User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Benton Lake Paddling Trail

Description: One of Texas’ most mystical paddling experiences can be found on the Benton Lake Paddling Trail on Big Cypress Bayou between Jefferson and Uncertain.  This 2.4-mile loop trail, upstream from Backwater Jack’s just off Big Cypress Bayou, follows a passage of tall, moss draped bald cypress trees into an awe-inspiring sunken forest.  If careful to keep a trail marker within eyesight, more adventurous paddlers can enjoy the perimeter slalom trails nature designed long ago. Whether in autumn when the bald cypress turn from green to rusty orange, through an early morning fog blanketing the water, or a spring day alive with the wingbeat of a heron or the splash of a fish, the view will be unforgettable.

Location: Put-in and take-out at Backwater Jack’s R.V. Park, 621 Longs Camp Rd. Karnack,TX 75661, 903-679-3427.   Note:  Five paddling trails begin at this site.  Inquire locally which trail best suits your paddling adventure.

Directions/map: From Marshall, take Hwy 43 north for 14.7 miles. Turn left onto FM 134 West for 3.5 miles; then right on Longs Camp Rd (CR 2403) for less than a mile to the end of the road.
Location map: Click here.

Float time:  1 to 2 hours

Website:  Click here.

This list may not comprehensive; inclusion in this list does not constitute an endorsement.
* Backwater Jack’s R.V. Park, 621 Longs Camp Rd., Karnack, TX 75661; 903-679-3427

* East Texas Sonar, 3200 N. Eastman Road, Longview, TX 75605; 903-663-4648

* Johnson's Ranch Marina On Caddo Lake - 5131 East Cypress Drive, Uncertain, TX 75661;

903-789-3213 or 903-789-3268

* Riverbend Outfitters, LLC, 2019 FM 726, Jefferson, Texas, 75657
903-746-7068 or 903-926-0203

Important note: Many paddling trails flow through private property. When the land along a trail is private, paddlers may take out on sandbars within the riverbed, but exiting a canoe or kayak above the riverbed is trespassing.

Care must be taken when paddling to provide for the safety of all passengers.  State and federal laws require operators of paddlecraft to have a personal flotation device for each person on, an efficient sound-signaling device, and, if paddling after sunset, a light source visible from 360 degrees.  Texas Parks and Wildlife Department offers  safety tips for paddlers and, with its Texas River Guide River/Stream Flow Application, utilizes data from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to provide real-time flow levels for rivers and streams.