Located in south central Louisiana, it is a combination of wetlands and river delta area where the Atchafalaya River and the Gulf of … Cutting a 15-mile-wide path across South Louisiana, it is the largest and last great river-basin swamp. In truth, no mere description captures the experience of being in the Atchafalaya Swamp. Stretching for over 140 miles from Simmesport to the Gulf of Mexico, the Atchafalaya Basin is the nation’s largest river swamp, and we are lucky enough to have it right in our back yard. The reality is that Creoles and Cajuns, cowboys and costumers,Â shrimpers and plantersâreally, all who make life and art out ofÂ this watery landâare threatened as their world is digitized, outsourcedââ¦âand submerged. Tourists wait for Mardi Gras, which is at the end; almost no one comes for the beginning, but thatâs when you see something really crazy. The houseboat, rented from Houseboat Adventures, is being nosed through the water by a tow piloted by the companyâs owner Mitch Mequet. The music is joyous, transforming a gloomy day into a burst of spirited warmth. Watching the musicians beam as they play on, I know that here on the water, Louisianaâquirky and continuously surprisingâis still hitting the right notes. For a list of companies and rates, visit the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area’s website, www.atchafalaya.org . I rented mine in Henderson, from Houseboat Adventures. It’s all about the water in Atchafalaya Basin. Cajun cooks transform the morningâs catch into evening meals at Patâs Fishermanâs Wharf RestaurantÂ in Henderson, which has plated seafood gumbo, oysters, and crawfish Ã©touffÃ©e since 1952. His photographs of the couple going about their daily routine were published in National Geographic magazine, bringing them unexpected fame. Also, hunting is allowed in the area, considering there are many bears and birds living around. The northern Atchafalaya is comprised of bottomland hardwood forests with a multitude of plant and animal species, the central area of the Atchafalaya features Louisiana’s iconic cypress-tupelo swamps, and the southern area blends fresh water with the brackish and salt marshes of the Gulf of Mexico. “Not long after they took up swamp living, Gwen and Calvin met a young photographer named C. C. Lockwood, who shared their "back to the earth" values. People who live by choice in near complete isolation in a swamp where they live and make their living on the water and the land. 2020 Louisiana Swamp Base, “A fun experience that will change your life. As I tuck into our lunch of cheese and boudin, Louisianaâs trademark sausage, I catch Hall staring at the vast swamp. But to fully comprehend and appreciate the magnificence of the Atchafalaya, you must journey back to when the Atchafalaya was as nomadic as its people. “I used to swim with the alligators until the … âIf youâre looking for different,â he tells me, laying out an itinerary, âstart here in New Orleans. The Atchafalaya Basin, a million acres of wetlands and mystery between New Orleans and Lafayette, is no place to be during a storm. This 14-parish region in the south-central portion of Louisiana offers unparalleled natural beauty. Tucker, the owner of Basin Landing Airboat Swamp Tours, has been exploring this land since he was a child. The Atchafalaya Swamp Was Named The Most Beautiful Place In Louisiana And We Have To Agree. So, get ready to live an unparalleled experience sailing through its waters and admiring the amazing nature. © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- Being a History lover, I was recently drawn to an interview with Gwen Roland I saw on television, telling about her life, living in a houseboat in the Atchafalaya swamp. Accordions, washboards, andÂ fiddles deliver a cultural mash-up of folk, swamp, and rhythm and blues music that could happen only in this steamy Louisiana outpost. The city is also a home base for photographer Kris Davidson. You can see how we turn our quirkiness into art by visiting one of the recently formed New Orleans krewes that parade at the start of Carnivalâs two-week celebration. Among them is my fellow houseboat passenger, Hamilton Hall, a long-haired furniture maker who comes regularly to the Atchafalaya to harvest âsinkerâ cypress, old-growth timber felled a century ago that ended up sinking while being transported through the murky water. Land-lubbers in search of lodging (with a tuneful twist) should tool west to Lafayette and the Blue Moon Saloon and Guesthouse, a Cajun-inspired hostel where the music is first-rate and the beers ice cold. If not looking for a look at the animals, enjoy a nice boat ride down through the waters while enjoying the view! The Atchafalaya Basin, or Atchafalaya Swamp, is the largest wetland and swamp in the United States.
Its waterways are home to nearly 100 species of fish and 65 species of reptiles and amphibians, including thousands of American alligators. The nation’s largest swamp, it encompasses almost one million acres of swamps, bayous, and backwater lakes. Before I know it, I am on the floor dancing with everyone else. Swamp Base offers overnight paddling trips that depart from houseboats docked in the middle of the Henderson Swamp. The Atchafalaya Basin The Atchafalaya Basin is the nation's largest river swamp, containing almost one million acres of America's most significant bottomland hardwoods, swamps, bayous and backwater lakes. Iâm inÂ Killer PoboysÂ to meet with Charles Chamberlain, a Ph.D. in American history and local History Man. Prohibition shackled whiskey-loving New Orleans but had little real effect on those living here on the Atchafalaya; its watery reaches kept much of the world at bay, encouraging the flowering of a very local cultureâand the swamp music known as zydeco, which is playing full tilt when we pull up to the Whiskey River Landing dance hall the following day. âThe Atchafalaya system is a gigantic thing,â naturalist Jim Delahoussaye had warned me earlier that day at his house, a replica of a Cajun cottage on the levee southeast of Lafayette. Ten years a historian at theÂ Louisiana State MuseumÂ before setting up his own company,Â Historia, to provide outsiders with insights into the Pelican State, Chamberlain knows Louisiana. Their progeny kept the native language, and a version is spoken to this day. This swamp tour is for photographers, birders and lovers of nature who appreciate seeing Louisiana's answer to the Grand Canyon, "The Atchafalaya." By the time Thomas Jefferson bought the land from Napoleon in that 1803 geopolitical fire sale, he explains, this French colony was well populated with French and Spanish immigrants, refugees from Haiti, and Congolese slaves, all of whom had seeded the land with their cultures, foods, and traditions. Atchafalaya is a difficult word to pronounce; a person has to make several attempts aloud but once you get it, it sticks with you. But you better see it soon; who knows how long itâs going to last?â. The ramshackle roadhouse perched at the edge of the basin in Henderson draws locals and visitors alike with its romping live music and crowded dance floor. Read more. Buy Atchafalaya Houseboat: My Years in the Louisiana Swamp by Roland, Gwen, Lockwood, C. C. online on Amazon.ae at best prices. The basin begins near Simmesport, La., and stretches 140 miles southward to the Gulf of Mexico. In an effort to control Mother Nature's plans of shortening the route of the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico via the Atchafalaya River, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers erected huge flood gates at the intersection of the two rivers. Fast and free shipping free returns cash on delivery available on eligible purchase. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. I can almost hear snakes slithering across the tree limbs and alligators sluicing through the mocha-colored water. Located in south central Louisiana, it is a combination of wetlands and river delta area where the Atchafalaya River and the Gulf of Mexico converge. In the early 1970s, two idealistic young people—Gwen Carpenter Roland and Calvin Voisin—decided to leave civilization and re-create the vanished simple life of their great-grandparents in the heart of Louisiana’s million-acre Atchafalaya River Basin Swamp. Among towering trees and dark but bright waters, it is the largest river swamp in North America. Boots scrape floorboards as partners pirouette to the fast-tempo beat of Jeffery Broussard & the Creole Cowboys. Old-growth cypresses and tupelos were cut 80 years ago to fashion stately front doors for New Orleans and Natchez, across the border in Mississippi. Spend a night (or more) literally living on the water! In the spring, high-water stages on the Red and Mississippi Rivers raise the levels of the Atchaflaya River, which in turn backs up into this basin swamp… Once here, Cajuns thrived on the abundant wildlife, from catfish, crawfish, and alligators to otters, beavers, turkeys, and Louisiana black bears. Atchafalaya Basin Airboat Swamp Tours; Search. Welcome to the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area—America’s Foreign Country. We have hot water, a toilet, a generator, but no motor. The Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana. They tend gardens and chickens, collect rain water to drink, bathe in the river, nap in the sun, swim naked in the intense Southern heat. With the amazing habitat, the Atchafalaya swamp is also a great place for fishing. By definition, a swamp is a seasonally flooded forest, but in this case, this swamp was in dire need of some flooding. The Atchafalaya Basin. Henderson, LA, USA. Besides the giant cypress trees and abundant fauna, the swamp is home to a variety of alligators, turtles, snakes, birds and other wildlife. Opens in 19 min. He married here and is raising a … Living in the Swamp November 2020 Gwen Roland's book Atchafalaya Houseboat: My Years in the Louisiana Swamp details Roland’s eight-year long adventure in her hand-crafted houseboat in … Sunday afternoons bring live music and livelier dancing to Whiskey River Landing, a venue in Breaux Bridge. Atchafalaya Houseboat: My Years in the Louisiana Swamp: Roland, Gwen, Lockwood, C. C.: Amazon.sg: Books The landscape is both familiar and alien, Monetâs âWater Liliesâ meets Jurassic Park. The Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association kicked off their annual conference in Lafayette, Louisiana this past Friday morning with a boat tour into the Henderson Swamp near Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, part of the Atchafalaya Basin. This small book about a priviledged time spent living in a Southern Louisianan Swamp tells an enjoyable story of what day-to-day … On your way back to New Orleans, explore the Atchafalaya, Americaâs biggest swamp, by getting out on the water with the local Cajuns. The vistas have the appearance of pristine cypress and mixed wood swamp. When Mequet returns, we scramble onto the airboat, the engine roars, and soon weâre skimming the waterâs surface at 25 miles an hour. Swamp tour services can be found all along the Henderson Levee Road. The Atchafalaya Basin, or Atchafalaya Swamp (/ ə ˌ tʃ æ f ə ˈ l aɪ ə /; Louisiana French: L'Atchafalaya, [latʃafalaˈja]), is the largest wetland and swamp in the United States.Located in south central Louisiana, it is a combination of wetlands and river delta area where the Atchafalaya River and the Gulf of Mexico converge. A sense of timelessness, of deep serenity is settling around us. âIf you want,â Mequet says, âIâll get my airboat and give yâall a tour in it. Atchafalaya Swamp, Louisiana, USA – Explore this place known worldwide for its lush beauty and breathtaking wildlife. This small book about a priviledged time spent living in a Southern Louisianan Swamp tells an enjoyable story of what day-to-day life on an old barge-like houseboat was like. In the early 1970s, two idealistic young people—Gwen Carpenter Roland and Calvin Voisin—decided to leave civilization and re-create the vanished simple life of their great-grandparents in the heart of Louisiana’s million-acre Atchafalaya River Basin Swamp. This feature first appeared in the magazineâs October 2014 issue. I cast back to Chamberlainâs warning that Louisiana is endangered, being diluted by the 21st century, becoming like everywhere else. More. The Atchafalaya Basin, or Atchafalaya Swamp (/ əˌtʃæfəˈlaɪə /; Louisiana French: L'Atchafalaya, [latʃafalaˈja]), is the largest wetland and swamp in the United States. Andy embarked on an epic journey from Montana to the Gulf of Mexico in a kayak. The Atchafalaya Basin is the nation’s largest river swamp, containing almost one million acres of the nation’s most significant bottomland hardwoods, swamps, bayous and backwater lakes.. Part of every young commercial fisherman's, trapper and hunters heritage in the Atchafalaya Basin is learning the … This diversity includes large populations of wetland wildlife. The swamps and marshes offered refuge to exiled Acadians when the Spanish lured them south and promised a permanent home, according to Captain Tucker of Basin Landing Swamp Tours. âLouisiana couldnât be anything but,â he declares as we share a bag ofÂ Zappâs Voodoo Potato Chips, a favorite Louisiana foodstuff. See all hours. Thatâs where Creoles of color built their own world. The Atchafalaya contains an especially high variety of plants and wildlife that is not only important for nature's sake, but also to the people who make their living from the Atchafalaya's lands and waters. There are plenty of waters and fish to spend some time catching one. crayfish). We enter a murky grove carpeted with duckweed. Russell Melancon, 55, grew up pulling catfish, bass and crawfish from the Atchafalaya River and the swamp that surrounds it. “In the early 1970s, two idealistic young people -- Gwen Carpenter Roland and Calvin Voisin -- decided to leave civilization and re-create the vanished simple life of their great-grandparents in the heart of Louisiana 's million-acre Atchafalaya River Basin Swamp. Herons and egrets flutter and take flight through stands of tapering cypresses rising from the mist like Javanese dancers, branches akimbo and draped with Spanish moss. The flood triggered a mass exodus from communities like Bayou Chene, Sherburne, Atchafalaya and Pelba where people once made their living from the swamp. Search the levee tops after a storm and you will spot something: Spanish doubloons, daggers, wine from Prohibition days.â. The Atchafalaya supports half of America’s migratory fowl—more than 270 bird species, including wood storks, spoonbills, osprey, and the highest nesting concentration of bald eagles in the south central United States. Out a window hung a bird feeder; at least 12 of the basinâs 270 bird species pecked at seeds. Coffee steamed in the kitchen. The rippling water reflects the dark sky. is a documentary of Louisiana's Atchafayala Basin. ©
During the interview, her book, "Atchafalaya Houseboat - My Years in the Louisiana Swamp" was introduced and I knew I had to get a copy and read it. âItâs amazing what you can find in these waters,â Hall adds that evening as we sit on our porch nursing bottles of local Abita beer. The very best feature, to me, is the view gliding past our front porch. The Atchafalaya, its people, and its music are actively defying his admonition. The Atchafalaya’s size and diversity make it the most dynamic swamp environment in the United States. Atchafalaya Basin Swamp Tours. (Photograph by Kris Davidson), Boots scoot to live zydeco music each Sunday afternoon at the waterside dance hall Whiskey River Landing. National Geographic Traveler contributing editor Andrew Nelson (on Twitter @andrewnelson) teaches at Loyola University in New Orleans. The area has long been home to the Cajuns, descendants of French Canadians (Acadians) expelled from Canada by British forces in the 1750s, who made their way south to the more welcoming French territory of Louisiane. Around us, cypresses soar in air the color of pewter. Scouting magazine visits the BSA's Atchafalaya Swamp Base to see why it's attracting Scouts from across the country to spend a week kayaking in the swamps. He would know after spending decades living here and navigating the meandering waters. Literally. Cypress trees surround Hamilton Hall as he searches Atchafalaya waters for his kind of buried treasure: sunken cypress logs, felled decades ago and now used to fashion furniture. The bestâsome say onlyâway to explore the Atchafalaya is on a houseboat. (Photograph by Kris Davidson), A typical houseboat in Louisianaâs Atchafalaya Basin (Photograph by Kris Davidson), Atchafalaya swamp provides ideal breeding ground for crawfish (a.k.a. Atchafalaya Heritage , Swamp Lingo of the Commercial Fisherman, Hunters and Trappers Know Atchafalaya Heritage Understand the Lingo of the Commercial Fisherman, Hunters, and Trappers The Bayous, streams/waterways, canals, and sloughs are the Veins of the Atchafalaya. The Atchafalaya is as diverse as it is large. Perhaps itâs their relative isolation that makes Atchafalayans so eager to share their world. The river stretches from near Simmesport in the north through parts of eight parishes to the Morgan City southern area. Paddling through the Atchafalaya with Andy Bugh. The basin begins near Simmesport, La., and stretches 140 miles southward to the Gulf of Mexico. Atchafalaya Houseboat: My Years in the Louisiana Swamp eBook: Roland, Gwen, Lockwood, C. C.: Amazon.ca: Kindle Store âHundred-year-old cisterns, timber from river camps. From its majestic cypress and tupelo covered swamps to the egrets and alligators that fill its skies and endless waterways, the Atchafalaya Swamp has come to symbolize life in Louisiana. Heâs justÂ the guy, I figure, to explain why Louisiana is so different, even a little cray crayâand I donât mean the fish. Today, the Basin remains the largest river drainage swamp in America. The Atchafalaya Basin comprises an area of 860,000 acres of swamps, lakes and water prairies. Louisiana's Atchafalaya is North America's largest river swamp and ranks among the top 10 wilderness areas in the United States. It can get way back in the cypress forests. Pronounced “uh-CHA-fuh-LIE-uh,” the Atchafalaya gets its name from the Choctaw phrase for “Long River.” 222 reviews #1 of 6 things to do in Henderson. The flood triggered a mass exodus from communities like Bayou Chene, Sherburne, Atchafalaya and Pelba where people once made their living from the swamp. I just know the beat is making everyone break into grins. Iâd stopped by Delahoussayeâs because the water-pollution biologist, who traces his ancestry to the courtiers of Louis XVI on his fatherâs side and Cajun swampers on his motherâs, now studies this, the largest river swamp in the nation. Beyond, a dock led to the Atchafalaya River, the waterway from which Delahoussaye and like-minded others draw inspiration and a living. Wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, eastern gray and fox squirrels, eastern cottontail, swamp rabbit, gray and red fox, coyote, striped skunk, and Virginia opossum inhabit the refuge, as do a small remnant population of Louisiana black bears. Atchafalaya Basin Airboat Swamp Tours. The Atchafalaya Basin is the nation’s largest river swamp, containing almost one million acres of the nation’s most significant bottomland hardwoods, swamps, bayous and backwater lakes. Pronounced “uh-CHA-fuh-LIE-uh,” the Atchafalaya gets its name from the Choctaw phrase for “Long River.” An unmatched American wilderness, the Atchafalaya Swamp encompasses 1.4 million acres—an area bigger than the state of Rhode Island—between Lafayette and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Atchafalaya Houseboat: My Years in the Louisiana Swamp eBook: Roland, Gwen, Lockwood, C. C.: Amazon.com.au: Kindle Store Then follow the French settlements up to the Cane River. Voices of the Atchafalaya. Sightseeing Tours, Boat Tours. The flood triggered a mass exodus from communities like Bayou Chene, Sherburne, Atchafalaya and Pelba where people once made their living from the swamp. You have to paddle its waters, spot its wildlife, and sleep amongst its ancient trees in order to truly understand its opportunities for adventure. âAnd thereâs no easy access to or exit from it.â. Mequet cuts the engine. I … Low-lying Louisiana loses a football field an hour to, among other things, rising seas. Hours Today: 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM. The Henderson Swamp is approximately 7,000 acres in size, and is the most well known portion of the Atchafalaya Swamp. All rights reserved. Inside, loud doesnât even begin to describe the whoops and stomps as feet puzzle through the distinctive side-stepping and twirling of zydeco dancing, which has roots in Acadian folk tradition. Atchafalaya Swamp From its majestic cypress and tupelo covered swamps to the egrets and alligators that fill its skies and endless waterways, the Atchafalaya Swamp has come to symbolize life in Louisiana. We are sitting on an airboat in the Atchafalaya Basin, located near Simmesport, Louisiana. Iâm in a floating cabinâa wooden houseboatâsliding between cypress trees under a brooding afternoon sky that is darkening by the second, and Iâm spooked. The Atchafalaya is growing the deltas in Atchafalaya Bay and Wax Lake by depositing sediment, representing the only instance of coastal land building in Louisiana. Atchafalaya is a difficult word to pronounce; a person has to make several attempts aloud but once you get it, it sticks with you. The Atchafalaya Basin is the nation's largest river swamp, containing almost one million acres of America's most significant bottomland hardwoods, swamps, bayous and backwater lakes. (Photograph by Kris Davidson), https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/intelligent-travel/2014/11/03/louisiana-three-ways-atchafalaya-swamp.html. By combining photographs with a soundscape composed from oral histories and ambient sounds, we hope to portray life in this region. Fish jump and bubbles roil the floating vegetation. Features Animals. The Atchafalaya Swamp Was Named The Most Beautiful Place In Louisiana And We Have To Agree Stretching for over 140 miles from Simmesport to the Gulf of Mexico, the Atchafalaya Basin is the nation’s largest river swamp, and we are lucky enough to have it right in our back yard. ". It is at this moment that I begin to grasp what living on the Atchafalaya must feel like. Youâll be glad you did.â, As we emerge from Killer Poboys, blinking, into the French Quarterâs afternoon light, Chamberlain adds, âLouisiana is another country. The Atchafalaya Basin serves as the drainage wetlands of the Mississippi, reined in by the Old River Control Structure near Lettsworth and numerous levees throughout South Louisiana. Hello Select your address Best Sellers Today's Deals New Releases Electronics Books Today's Deals New Releases Electronics Books The Atchafalaya River meanders from near Simmesport southward past … Atchafalaya Basin: Swamp Romp I’m in a floating cabin—a wooden houseboat—sliding between cypress trees under a brooding afternoon sky that is darkening by the second, and I’m spooked. You can consider it a little lagniappe.â Lagniappe is the Cajun French word for a little something extra. âAll new growth,â Hall tells us. Colbert is just beginning to rebuild from his devastating cabin fire.
2020 living in the atchafalaya swamp