Chocolate Bayou

Google Earth KMZ data

Here are a couple of pics of the vicinity of the put-in's that I took while scouting the bayou.
Put-in (high water) at the boat launch off of Hwy. 35.
Alternative put-in to the south at Albert Finkle Park.

I paddled a bit of Chocolate Bayou on 7 May, 2007 (see the KMZ file).  I put-in at the Chocolate Bayou boat ramp off of 35, just west of 2917, and was told by a local that the bayou was unusually high, though there was no obvious current at that point. I initially proceeded to the north, finding very steep banks on either side, plus lot's of large fish and quite a few turtles. For about the first mile the banks were cleared of brush,

then the bayou became narrower and overhung with trees, in some areas fully closed-over by the trees, with virtually stagnant water, though in other places the water became fairly clear.

Approaching and beyond the 2-mile north region there were several snags virtually blocking the channel, until finally I was turned-back by an impassable blockage. I turned around and retraced my route to the southeast, passing the boat launch and heading perhaps a couple of miles to the south. Southwards the bayou becomes much broader and with lower banks partially cleared of brush. While the first mile to the south was through apparent ranch land, the remaining portion bordered on rural suburbia, which eventually became dense enough that I stopped and headed-back to the boat ramp. Interestingly, I didn't notice a single alligator along the entire explored stretch of Chocolate Bayou, whether due to avoidance of the area due to the high banks, or possibly to removal by the locals. In general, this section of Chocolate bayou is relatively clean and inoffensive, but a bit boring and with too many houses bordering it, and a difficulty in escaping highway noise. I would otherwise recommend a trip to Albert Finkle park to the southeast and back, but that section has way too much suburbia adjacent to it for my tastes, though I only encountered a couple of well-behaved motor boats along the way. It might be pleasant in the Fall.