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 Barbary extends approximately 2 miles to the Amite.

First Visit 

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.

Future Visits 

We visited again about a month later and paddled the length of the bayou down to the Amite River and back. We spent two hours paddling down and back, plus up and back on a scenic side channel.