Bayou’s of Louisiana

Bayou Houseboat 400
Houseboat on the Bayou
Photo by: Matthew Levine, Creative Commons

A bayou is a sight to behold. While its tranquility often invigorates the soul, its eerie ambience has made it a popular setting for Hollywood horror movies. The Reaping and The Skeleton Key are just some of these movies. But what is it about bayous that made it a popular destination among visitors?

Louisiana is known for its bayous. In fact, the mere word was first used in this State. It is said that the word “bayou” actually came from bayuk, a Native American language, which refers to “small stream.” Bayous in Louisiana were closely associated with the Cajun culture because early Acadian settlements were near Bayou des Escores (Thompson’s Creek) and Bayou Lafourche. Bayous are actually bodies of water that is situated in low lying areas. And in Louisiana, these bayous are braided streams stemming out of the Mississippi river. Typically, it can either be a marshy lake or wetland or a very slow moving river or stream. And because of its slow movement, it is often referred to as “sleeping waters,” a perfect background for voodoo rituals – or so legend says. In bayous, the waters often become stagnant and boggy, making it a perfect habitat for creatures like crawfish, catfish and of course, the alligator.

Alligator hunting is one of the known activities in the Louisiana bayou. Every year, a number of visitors embark on a swamp tour at the Bayou Segnette State Park to either look for alligators or simply marvel at the natural environment replete with Spanish moss from oak trees and as well as birds and animals. For those who opt for a more up-close bayou experience, they can go to the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park. Here, visitors embark on a “walking tour” amidst lush vegetation.

An adventure in the bayous of Louisiana is definitely an unforgettable experience, especially to those who have visited the place for the first time.

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