First Trailhead on the Bayou Teche Paddle Trail
The first Bayou Teche Paddle Trail trailhead will be opened to the public on August 18th, at 11:00 a.m. during a Dedication Ceremony at Parc du Ponts in downtown Breaux Bridge (100 St. Bernard Street).
The paddle trail is the centerpiece of The TECHE Project’s EXPLORE It, one three facets of TECHE Renaissance vision that builds a nature-based economy on the Teche corridor. “The trailhead is the beginning of infrastructure that supports the paddle trail and builds heritage tourism through low-impact recreation,” says Brent Miller, Grant Administrator and Council Member with The TECHE Project, the organization managing the Bayou Teche Paddle Trail. “We are working hard to put a trailhead in each Trail Town along the Bayou Teche and Lower Atchafalaya River.” In January 2015, the non-profit organization successfully applied to get Bayou Teche Paddle Trail added to the National Water Trails System, a first for Louisiana. Designation as a national water trail placed the Teche in an elite group of rivers across the nation.
The new trailhead increases access for paddlers and provides such amenities as restrooms, water fountains, and places to lock up boats. By situating the trailhead in the downtown area, paddlers have walking access to provisions, lodging, restaurants, and dancehalls. “This trailhead facility is a welcome addition to the City of Breaux Bridge, and we are excited to be a partner in building the Bayou Teche Paddle Trail”, says Breaux Bridge Mayor Ricky Calais.
The trailhead was supported by a grant from the Federal Highways Administration’s (FHWA) Recreational Trails Program administered through the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism (DCRT). According to Michael W. Domingue, the FHWA Recreational Trails Program Administrator for Louisiana, “This outstanding National Paddle Trail provides a unique opportunity for recreationalists to explore the beauty and culture of south Louisiana by way of a water trail. The TECHE Project has done a great job of showcasing Bayou Teche and providing access to it for the people of Louisiana and our many visitors.” Other partners that worked to make this trailhead a reality include St. Martin Parish Tourism, Angelle Architects, Edward Cazayoux, The City of Breaux Bridge, TRAIL, and Nature’s Link.
More information about the dedication and the Bayou Teche Paddle Trail can be found at www.techeproject.org or by calling 337-441-BYOU(2968).