Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) announces the opening of a new paddling trail at Toledo Bend Reservoir on Patroon Bayou. This trail, the 79th official in Texas, is now open and ready for canoeing or kayaking adventures.
“The Toledo Bend-Patroon Bayou Paddling Trail lets you explore a quieter part of the Toledo Bend Reservoir,” said Shelly Plante, Nature Tourism Manager at TPWD. “By paddling through this side arm of the lake, paddlers will experience great birdwatching and fishing while enjoying views of the surrounding national forest lands. It’s quite an experience!”
Paddlers can access this loop trail at Holly Park Marina, so no shuttle is needed. The trail length ranges from two to eight miles depending on the chosen route, and takes up to six hours to complete, depending on factors including the route taken, water level, wind speed and time spent on other activities like fishing. It’s also important to note that paddlers crossing the open water portion of the trail could be exposed to high winds and waves. Therefore, paddlers need to be sure to paddle at their skill level.
The trail offers an open-water paddling experience on Patroon Bay before moving to Patroon Bayou on the opposite side of the bay. Birders will see wood ducks, egrets, herons, bunting and storks in the summertime while a winter trip enables paddlers to view sparrows, pintails and teals, providing great birdwatching opportunities all year long. Paddlers can also expect to see other forest wildlife on the journey into the bayou.
If fishing is the objective, ample opportunities abound to reel in a big catch. Largemouth bass are the most popular game fish at Toledo Bend and the use of small lures such as jigs, plastic worms, and spinner baits are generally recommended for landing one. In addition, plenty of bluegill and sunfish are present and provide excellent fishing, especially for youth or new anglers. White bass, crappie and catfish can also be caught.
The Texas Paddling Trails program helps promote habitat conservation through sustainable economic development, while providing additional recreational opportunities to the public. To learn more, visit the Texas Paddling Trails website.
The Toledo Bend – Patroon Bayou Paddling Trail is a cooperative effort between the TPWD, Sabine County and Holly Park Marina.