Waypoints: Kisatchie and Little Pierre Bayou Falls

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Little Bayou Pierre Cascade: N 31° 23.717’ W 093° 03.810’

NATCHITOCHES PARISH

WHAT’S HERE:

Waterfalls in Louisiana. Yes we have some but they’re not the Oregon Trail – shampoo commercial – variety.

Most web searches for ‘waterfalls in Louisiana’ will yield the ones we know already from our geocaching exploits around LaSalle Parish: St Mary Falls and Rock Falls. According to our geo-friends who have explored that area, the Sicily Island Hills State WMA, there is a third waterfall, somewhere near GC5ZKXZ.

Frustratingly, those same web-searches typically yield some ‘hey this is in your state’ aggregate blog pages that always, always start with Clark Creek Falls, which is actually in Mississippi.

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Little Bayou Pierre Cascade, viewed from La-118, looking SW

Buried deep in the search results though, one author listed Little Bayou Pierre Cascade.  Visible from a bridge crossing the bayou on La-118, there isn’t much in the way of water or fall, but it’s there.  Without actually measuring, it appears to be a 3-foot drop in elevation. That aforementioned author labels it a Class II rapid.

On the other side of the bridge, off to the NE there is a public swimming hole.

Tripgoers to this site should keep in mind, La Hwy 118 is one of a handful of paved highways that don’t terminate on both ends at another highway. The western end is an intersection with La Hwy 117. State maintenance ends at the Mink community, just about exactly where this waterfall is.

So don’t continue east past the falls on Kisatchie-Mora Rd. unless you want a rough ride through the country.  You may get a damaged tire like we did.

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The Longleaf Vista area of Kisatchie National Forest is geologically the same limestone foundation that make up the highlands of Sicily Island Hills.  Therefore it’s not surprising that there should be waterfalls in Natchitoches Parish as well.  We know of three, including Little Bayou Pierre’s.

Kisatchie Campground Fall: N 31° 26.674’ W 093° 05.589’

Hidden deep in Kisatchie’s Red Dirt WMA is Kisatchie Bayou Campground, on Kisatchie Bayou, a meandering stream coming out of its limestone hills, which flows north to join the Cane River near Natchez, La.  For most of the year the stream is sparse, carrying what rain water the hills take in.  Visitors to the area, following several days of storms (as we did) will find the bayou a veritable torrent.

This will reveal a set or two of rapids unseen at most other times.  This one, near the very end of the Caroline Dormon Trail and the campground there, becomes a drop of about 15-24 inches, scored diagonally across the entire bayou from SW to NE.

While there, and taking the opportunity to dip our feet and pull out rounded stones from the bayou bed, our team met a duo of downbound kayakers who verified the existence of a third fall further upriver.  The directions they gave us indicated there is a Forest Service road off of La-118 (why is it always that one?) that should take one straight to it.

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Map courtesy Google / Geocaching

Turns out, that’s exactly the case. Even Google Maps identifies it as ‘Kisatchie Fall’ but only on one Zoom Level. FS-361, the kayakers indicated, doesn’t have a sign, but map-heads should be able to locate it.

Kisatchie Fall: N 31° 24.403’ W 093° 07.925’

It may be our next geo-trip.  After all, this forest road entrance puts curious cachers very close to GC13AY9.

That’s six waterfalls in Louisiana we can verify. If you know of any more, let us know.

 

This Tag is growing. See our overview of geoLa Waypoints here.