Saturday, July 1, 2017


In 1972, Pathways Magazine ran an informative article, accompanied by several photographs,  about canoeing in St. Tammany Parish waterways. Click on the images below to see a larger version. 

Here is the text from the article above:
The canoe has been a popular recreational watercraft In this country since the latter part of the nineteenth century. Prior to that it was a necessary and vital tool in the exploration and trade of the new world. Clubs and summer camps have done much to perpetuate the romanticism of the canoe.

Annual races, the great out-pouring of families into the woods for camping, and the acquaintance of the city dweller with nature, all have greatly influenced the sudden and Increasing popularity of this grandfather of all floating vessels.

St. Tammany residents now have the opportunity to propel themselves in canoes upon possibly the most beautiful waterways in the country. Shannon Marine, Inc., owned and operated by Shannon and Tom Grant has Ouachita (say. Wash•A-Taw) canoes available for rent or sale to individuals or groups. They provide the canoe, paddles and life jackets.

They will also provide adjustable car top carriers for transporting canoes. Renters may launch their canoes from the banks of the Tchefuncte at the Grant's, near Fairview State Park off Highway 22 to Madisonville. You are also permitted to take the canoes to other beckoning waters for a couple of hours or for an extended trip.

For the more sociable, several canoeists may explore the beauty around them together. Recently, Shannon Marine hosted a party of thirty-six women on an eleven-canoe float trip. The trip began at the beach in the Bogue Falaya Park. As might be expected, most of the women were novices at canoeing, and there were even some non-swimmers but everyone enjoyed the serenity of the waterway and the surprising security of the canoe.

Upon arrival at Menetre Park, at the end of Third Avenue in Covington, the ladies enjoyed refreshments and then paddled back upstream to the Bogue Falaya Park. Kim Hardy, a recent graduate of St. Paul's High School, guided the float trip and pointed out many interesting sites, including a sunken Confederate gunboat and a Civil War cannon still aimed at the river, awaiting an enemy ghost ship. Kim is available to guide any float trip for Shannon Marine's renters.

There are two general misconceptions about canoes. The first being that they are dangerous. This is not true. They are one of the safest crafts afloat and used extensively in camps for young people. The seventy-pound Ouachita canoes sold and rented by Shannon Marine are aluminum and have positive foam flotation. They will not sink even when filled with water.

The second misconception is that it takes a great deal of strength to paddle one. In the contest between bull strength and skill, skill wins out, with many exceptional canoeists weighing in the neighborhood of one hundred pounds. Jeff, the Grant's six-year-old son can easily propel and handle a canoe by himself.

This area's waterways and many ponds are made for canoeing. The shallow draft of the canoe permits its use on waterways that are impassable to heavier and deeper craft. The cost of the canoe Is relatively inexpensive, and the upkeep of only reasonable care makes it possible for practically any family to own one.

Mention of the canoe always conjures up the picture of the early days of our history. It stands for adventure into quiet waters or roaring rapids, into the ancient ways of the rivers and lakes. It is a return to quiet and to nature; it revives the primitive instincts of exploration and the call to hunt, fish and camp.

It is a challenge to skill, to the physical ability to take the long trail into new country. Few other sports combine such skills with the beauty of rivers, lakes and lagoons—nor give the same quiet peace of mind to those who wish to escape for awhile the noise and tensions of life.

The paddler on the far right looks familiar