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Backpacker Magazine – June 2008

Top 3 Paddling Treks

These weekend float trips have side hikes that rival the paddling for scenery and solitude.

by: Kellie Schmitt

Nancy Lake SRA, AK | Floodwood Pond, NY | Village Creek, TX

Photo by Laurence Parent

Village Creek, TX
Go with the flow in East Texas
Like the Lazy River ride at Six Flags? You'll love the 1.5-mile-per-hour flow along this southeast Texas creek. The 18.5-mile route starts where the TX 418 bridge crosses Village Creek, just outside Kountze. There, 30-foot cliffs laced with cyprus create an intimate vibe. Farther along, tall yellow pines shade the 50-foot-wide passageway. Downstream, the route widens, weaving around sugar-white sandbars flanked by tupelos. Every sandbar is a potential camping spot. But tent up 8.5 miles from the put-in, and you can stretch your legs on a hike into the Roy E. Larsen Sandyland Sanctuary. Pack binoculars for birding–the red cockaded woodpecker and the shy bachman sparrow feed here. Spring and fall bring the most comfortable weather, but river levels are primo in late May and early June.

Canoe Rental
Piney Woods Outfitters, Lumberton (409-751-0911,

The Way
From Houston, drive 84 miles east on I-10 to TX 96. Turn north and drive 13.5 miles into the town of Lumberton; watch for Village Creek signs at the TX 418 bridge.

Looking for a brand-new boat? Our canoe guide will keep you afloat.

Nancy Lake SRA, AK | Floodwood Pond, NY | Village Creek, TX

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Reader Rating: -


Feb 02, 2011

I'm looking at a map, & trying to understand this path. So I paddle from Floodwood Pond into Little Square Pond, thru Fish Creek into Square Pond into Follensby Clear. Then what? Do I travel up to the top of Follensby & portage to either Polliwog or Green Pond, then portage over to Hoel Pond? The rest makes sense.

Aug 09, 2010

This is an incorrect description of how to access Long Pond Mountain. Paddlers can access Long Pond via a short carry from a well-marked parking lot off Floodwood Pond Road.

Oct 22, 2009

I've gone through Floodwood Pond many times and explored the surrounding lakes and ponds. Floodwood Mountain Scout Reservation does some really awesome treks through that area. One of the greatest places to go. God's country

Chris Perkins
Jan 05, 2009

You can stretch this creek out. I have paddled a 50 Miler with my scout troop and over 65 miles with a friend. When the creek is flooded (often) you double your speed and loose camping spots. If you have time to slow down you can catch some Perch, Large Mouth Bass and Catfish.

Aug 05, 2008

Stu Brody
Jul 28, 2008

Just booked a reservation with Evelyn at St. Regis Canoe Outfitters. She couldn't have been nicer, or more helpful.


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