Bayou Vermilion Paddle Trail Route Descriptions
Vermilionville to Lake Charlo to Vermilionville
This round-trip paddle route departs from Vermilionville and heads upstream on the Bayou Vermilion for 1.5 miles. Once you pass the Lafayette Regional Airport, the hardest part of the paddle is over. At the river juncture, you’ll take a right and detour into Bayou Tortue for a 1.8-mile trek into Lake Charlo where the current calms down quite a bit, and from there on you’ll be able to enjoy the most scenic stretch of the bayou within an hour’s reach of Lafayette.
Once you’re in Lake Charlo it’s a grand welcome to the Atchafalaya Basin’s western most swamp system. Here you can relax, soak up the 360˚ natural scenic vista, and replenish your soul. When you’re ready to head back it’s downstream all the way to Vermilionville. Although a small portion of this trek requires upstream paddling, it’s well worth the effort and our sit-on-top kayaks make padding the Bayou Vermilion very doable even for noncompetitive paddlers.
Please pack water, sunscreen, bug spray, and protection from the elements and prepare yourself for a day in the bayou’s wilderness because you will not have access to modern facilities until you return to Vermilionville. Most paddlers complete this 6.6-mile round trip paddle in about 3.5 hours.
To avoid extra rental fees, boats must be returned to Vermilionville no later than 3:30 p.m.
Acadiana Park Nature Station to Vermilionville
This is a downstream-all-the-way paddle trip that departs from the Acadiana Park Nature Station via Francois Coulee, enters into the Bayou Vermilion, and continues downstream for 9.6 miles. On this route, you will be able to enjoy the most majestic and natural stretch on the Bayou Vermilion Paddle Trail. Also available on this route is the option for paddlers to explore the 1.8-mile side trek into Bayou Tortue and the Lake Charlo swamp system and scenic vista.
After a good half-day on the bayou, this trip ends back at Vermilionville. Please pack water, sunscreen, bug spray, and protection from the elements and prepare yourself for a day in the bayou’s wilderness. Restroom facilities are available at Acadiana Park and can be accessed prior to embarking on the paddle, after that you will not have access to modern facilities until you return to Vermilionville. Most paddlers complete this 9.6-mile downstream paddle in about 3.5 – 4.0 hours. The side trek into Lake Charlo adds about 1.5 hours to the total length of the paddle trip so please plan accordingly.
To avoid extra rental fees boats must be returned to Vermilionville no later than 3:30 p.m.
The Bayou Vermilion District is unable to provide portage or transportation services at this time. Please plan ahead so that your trip can end at Vermilionville!
Additional fees for lost or damaged equipment and late returns will be applied to the total cost of the rental as stated in Bayou Vermilion District’s Equipment Rental Agreement.
In order to avoid additional fees, please return rental equipment to Vermilionville located at 300 Fisher Road, Lafayette, LA 70508 – no later than 3:30 p.m.
Paddle Trips may be canceled due to inclement weather. In winter months a combined water and air temperature must be equal to or greater than 120ºF for paddle trips to go out. Certain paddle routes are closed during hunting season.