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Cotton Lake/Cotton Bayou

HCC Cotton Bayou/Cotton Lake from Hugo Point pop-up


DATE: Sunday December 1, 2019

Coordinated by: David Portz


HCC members only Max of 10

Paddle difficulty, Novice but please review Trip’s “description”


Date of Paddle: December 1, 2019


Meeting Place and Time:

Meeting location is Hugo Point near Cove Texas  (see driving directions and map below).  Meeting time is 8:30 am

On the water by 9:00 a.m.    Plan to return to Hugo Point  by about 3:30 p.m.  


How to Get There:   


To get to Hugo Point from I-10 (exit 803 right before the Trinity River Bridge) take the FM 565 exit and go south on FM 565 to Gou Hole Road.  Turn left onto Gou Hole Road and follow it  (approximately .7 miles) to the intersecting street which is Maley Road. Go right on Maley Road and drive through this residential area.  The next intersection has a sign with a left arrow pointing to the Boat Ramp - turn and proceed to nice concrete boat ramp.  Facilities include a large pavilion, individual picnic tables, restrooms, playground, a two-lane boat ramp, parking for vehicles with or without trailers, and a handicap accessible trail out into the marsh with an accessible observation tower. 


Lat - lcon of the park is 29 48.745' N, 94 47.776' W


Description: An exploratory venture potentially involving currents in the channels related to Trinity River flows, and the shallow water and silty bottom of Cotton Lake. It’s supposed to be a nice day but consider the possibility of rain and more than adequate wind.  The return to launching point will be against the current for, say, one to two miles. There will likely be motorized boat traffic circa Hugo Point, a launching point for inebriated fisher-persons. That being said:


We will put in at Hugo Point, heading downstream from there probably into Cotton Bayou and connecting channels obscured by thick growths of cane. Oh yes, did I mention that one can get lost for a time in these “braided bayous”? The other principal bayous here are Horse Bayou and Red’s Bayou. Emerge from Cotton Bayou (& etc.) into Cotton Lake, then potentially traversing such Lake to poke about in Gully Bayou. Alligators. Reverse course and wend back to Hugo Point.


Features: wading birds, water birds, shell beaches, coastal marshes, concrete tower and concrete barrier remaining, I believe, from abortive attempt to channelize all the way to Dallas. Large homes along the edge of Cotton Lake and still sizable ones along Gully Bayou.


What to Bring:


Be sure to check the current weather forecast to determine whether rain gear will be needed.  You will need a canoe or kayak, paddles, life jackets (one per person required to be worn), lunch, plenty of drinking water (1/2 gallon per person), sunscreen, and insect repellent.  Sturdy shoes that will stay on your feet securely in the event of muddy wading, and pants.  If you bring a camera and/or binoculars, I recommend some kind of waterproof, but readily accessible, container. It is also a good idea to bring a waterproof bag containing a towel and a set of dry clothes. 


The only restroom facilities are the ones at Hugo Park, where the trip will begin and end. 


Contact Information:


The trip leader can be reached by email at  or by telephone at

(713) 417-9116.  If you have questions the day before or on the morning of the trip, you can reach DAP on that same cell phone number.




There is no fee for this trip, for HCC/ACA members. Waiver policy & $5 fee applies for non-members of ACA, if any, slightly discouraged from attending. 





     Check the current local weather forecast at .

     You can check on current water conditions in the Cypress Wonderland at the USGS National Water Information System web site and find out about outdoor activities in Chambers County at .

          Learn how to identify and report invasive species at .



Map including area of paddle and Hugo Point

Sunday, December 01, 2019, 8:30 AM until 3:30 PM

David Portz
713-533-0075 (p)
Registration is required
Available Slots:
No Fee