Canoeing and Kayaking the Sicily Island Hills

Posted: February 14, 2010 in Homepage
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I enjoy canoeing, but I have not yet dipped a paddle in the waters in or around the Sicily Island Hills. Kayaking is another interesting proposition. The two most likely streams that present possibilities are the Ouachita River, which skirts the western boundary of the Sicily Island Hills, and Big Creek which is within these hills flowing from northeast to southwest, terminating at its junction with the Ouachita. Three other streams that are much smaller and less likely to afford paddling options are Coke Creek and Sandy Bayou on the northwest corner of the wildlife management area and Little Creek on the southwest corner of the Sicily Island Hills.

Remember to respect property rights when you are in these areas, as some of the streams are not entirely in the state wildlife management area.

Floating the Ouachita River should be taken with great caution and respect for the current. It should not be done at very high water such as occurred this past fall. Nor should an inexperienced canoer or kayaker take on this river alone. Lack of preparation or high water could bring a deadly result.

There is a boat launching area on the east bank of the Ouachita River, a few miles south of the mouth of Big Creek, maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Check it out by clicking on my Ouachita River Recreation link at left. Once you are at the Corps site, scroll down to Harrisonburg Landing Recreation Area for a description of the area and a link to a map of the area. Along the left margin of this Corps site is a contact link as well as a link to river levels.

Big Creek near the Ouachita River is float-able for a short distance. Most of the length of Big Creek is shallow, with broad sand bars.
So unless you catch the perfect  weather scenario, you will be carrying a canoe or kayak more than you will be paddling it.

But with the wild weather wonder we call Louisiana climate, anything can happen, even heavy snow fall. So I am optimistic that running rapids will be possible at some point in time within the Sicily Island Hills.

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