Managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Indian Bayou area is a 28,000-acre public-access area containing some of the country's most productive wildlife habitat. It's a paradise for hunters, fishermen, bird-watchers, boaters, nature photographers and outdoor enthusiasts. The area is located in the heart of the Atchafalaya Basin, the world's largest freshwater swamp wilderness. It is a haven for wading birds like the great blue heron and the great egret. Mallards and wood ducks are abundant, as are reptiles and amphibians, including the American alligator and western cottonmouth. Reflective white-on-blue directional signs mark the trails at major turning points, allowing paddlers to navigate without a guide. Be alert to underwater hazards like submerged logs, stumps and rocks. Also, be aware that Indian Bayou is a popular hunting area. Familiarize yourself with the hunting dates and pay attention to safety notices posted throughout the area. To get to the paddling trail, take U.S. 190 six miles west of Krotz Springs or 12 miles east from Opelousas to Spillway Road (look for sign); take Spillway Road south one mile to private landing on the left. For more information see http://www.mvn.usace.army.mil/recreation/recreation_sites_atchafalaya.asp or call 337-585-0853.