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Cooks Lake to Scatterman Paddling Trail

Coks Lake to Scatterman Paddling TrailDescription: Whether joining the annual Neches River Rally in September or striking out on their own, paddlers on the Cooks Lake to Scatterman Paddling Trail are in for a treat. The 4.8 mile loop meanders through a moss-draped cypress-tupelo slough in the famed Big Thicket National Preserve, one of the most biologically diverse places in the world. The trail takes paddlers from the Lower Neches Valley Authority Saltwater Barrier Boat Ramp up the Neches River, taking the left fork to Pine Island Bayou and into Cook’s Lake. The seemingly short trail can actually become an all-day adventure since Cook’s Lake and Scatterman Lake are abandoned river channels that have become oxbow lakes -- fun to explore. The trail is relatively flat and low flow, and very close to sea level, making it a fairly easy paddle upstream.  

Location: Lower Neches Valley Authority (LNVA) Saltwater Barrier Boat Ramp, 6790 Bigner Road, Beaumont, TX

Directions: From US Highway 69/96 in Beaumont take the Lucas Drive Exit and head east approximately one mile. Turn left heading North on Bigner Road about a mile and a half to the boat ramp.              

Float time: 2 to 5 hours

Website: Click Here

Outfitters:          
* Shawl Canoe School, Mary Carter,409-791-0040

* Big Thicket Outfitters, 115 Connolly Road, Vidor, TX 77662, 409-786-1884, www.bigthicketoutfitters.com

* Eastex Canoe Trails/Eastex Outfitters, 50 Turtle Creek Dr., Silsbee, TX 77656, 409-385-4700,, www.eastexcanoes.com

* Sharp’s Canoe & Kayak Rentals, 8632 Billy’s Drive, Silsbee, TX 77656, 409-385-6241

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.