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Canoeing the Tchefuncte River

Updated on December 7, 2014
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Since the mid-1980s Yvonne has maintained a registered NWF backyard wildlife habitat where a variety of birds, insects and frogs abound.

Tchefuncte Glimmer


Canoe Ride

We are extremely lucky to have a scenic river in our backyard. The Little Tchefuncte River and all of its tributaries are protected under the Scenic Rivers Act, but in April, 2007 it took quite a hit when some misguided post Katrina cleanup went really wrong. Periodically, we take a ride up the river to check for damage and to see if the river is healing itself from the severe damage that was done to its banks. We also like to see what flowers are blooming and what animals are out.

Lazy Little Tchefuncte Flowers and Animals

Come with us on a virtual, photographic canoe ride down the lovely and scenic Little Tchefuncte River, in southeastern Louisiana. The Tchefuncte and its tributaries are protected by the Scenic Rivers Act.

It begins as a spring north in Washington Parish, somewhere near the Mississippi line and meanders down through Folsom and Covington. In Covington, it joins with 2 other rivers, the Bogue Falaya and the Amite. We canoe on the area down stream from Folsom, around Covington, upstream from where the 3 rivers meet.

We'll see many of the plants and animals that live in and along the river. Your guides will also tell you some facts about the river and its inhabitants. So, get your virtual life preserver on and hop into our canoe for an afternoon of fun.

Native Crossvine

Come join us on a virtual canoe ride on the Tchefuncte River. We launch from our little sandy beach and start up river. This is a shot of downriver and as you can see when the water is low it's difficult to go that way.

Many of the photos seen here can be purchased in Naturegirl7's Zazzle Shop as print-on-demand products such as posters, cards, apparel, mugs, etc.

Tiny Damselfly

Our river is teaming with wildlife and we were lucky enough to see some interesting species as we paddled along. Our first sighting is a tiny damselfly which decides to hitch a ride. There are so many beautiful dragonflies and other insects that live along the river.

Blue Dragonfly

Underwater Obstruction

Because the Tchefuncte is protected, removing natural fallen trees and snags is prohibited. This adds to the beauty of our little river and also makes canoeing an adventure. We must wind around trees and crisscross back and forth across the river as we make our way up. Sometimes, when the river is a little low, we have to get a running start in a couple of places to make it across logs. Our canoe is made by Grumman so it's pretty sturdy.

Cypress Knees

Rio usually comes along. He'll ride for a short while, but he really likes to run along the bank or swim beside the canoe.

Rio the Part Catahoula Dog

Fish of all types are plentiful and the water is usually clear enough to see them. Catfish, Perch, Bass and Garfish are the most common.

Arrow Wood Viburnum

Many beautiful native plants like our native American Wisteria, Horse Sugar, Honeysuckle Azalea, Cardinal Flower and Arrow-wood Viburnum bloom during the different seasons along the river.

Native Pink Azalea

Little Tchefuncte River

The Little Tchefuncte is spring fed so the water is very cold and it's not comfortable for swimming until July or August. It originates in Washington Parish and widens when it joins the Abita and Bogue Falaya down river from us, then it finally flows into Lake Pontchartrain.

Slider Turtle

River Turtle and Catfish

Reptiles - Turtles and Snakes

Various river turtles and pond sliders sit on logs or on the shore and plop into the water when we pass.

We canoe often and have seen many different animals. One of our neighbors reported seeing an alligator. We haven't seen the alligator, but we often see other reptiles like the Broad-banded and Diamond-back water snakes and the water moccasin.

Broad-banded Water Snake

Diamond-Backed Water Snake



Flocks of goldfinches and indigo buntings bathe in and drink from the cool water. They are stopping off at our place before they head north to their breeding grounds.


Pairs of wood ducks fly at almost every turn and a Belted Kingfisher fusses at us when we disturb its fishing.

Belted Kingfisher

Prothonotary Warbler

Many song birds like Red and White-eyed Vireos, Prothonotary Warblers, Water Thrushes, Acadian Flycatchers, Northern Cardinals, Mourning Doves, and Pine Warblers live in the riparian areas.

Mourning Dove

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Immature Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Hummingbird Nest

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds like to nest along lazy rivers like the Tchefuncte. There's an immature one and I think I see an empty nest.

Hang on while we negotiate these twists and turns through the fallen trees and roots.

Red Shouldered Hawk

Oh look, one of the pair of Red-shouldered Hawks is eating some prey. It looks like a Mourning Dove.

Herons and Egrets are often seen wading in the shallows or in the trees along the river.

Great Blue Heron


We often see evidence that beavers have been there during the night. Gnawed Chinese Privet branches are often left on sand bars or on the rivers edge. We're really happy when we see dead Chinese Privet because it is one of the invasive exotic plants that chokes out our native plants, forming mono-cultures of privet.

Beavers: Where Waters Run (Northword Wildlife Series)
Beavers: Where Waters Run (Northword Wildlife Series)

- Brings you a comprehensive profile on beavers. - Filled with stunning color photography.


Raccoons are always somewhere near water and we have large troops of them living along the Tchefuncte.

Occasionally we'll see a river otter pop-up and then gracefully glide through the water.


Amphibians play an important part in the cycle of life on the river. They are our pest control crew. There are frogs and toads of all sizes, from the big Bullfrogs to the tiny tree frogs, all do their part by eating mosquitoes and other insects 24/7.

Gray Tree Frog

This is as far as we can go when the river is this level, so we'll pull the canoe up on the shore and walk a little further to see more.

After our walk we'll paddle back down the river. It's easy on the way back, so we'll let Al do all the work!

Tchefuncte River Map

show route and directions
A markerCovington, LA -
Covington, LA
get directions

B markerMadisonville, LA -
Madisonville, LA
get directions

Videos down river, on the Large Tchefuncte

© 2008 Yvonne L. B.

Let us know what you think.

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    • DreamingBoomer profile image

      Karen Kay 6 years ago from Jackson, MS

      What a beautiful place! And it's not too far from me! I must go check it out sometime. Thanks so much!

    • profile image

      Spikey64 6 years ago

      What an awesome place I wish we had such colourful wildlife here in the UK.

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 6 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      The Tchefuncte looks like a beautiful river to go canoeing on. Fabulous photos! ~blessed

    • Staceysk profile image

      Staceysk 6 years ago

      Beautiful pics. Looks like a nice place to live.

    • xbumper profile image

      xbumper 6 years ago

      The river looks beautiful. Don't know that I would be too excited about the water moccasins though. Great lens

    • laki2lav profile image

      laki2lav 6 years ago

      You have a lot of nice info and pics on your lens - great job

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 7 years ago from Southampton, UK

      This is an excellent lens, I hadn't heard of this river before. Blessed by an angel.

    • Meloramus profile image

      Meloramus 7 years ago

      What a marvellous river.You live in an amazing place.

    • jodijoyous profile image

      jodijoyous 7 years ago from New York

      What beautiful photos! And the picture of your dog swimming along is priceless.

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 8 years ago from Royalton

      What an amazing trip! Thank you for taking me down the Tchefuncte River. What a wide variety of birds and animals there are to see.

      Thank you for adding it to Here Comes Spring! Springtime Headquarters Group.

    • natnickeep lm profile image

      natnickeep lm 8 years ago

      This is a beautiful lens, makes me want to go canoeing right now!!

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 8 years ago

      Great lens - you've been blessed by a squidoo angel :)

    • Janusz LM profile image

      Janusz LM 8 years ago

      I love your Photo´s, wonderful Lens!! Blessed by a Squid Angel :)

    • profile image

      ratso 9 years ago

      an excellent lens, I like the photography and information about this river. 5*

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 9 years ago

      Welcome to The Totally Awesome Lenses Group.


    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 9 years ago

      Every year my family gets together for a three day canoe trip. Everyone, from my parents who are in their 70's to the newest baby is on the river. Its both fun and relaxing.

      I love to canoe.

      Great lens


    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 9 years ago from Royalton

      Little Joe Otter was checking out your lens and want to that you for taking A Walk in the Woods.

      You have made me very curious about the rivers and wildlife outside of New Orleans. How was the river damaged by Katrina and Katrina recovery efforts?

    • GramaBarb profile image

      GramaBarb 9 years ago from Vancouver

      What an impressive lens! I want to paddle the Tchefuncte River too! 5* Beautiful virtual tour!