Neches River Rally
Sept. 8, 2018
by Fran Wilcox
Participants – Cyndi Cannon and Fran Wilcox
Weather – Excellent
Location – Beaumont, Texas
Course – 7 miles out and back from Collier’s Ferry to Bayou Lake
The Neches River Rally is an Annual Fund raiser for the Big Thicket Association. This year was also the commemoration and “opening” of the Big Thicket Paddling Trail by Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.
One of the perks of this paddle is that the Navy JROTC group will off load your boat and then push you off at the put in. This works in reverse for the take out. So, pretty much all you have to do is show up, paddle and enjoy the beauty of the river. They even have the best hamburgers in Collier’s Ferry and they are grilled to perfection. And, very attractive tee shirts.
This year we paddled the new trail which was beautiful. The trail that led to Lake Bayou was lined with trees and we could observe the erosion that was caused by Harvey. There were many exposed roots and sharp banks due to the force of the water. In fact, as we learned from the après paddle entertainment (a country duo who lives upstream on the river) that the river had risen 17 feet.
Last year’s paddle was cancelled due to Harvey, but the previous year we had started at the Salt Barrier and paddled through a mysterious, shallow, cypress laden pass on our way to see the “Madonna” tree – which is readily observed by some and leaves others wondering what they might have seen.
This is certainly a novice paddle and the association wants to get folks out on the water. It is a very nice way to spend a Saturday. Next year’s event is on Saturday, September 10, 2019.
The author, Fran Wilcox