Spend a Day in the Great Outdoors (On the Northshore!)

I jokingly tell everyone that I live in the middle of nowhere because I practically do. Geographically, I live in Big Branch but my address says Lacombe. However, we are part of Mandeville’s school district. To keep things clear, I usually ask “Do you know where Fontainebleau State Park is? I’m 3 minutes from there!”

We are so close to several rivers and the lake, that it’s almost comical how long it took us to get out on the water as a family. A while back, we took a family canoeing trip down the Bogue Falaya River, and it was a blast! For a long time, Canoe and Trail had posts on the Cane Bayou. We would literally pass dozens of groups each weekend and say “we should do that!” Recently Canoe and Trail moved to the Bogue Falaya River, pretty much in Chimes’ backyard. We booked a family canoe the day before on their website and headed out early Saturday morning.

The only thing we brought was a cooler with some snacks and drinks. They provided the life vests, canoe, and paddle. They even took a few pictures of the three of us out on the water! I was a little nervous because I hadn’t been on the river before but they assured us that 1. the water was shallow in most places and 2. they had yet to see any alligators because the river was so shallow.

We set off and paddled along, stopping at a few sandbanks to get into the water or take a snack break. It was so much fun! There were a few other canoers and kayakers along the way but overall it was fairly quiet. After about an hour of paddling in one direction, we decided to paddle back. Just in time for lunch.

Conveniently, we had to park in Chimes’ parking lot to walk to the canoe dock. It didn’t take much thought to decide where we were going to eat lunch. Thankfully, they have an outdoor eating area where we could air out (Yes, we were stinky and sweaty).

Next time, I think we will go a little earlier and spend a bit more time out on the water before it gets too hot. Otherwise, it was a perfect way to spend a Saturday morning with my family, in the great outdoors.

Jaime Mackey
Originally from Florida, Jaime has lived in Southern Louisiana for most of her life (so, that makes her a local, right?). She currently resides on the Northshore with her husband and son and teaches high school English. An enneagram 5, you'll most likely find her doing hot yoga solo, on her phone researching a random topic or sitting in the comfort of her home with coffee and a book within an arm's reach.


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