Motors Allowed?
Easy / Class A
2.00 mi (3.22 km)
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Prien Lake Park is a lovely, well-designed park in the heart of Lake Charles that can be used as a gateway to some of the waters in and around Lake Charles. These waters can make for a great full-day paddling adventure. Overlooking Indian Bay, Prien Lake Park is found on the eastern shores of Prien Lake, just about 15 minutes from the heart of Lake Charles.

The park is worth checking out if you find yourself in the Lake Charles area. It hosts two separate fountains, streams, beautiful landscaping, a playground, free Wi-Fi, and several workout stations throughout the park. There’s a lovely covered pavilion that could be used for gatherings such as a family reunion. Within the confines of the park, Harbor’s Edge is a multi-room meeting/reception facility with a wraparound porch overlooking the lake. Harbor’s Edge can be reserved and rented for private events.

The park has a boat ramp that was built specifically with kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards in mind. The boat ramp can be found at the southwest corner of the park. From the boat ramp you can either head north into the open waters of Lake Prien or head south into the canals that flow back into some of the residential neighborhoods surrounding the lake. This adventure recaps the southern route into the canals.

As soon as you start heading south in the canals, you’ll pass underneath a bridge. Even though you’re in the middle of the city, the shorelines of the canals at this point of the journey might have you thinking you’re in the middle of the swamps out in the country. Pristine aquatic habitat lines the shores, dotted with wildlife, including alligator and white egrets. As you continue making your way down through the canals, after about a half-mile, the canal splits into two. Neither option allows you to go too much farther before you run into obstructions.That said, the canals are fun and easy to explore. This paddle adventure was incredibly peaceful and fun to navigate. 

If you choose to travel north from the boat ramp into the open waters instead of south, there’s a wide set of options to paddle to from Lake Prien, depending on how ambitious you’re feeling. Just be mindful of larger vessels and challenging headwinds on the open water.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required

Open Year-round



Easy access to water. Amenities of nearby park available.


Urban setting.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Put-in location (lat, long coordinates)

30°11'16.0"N 93°16'13.7"W

Take-out location (lat, long coordinates)

30°11'16.0"N 93°16'13.7"W

Water Temperature

65.00 °F (18.33 °C)


Family friendly
Flushing toilets
Potable water
Covered picnic areas
Picnic tables
Rental facilities
Boat ramp(s)
Bird watching

Trail type




Typically multi-day


Shuttle required


Site characteristics: Water


Portage required



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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Alligators, Monarch butterflies, 400 species of birds, walking trails and natural, Gulf beaches - you can truly surround yourself in nature in Southwest Louisiana along the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road. After experiencing the great outdoors, you can enjoy the food, culture, music and art that Louisiana is known for the world over – in just a short drive to Lake Charles, LA.

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