30 feet in front.
Anyway, enough of this babble. I am glad you enjoyed your trip into our swamp. The parts you saw was like a highway. It was a nice safe route that gave you a taste of the swamp. If you ever come again, ask for a night tour. That is a slice of life that will make you feel alive.

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