The 2017 Rally will be held on Saturday, September 9th. Pre-registration is required and participants can choose from several launch times from 8am – 10am.
Participants 13 years and older $30 per person Early Bird - $40 per person after August 21st
Participants 12 years and younger $10 per person Early Bird - $15.00 per person after August 21st
Chris Richter, Rally Committee Chairman, says that “This paddling trail will be a great addition to the already established 26 miles of Texas Paddling Trails in the Big Thicket National Preserve. The Collier’s Ferry to Lake Bayou Paddling Trail is an “out-and-back” paddling trail and is approximately 7 miles long. Paddlers will float a short distant down the Neches to Lake Bayou and into the Big Thicket National Preserve and return to Collier’s Ferry Park. There is no need to shuttle cars and paddlers, an extra great advantage of this paddle. The trail provides a great opportunity for paddlers to experience wildlife and ecology. Paddlers have the option to dock their boats on some parts of the trail and walk on the banks.”
The trail head is located at the historic Collier’s Ferry site now known as Collier’s Ferry Park. This site was the main river crossing on the Old Jasper Road and was used as early as 1750. This route followed Indian traces and was the “highway” for explorer-settlers, priests, soldiers, trades from Spain, France, and Anglo-America. The ferry's most important use was as a cattle crossing on famous Opelousas Trail from 1820s to 1900. Herds came this way to bypass the streets of Beaumont on their way to Louisiana. Today, the park is well maintained by the City of Beaumont. The launch area has 4 boat ramps, 5 piers, 2 boardwalks, grassy area, and small beach area. Park amenities include rest rooms, water fountains, picnic area, pavilion, 1.8 mile walking track, playground, and plenty of parking.