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HomeNL-2016-12 Buffalo Bayou Bats

Batty NIGHT paddle on Buffalo Bayou
Sept. 12, 2016
by Christy Long

Put in Dunlavy on Lost Lake on Buffalo Bayou, take out on Sabine Bridge

2 miles
Monday, Sept 12, 2016, 6:00pm to 9:00pm
1200 cfs USGS 08073700 Buffalo Bayou, Piney Point, TX
The put in and take out is a Class lll.
The stretch is a Class 1, but paddling the stretch at night increases the risk to a Class ll.

The following pictures are from an earlier trip in which Natalie Wiest participated.

We met at Whole Foods Market on Waugh drive at 6:00 pm and ate a light dinner and filled out the paperwork. We drove the two miles to Lost Lake Visitor Center on Allen Parkway. We ran shuttle, to Sabine Road. The parking at Lost Lake is public but you must consider events at The Kitchen at Dunlavy that can take up all the parking slots. The parking at Sabine supports the Lee & Joe Jamail Skatepark, Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern, and apartments.

The put in at Lost Lake is on the long side and the stairs down to the water is not an easy haul for long boats.

The bank at this water level made it easy to get into the boats.

We readied our boats; we wore headlamps and placed glow light necklaces on our hats. We launched just at nightfall. We wanted to get to Waugh at night to see the bats. The following link gives the phases of the sun and moon:

We traveled the half mile to Waugh. Once there, we hung onto the banks on the downstream side of the bridge or held our position in the center of the bayou.

The bats start coming out at dark and fly along the tree lines. Thousands of them (bats). We stayed downstream of the bridge after we paddled under the bridge and we were rained on by the bats. Yuk!

After about an hour, in the full darkness, we started paddling downstream to the Sabine bridge. We used our headlamps periodically, as this stretch of the bayou is wide and clear of trees across the bayou. There are strainers on the side banks so caution is necessary. The glow sticks allowed visibility from all sides.

The bayou is very populated with bicyclists, and runners. The runways are lighted, which makes for great ambiance. Really cool to come around the bend to see the Blue Bridge in Buffalo Bayou Park.

The city skyline changes with each bend. It is beautiful and awesome and I recommend the night paddle.

The Sabine take-out is a one-boat-at-a-time type of thing. Then the walk from the take-out to Sabine road is a bit of a haul, but the stairs are a straight shot, and the area to load the boats is easy.

The author, Christy Long