Bayou Coquille & Kenta Canal Trails
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
Chef Emile's Bayou Coquille and Kenta Canal Trails Log
September 2, 2007
The Bayou Coquille Trail leads directly to the Kenta Canal Marsh Overlook Trail.
ON September 2, 2007, Ann and I walked the trails (only 2 miles total up and back!). It was early in the morning (for me! about 9am), and the sights that I saw this time were much different from my hike on May 13. Check out the Bayou Coquille and Kenta Canal Trail Logs.
The day was slightly overcast and in the mid 80's. The trails were a lot less crowded, we only saw about 10 people on the trail so it had a lot more of a private feel. The pictures that were taken here were with my Treo 700p Sprint. I have resized the pics so that they can download faster. If you would like the larger formatted pic, just email me, I can send it to you, no charge.
I have figured out how to add my Trackpoints from my Garmin GPSMAP 76CSx to my webpage. The below is the output from Google Maps, pretty cool!
The Garmin calculated that we walked a total of 2.2 miles.
The pic to the right is of the marsh leading up to the Kenta Canal Trail, the flowers were everywhere! They are called Bull's Tongue (Sagittaria lancifolia) They bloom from the throat of plant, hence the name (I think??)
On this hike there were more insects and flowers available for viewing, or maybe I was just more attentive to the local flora on this hike! Either way, this was way cool! The black grasshopper that we at first ran across was BIG !!! I know it doesn't look like it in the pic, but it is 3 inches long! It is called a Lubber grasshopper and after we started to look for them we saw dozens of 'em!
The pic to the right is of a Blue Butterfly Pea Vine flower, it is a vine that grows throughout the swamp, and has a really beautiful flower. As you walk along the trail you see many of these vines, and many of them were in bloom!
This pink flower is a Salt Marsh-Mallow (Malva sylvestris). There were several large stands of this plant throughout the marsh. About the biggest one that I saw was behind the Visitor Center, one of the rangers told me that they are plentiful this year. He thinks that it is because of the loss of so much foliage loss from Katrina. That loss has allowed more light to reach the ground level and hence other plants like the Marsh-Mallow are positively effected. You can see from the pic that it is clearly in sunlight!
Once along the Kenta Canal we started to see the alligators! The smallest one was about 18 inches, and the largest had to be about 6 feet! (it was mostly submerged, but it's head was about 14 inches long!)
Some of Ann's Thoughts!!
"It was my first hike in a
Louisiana swamp (although I have lived here for 28 years). Who knew grasshoppers
could be black! I always thought they were green. The hoppers were big, there
must be something in the swamp water. The banana spiders were out in full force.
We saw at least 15 different webs. The web is quite intricate, looks very
delicate but is very strong. Although it looks scary and harmful, it is not
The walk was very peaceful and quiet and then we got to the Kenta Canal and the swamp full of alligators! Well, maybe that is an exaggeration we saw 7 alligators that day and most were small EXCEPT for the one that WINKED AT ME!!"
Well, Ann had a slightly different experience from me! I loved it! The Kenta Canal was full of Duck Weed, well that is what we call it down here. It is not algae, but a plant that comes and goes with the seasons. Check out my pics from my first hike on this trail. There was little or no Duck Weed in May. And I didn't see as many alligators this time. Maybe it was because the time of day OR maybe they were just hiding better in the Duck Weed!
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Chef Emile L. Stieffel, Aurora Catering, Inc.
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