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The Trip: Swamp-Whacking

Pioneer a brand-new trail in Louisiana's Atchafalaya swamp, where the gators are friendly. Really.

PLAN IT

The Basics The Atchafalaya Paddle Trails Web site, www.bayoutrails.org, features 14 tried-and-true routes. To volunteer your scouting services, send an e-mail to executive director James Proctor (proctor@bayoutrails.org), who rents kayaks for $50 per day. Before entering the swamp, be sure you have some deet-based bug dope, a reliable GPS unit, plenty of sunscreen, and a hat. If you’re forging a new trail, bring a hammock instead of a tent.

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