Franklin Paddling Trails

Type of Route

Your paddling choices here are the Hanson Canal Trail, a linear route of about 10 miles, or the Bayou Portage Trail, a nine-mile loop. Both offer a good taste of the scenery and wildlife typical of this area. Founded in 1808 as Carlin's Settlement, Franklin (named for Benjamin Franklin) became the parish (county) seat in 1811. Early settlers included French, Acadian, German, Danish, and Irish people, but English people came to dominate after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Sugar plantations and steamboating characterized the area, and Franklin was a sugar port. Bayou Teche once connected many plantations, making Franklin a haven for lovers of historic architecture. Franklin, the boyhood home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, features a historic district that encompasses some 400 noteworthy structures. To get to the Fairfax Foster Bailey Boat Launch, from Highway 90, take the Franklin Exit; turn onto Northwest Boulevard; at the four-way stop, take a right onto Chatsworth; after you cross the bridge, take an immediate right onto Willow Street; take the first right to the Fairfax Foster Bailey Memorial Boat Launch, located under the overpass. For more information see Cajun Coast Visitor & Convention Bureau at or call 800-256-2931.