**This blog is part of a new (work in progress) series of posts intended to provide BCOS members (and anyone else who is interested) access to detailed information on local hiking and paddling trails.
The Lake Bistineau Paddling Trail is accessed from Lake Bistineau State Park in Doyline, LA. The trail is a beautiful 5-mile loop featuring signage to help you navigate. Depending on your pace, this paddle can last 2.5 to 3.5 hours. Lake Bistineau water levels are subject to the opening and closing of drawdown gates. Salvinia can be a challenge at certain times of the year. Lake Bistineau State Park also offers boat rentals.
Trail type: Paddling (Loop/ Out and Back)
Trail length: 5 miles
Description: Beautiful, easy paddle through open water and through sections that meander among gorgeous stands of spanish moss laden cypress trees. Salvinia can become a big challenge/problem at certain times of the year. Launch from (and return to) the Lake Bistineau State Park boat launch. There are paddling trail signs to help guide you on this route.
Parking/other instructions: Parking at the boat launch.
Cost: There is a $3 per person park entrance fee (stop at the park office upon entering the park to pay)
Restrooms/Facilities: there are nice restrooms at the boat launch; there is a pavilion and picnic tables at this location as well
Google Map for Launch Location: https://goo.gl/maps/WYPPR2qKxVTe3ndJ7
All Trails App Link: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/afternoon-paddle-cae82d4--3
Gaia App Link: https://www.gaiagps.com/public/BrKwyZFuqHJnnvrNAfBwXBMH
GPX File (can be downloaded into any GPS app): https://drive.google.com/file/d/1w3JN1MijEOItbrAXP3EAUeMraHXXPUy1/view?usp=sharing
Other Resources (pdf/paper maps, etc):
To check water levels visit https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=shv&gage=lbul1
For Lake Bistineau boat rentals visit https://www.lastateparks.com/parks-preserves/lake-bistineau-state-park