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River trip part 2

Toledo Bend DamFor those of you that have not read River Trip Part 1, please do so.  After talking to my buddy about the boat launches I went and looked at on my first trip, he sent me an email with what was supposed to be a boat launch just south of the dam on Toledo Bend dam.

The plan for Sunday was for my wife and I to make a trip to Toledo Bend dam.  There are two roads on each side of the river on the south side of the dam where the Sabine river starts.  The goal is to see if there a feasible boat launch.

What I found on the trip on each side of the river were steep banks, and no real boat launch.  There is a place where a pipeline crosses the river.  On the Texas side of the river, it looks like bags of cement were placed on the bank to stop erosion.  The bank is so steep that it would be dangerous to carry a boat and boat down the bank.

Comparing the banks at the Toledo Bend dam to the other boat launches:

From my house, its plus or minus a few miles, its 50 miles from my house to the dam at Toledo Bend

The banks dam are very, very steep.  I would consider the banks so steep that it would be unsafe to a boat and motor down the bank.

Sabine river Texas side:

Sabine river road Texas sideThe river road dead ends into what looks like a 4-wheeler trail.   At the end of the road, the was a slope so steep that my truck lost traction and started spinning out.  I applied the brakes, locked in the 4 wheel drive, then started to back up.  As the truck started its backward momentum, it was like the truck was sliding downhill.

Once the truck was at the bottom of the hill, and safely parked, my wife and I got out to look around.Sabine river road Texas side

Just to make sure the boat launch was not up the hill and past where the truck started spinning out at, I walked up the hill to take some pics.

When I got back to the truck, my wife yelled out that she thinks she found the launch.

Well, its not really a launch, its a bunch of cement pads placed over a pipeline to stop erosion. I guess if someone really wanted to, they could back their truck down the pipeline to launch a boat. I just worry about the slope being to steep for the truck to get back up the bank.

In my opinion, the bank is too steep to try and carry a boat with motor down to the edge of the river. If one person lost their footing, everyone would go down.

I am going to guess that the pipeline is what my buddy was referring to as being a boat launch.

Sabine river Louisiana side:

Time to go to the Louisiana, which was a lot worse.

Sabine river Louisiana sideThe road on the Louisiana side dead ended into the start of an ATV trail, much like the Texas side. My wife and I stopped the truck before the road turned into a trail, got out and took some pics.

My wife and I found what “looked” like a boat launch. All it was, was a washed out dirt road going down to the water edge. From the looks of things, any kind of rain would make the road so slippy, that the truck, boat and trailer would slide into the river.  One spot on the “boat launch” was washed out so that it was maybe a foot straight drop off.  If my truck got one of its tires in the wash out, someone would have to pull me out.

Sabine river LouisianaCould we launch at either place, sure we could.  With enough manpower anything is possible.  With at least 4 men, maybe 6 or 8, we could pick the boats upand carry them down the river.

What really bothered me about launching just below the dam was the underwater obstructions.  Just off the shore line by maybe 10 – 15 feet was a rock about the side of the hood of my truck.  This rock was just a couple of inches below the surface.  If either my buddy or I hit the rock with our boat, it would have tore the bottom of the boat out.

After looking at 4 different boat launches – HWY, Merryville, and 2 just south of the dam on the Sabine river, it appears to me that the safest launch is going to be at HWY 190.

At the launch at HWY 190, we can back the boats down the sand, then carry the boats over a flat surface to the waters edge.

The other boat launches have a bad slop to them.  I am concerned about one of the people carrying the boat loosing their footing, slipping, falling, dropping the boat, and everything is downhill from there.  Well,its downhill until we hit the water.

Other sections to this article:

River trip part 1


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