Heart of Louisiana: Paddling Lake Martin - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Heart of Louisiana: Paddling Lake Martin

One of the most relaxing ways to experience the natural beauty of Louisiana is to tour a swamp in a kayak. (Source: packpaddle.com) One of the most relaxing ways to experience the natural beauty of Louisiana is to tour a swamp in a kayak. (Source: packpaddle.com)
(WVUE) -

One of the most relaxing ways to experience the natural beauty of Louisiana is to tour a swamp in a kayak. One of the most beautiful places to paddle is Lake Martin.

For those inexperienced in paddling a kayak, the instructions are brief and simple.

"I’m pushing with my right, pushing with the left. I’m not pulling, I’m pushing," said Stacey Scarce.

Scarce is a long-time wilderness guide with Pack and Paddle in Lafayette. She’s leading a group of late afternoon paddlers around Lake Martin. And within minutes, she spots a bald eagle.

"If you want a better shot of any bird, you never go towards them," she said. "You have to go at an angle. So they don’t, they feel threatened when you’re coming towards them. I love kayaking in the Louisiana swamps. In my opinion, kayaking is the best way because you can see things that you can't see when you're flying by in a boat."

Lake Martin is part of the Cypress Island Nature Preserve. It’s a 20,000-acre cypress Tupelo swamp. And this lake is famous for its nesting birds.

"There’s three great blue herons up there," Scarce said. "And there’s a nest, so I would presume there’s juveniles there."

One of the major nesting areas is off-limits to humans. But with binoculars or a long camera lens, we can see the pink roseatte spoonbills and white egrets on their nests. And there are times when you put the paddles down, and just sit quietly and listen.

"You heard that snorting? That’s a pig frog. Now you hear the click click click - that’s a cricket frog. Cricket frogs are about this big," she said.

One of the paddlers is teenager Shuntaro Okuma, a high school exchange student from Japan.

"Near my city, it doesn’t have such a good nature like this," Okuma said. "So yeah, it was a good experience for me."

Part of that new experience is seeing an alligator close up. 

"I thought it’s more scary, but it wasn’t, actually," Okuma said.

On Lake Martin, you weave in and out of cypress trees, sometimes through a green carpet of duckweed or across the open lake, always looking along the water’s surface or scanning the treetops.

"And the ospreys are up there," Scarce said. "So the two adults are in there feeding the young. That’s pretty cool. Lake Martin is great for beginners or seasoned kayakers because you can come out here solo and know that you're safe. And watching the sunsets here, too, are amazing.

There is nothing like being rewarded with a beautiful sunset at the end of your kayak journey, seeing the silhouette of a distant shower, and then watching as the setting sun breaks through the clouds for a brilliant farewell. It’s truly a gift of nature.

Lake Martin is located a few miles south of Breaux Bridge, and if you are interested in trying out a kayak, Pack and Paddle offers a variety of tours and kayaks for rent.

Copyright 2018 WVUE. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • LCPD investigating I-10 shooting

    LCPD investigating I-10 shooting

    Sunday, July 15 2018 1:38 PM EDT2018-07-15 17:38:24 GMT
    (Source: Raycom News Network)(Source: Raycom News Network)

    Lake Charles Police Department is investigating a shooting that occurred Saturday on I-10, according to Senior Corporal Larry Moss. Moss says at approximately 4:48 p.m., LCPD received a call about a shooting on I-10 eastbound near the Enterprise Boulevard exit. Their investigation revealed that the drivers of two separate vehicles who had been waiting in traffic west of the I-10 bridge became involved in a dispute. As the drivers continued to travel eastbound on the interstate, the ...

    More >>

    Lake Charles Police Department is investigating a shooting that occurred Saturday on I-10, according to Senior Corporal Larry Moss. Moss says at approximately 4:48 p.m., LCPD received a call about a shooting on I-10 eastbound near the Enterprise Boulevard exit. Their investigation revealed that the drivers of two separate vehicles who had been waiting in traffic west of the I-10 bridge became involved in a dispute. As the drivers continued to travel eastbound on the interstate, the ...

    More >>
  • Former Oakdale police officer arrested for DUI & vehicular homicide

    Former Oakdale police officer arrested for DUI & vehicular homicide

    Sunday, July 15 2018 10:36 AM EDT2018-07-15 14:36:56 GMT

    A former Oakdale Police Officer has been arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, possession of alcoholic beverage in a vehicle, and vehicular homicide.  22-year-old Jerron Willis was booked in the Allen Parish Jail on Saturday at 4:32 a.m. Oakdale Police Chief Joseph Locket says the department parted ways with Willis two weeks ago. He says Willis was leaving the Coushatta Casino when he hit someone on a bicycle. Chief Locket says while this incident is tragic, it ...

    More >>

    A former Oakdale Police Officer has been arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, possession of alcoholic beverage in a vehicle, and vehicular homicide.  22-year-old Jerron Willis was booked in the Allen Parish Jail on Saturday at 4:32 a.m. Oakdale Police Chief Joseph Locket says the department parted ways with Willis two weeks ago. He says Willis was leaving the Coushatta Casino when he hit someone on a bicycle. Chief Locket says while this incident is tragic, it ...

    More >>
  • Jennings police officers allegedly refused service at Waffle House

    Jennings police officers allegedly refused service at Waffle House

    Saturday, July 14 2018 5:53 PM EDT2018-07-14 21:53:39 GMT
    (Source: Flickr)(Source: Flickr)

    Four police officers were allegedly refused service at a Jennings Waffle House Saturday morning, according to Police Chief Danny Semmes. A Facebook post made by an officer said that they were refused service simply because they are police officers. It has been shared over 800 times. Semmes says that Waffle House's regional manager called shortly after the incident to apologize and say they will rectify the situation. Semmes said, "We hope this is an isolated incident and ...

    More >>

    Four police officers were allegedly refused service at a Jennings Waffle House Saturday morning, according to Police Chief Danny Semmes. A Facebook post made by an officer said that they were refused service simply because they are police officers. It has been shared over 800 times. Semmes says that Waffle House's regional manager called shortly after the incident to apologize and say they will rectify the situation. Semmes said, "We hope this is an isolated incident and ...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly