Pete’s Landing is a boat ramp ($5 launch fee) into scenic Bayou Barbary, a tributary of the Amite River located in Livingston Parish south of I-12. Pete’s is on hwy. 444, about midway between French Settlement and Killian, a little east of Hwy. 63. From the launch Barbery extends approximately 2 miles to the Amite.
I’d read of other’s paddling trips on Bayou Barbary and recommendations from friends who fished the bayou from their powered boats. On the October Sunday when I first visited only two other vehicles were parked at the boat ramp so the bayou was quiet and peaceful. An approaching cold front brought windy conditions, so I first paddled up side channels to the east where the trees blocked most of the wind. On both of these I came to dead ends where the channels were choked with water hyacinths. Otherwise, the scenery is beautiful.
I returned to the main Bayou Barbary channel and proceeded downstream towards the Amite River. Checking the time and considering the strong winds which would impede my return, I went only halfway down the bayou before turning around. Cool winds and mostly cloudy skies kept most of the wildlife out of sight. I didn’t even see a turtle, though I saw plenty of bubbles. On a sunny day I’d expect to see them basking on logs.
A highlight of the trip was spotting a limpkin near the boat ramp. I had seen numerous egg casings of apple snails during my paddle, which is the limpkin’s food, and I’d read of their presence across south Louisiana. As a former resident of Florida’s gulf coast I regularly saw limpkins along the freshwater waterways. I was pleased to see one here in Louisiana, following the spread of the invasive snails.
As this bayou is scenic an only a half hour from home I look forward to visiting it again, when I have more time to paddle its full length.