Kayaking tours on historic Bayou St. John and West End Marina through New Orleans
Locally owned, family run. Capture New Orleans from a different perspective. Kayak our beautiful and historic waterways as we guide you through neighborhoods and communities. Together we’ll explore New Orleans’ rich history and culture, the challenges and benefits of Southern Louisiana’s diverse ecology, and the aquatic life of the waterways. We’ll keep with the pace of the city—nice and easy, taking in the southern scenery, hospitality and weather.
From labor to leisure. Both locations we paddle, Bayou St. John and the West End Marina area were initially used and developed as a means of industry for the city of New Orleans and the surrounding areas. As more efficient means of transportation were established, their purpose became more recreational and residential in modern times.
Bayou St. John, meandering through Mid-City and Gentilly was a key component in establishing our city. The Native Americans showed early explorers the bayou as a way to access, at the time, a potential future city from the Gulf of Mexico without having to fight the Mississippi River’s strong currents. In supporting colonial transportation and industry of New Orleans, the oldest community in the city was created at the southern end of the bayou. The bayou and her banks currently serve as a popular destination for paddling, outdoor activities and community events.
The development of West End Marina and the Lighthouse resulted from the apprehensions of the existing Creole community to the newly transplanted Americans of the early 1800’s. Having difficulty working with the locals, the Americans dug their own waterway, the New Basin Canal connecting the city with Lake Pontchartrain and directly competing with Bayou St. John. While the shipping channel no longer exists, West End Marina and Bucktown still support sailing, boating and fishing enthusiasts of New Orleans and Jefferson Parish even after being rebuilt multiple times.
In both settings, there is a bit of wildlife to observe. It isn’t uncommon to spot a great blue heron stoically perched on a tree branch, soft-shell turtles sunbathing along the bank or a brown pelican diving into the water after a fish. At dusk as the sky morphs into a palette of oranges and purples, you can catch lots of action on the banks and under the water’s surface as the animal community finds dinner.
This experience will bring balance to many things: You’ll find nature in an urban setting, visit history in the present, have a few active hours among several decadent ones, and feel local while vacationing.
For more detailed descriptions and images of what you can expect to see on each featured tour, see the “Kayak Tours” page.