Summer sun is more fun with water. Monroe-West Monroe is home to the Ouachita River, Black Bayou Lake NWR, and more waterways. Here are some ways to enjoy the water in Ouachita Parish this summer!
Kayaking on Black Bayou Lake NWR
Whether you are on a guided paddle or out on your own, Black Bayou Lake NWR is a great place to get out on the water. You can bring your own or rent a canoe or kayak from the Friends of Black Bayou. Stay on the lookout for a guided paddle to the eagle’s nest led by one of the experienced rangers. Before you leave the refuge, be sure to check out the new Gator Habitat in the education building.
Float the Ouachita
There are lots of ways to take advantage of our beautiful river. Boating, fishing, skiing, wakeboarding, and tubing are always fun! You could also Float the Ouachita and join other water enthusiasts who start at Forsythe Park and float down to Trapp’s on rafts or other non-motorized devices.
Need a little help to get out on the water? Then head to H2Go in Downtown Monroe. They’ll get you out outfitted with a paddleboard, canoe, or kayak and everything you need to enjoy some time on the water.
From the banks
If you just want to enjoy the view, there are plenty of places to sit back and relax while the water flows by. Several local restaurants, like Trapp’s, Cotton, Miro’s, and the Warehouse No. 1 offer great views of the Ouachita River. You can also enjoy the view from the Downtown RiverMarket. The River Grille and Waterfront Grill are both located on picturesque Bayou DeSiard. Waterfront Grill is an ideal spot to watch the ULM Waterski Team, winners of 29 National Championships, during their practice sessions.
Splashpad at Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo
Take a break when touring the zoo, and let the kids run wild at the ZOOasis splash pad. Then take a jungle cruise or a ride on the new train!