Days
<1
Motors Allowed?
No
Difficulty
Easy / Class A
Distance
3.58 mi (5.76 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The University Lakes system is a popular urban kayaking destination for those visting Baton Rouge. While the University Lakes may not possess the expansive wildlife viewing opportunities of nearby lakes, it is conveniently located and can provide you with a challenging paddle on windy days. During the early morning hours, you'll enjoy the company of great egrets, cormorants, and other native bird species as they scour the lakes for food.

Since the University Lakes are a popular running, biking, and walking location, you may have difficulty finding parking between midday to early afternoon during the weekends. Arrive early. Not only will you enjoy more wildlife viewing, but you'll have a breeze parking and loading into the water.

Now for an annual treat: Come between November and early December, when the lakes become home to prolific numbers of American white pelicans. They use the University Lakes as a temporary home and food source during their migration.

Dogs are welcome at the University Lakes, as long as East Baton Rouge's 6-foot leash policy is obeyed. Your dogs are welcome to paddle the water with you. The average depth of the lakes is 3.8 feet, so if you're unsure how your pup feels about paddling, this is a great practice location.

University Lakes was constructed in 1938. The logging and construction of the area provided jobs to workers who lost their jobs during the Great Depression. There is currently a master plan to revitalize the lakes as they are deteriorating in their current state and will turn into mudflats if nothing is done. The master plan will likely take several years to fully execute. When finished, it will result in a healthier lake system and improved recreational park!

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Fall
Summer

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Location. Quick, easy access in town.

Cons

Limited wildlife viewing. Limited paddling options. Parking congestion.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Put-in location (lat, long coordinates)

The ramp and pier are located to the left of the parking lot. You may back your car/trailer up to the water to unload if preferred.

Take-out location (lat, long coordinates)

Take out location same as put-in location.

Water Temperature

50.00 °F (10.00 °C)

Features

Family friendly
Boat ramp(s)
Flushing toilets
Bird watching
Fishing
Historically significant
Wildlife
Picnic tables

Trail type

Loop

Access

Vehicle

Typically multi-day

No

Shuttle required

No

Site characteristics: Water

Lake

Portage required

No

Location

Field Guide

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