Boring announcement at the bottom. Keep reading!

I mentioned in the last post that charter board member Jeff Barnhill is an avid explorer of natural areas. Chemin-A-Haut in Morehouse Parish near the Arkansas state line is one of his favorite sites. He also takes beautiful pictures!

Chemin 1

Jeff tells a fascinating story about how we almost lost this amazing place. Here it is in his words:

“Around 2005, the Morehouse Lake Commission was formed and there was a push to dam the creek at the bayou creating a lake. I saw the plans. Imagine what would have been lost here. I was dealing with chemo and radiation, but still found old canoe pictures on the creek, scanned them and made it known that there were old growth Bald Cypress here. The big hollow tree is dated at 1,000+ years old.

A lake isn’t going to happen now that people know what’s here. I’m sure many didn’t know what was here since access was difficult especially with no trail along the lake, but a lesson should have been learned about looking before you leap.”

Chemin 2

Here’s the 1000+ year old tree, back view. To see the front of it you must be in a canoe, and Jeff has done that, too. In fact, if you find him on Facebook, which I highly recommend, you will see that his profile photo is of him, in his canoe, with his canoe inside the hollow of this tree.

Chemin 3

Jeff says that these Water and Shagbark Hickory trees are a little past their prime fall color, but it’s still a gorgeous photo.

And now that you’ve enjoyed these lovely photos and a cool story about a naturalist at work (way to go, Jeff), here’s my announcement: The charter LMN-NE Board of Directors has a meeting scheduled at which we will elect officers, adopt by-laws and take care of other bureaucratic stuff so we can open a bank account, take online memberships and really get rolling.

Hang in, folks. We’re getting there!


3 thoughts on “Chemin-A-Haut State Park

  1. A nice article with great pictures of this rather special place. My wife and I greatly enjoyed kayaking this stretch when the water was fairly high, so while we didn’t see the full exposed girth of the great old cypresses we saw fine scenery and enjoyed the expedition. We aim to return when the water is low and see the full extent of the trees. Readers may be interested to learn that Bayou Bartholomew is famous for being the longest bayou in America and also for the extent of its natural (non-engineered) banks. To access the area we parked at a bridge over Bayou Bartholomew and paddled downstream to the Chemin-a-haut bayou confluence, then up there to see the great old trees and then afterwards downstream to the State Park. It was about an 8 mile paddle. At dusk we were still paddling back upstream, which was hard work, and saw a fine American alligator about 9ft long, a pair of Black-bellied whistling ducks, a good many bats and some fireflies. It was a very nice excursion.


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