|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – June 2008
These weekend float trips have side hikes that rival the paddling for scenery and solitude.
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.
Piney Woods Outfitters, Lumberton (409-751-0911, canoetexas.com)
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.
YOUR NEW CANOE
Looking for a brand-new boat? Our canoe guide will keep you afloat.