Archive for the ‘Ramsar Wetlands’ Category

New Kayak and Canoe Paddling Trails

January 29th, 2013 by carriagehouse

Paddling Trails

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has opened ten new kayak and canoe paddling trails on the Big Cypress Bayou and Caddo Lake. Trail markers have been placed along all of these trails to help you navigate these mystical and ethereal waterways.

Five of the new trails follow the Big Cypress Bayou with the put ins and take outs located at Backwater Jack’s RV park.  The other five paddling trails are on Caddo Lake with the put ins and take outs located at various locations on the lake

For more information, please visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Website.


Port of Jefferson Riverfront Restoration Project Has Begun!!

January 20th, 2012 by carriagehouse

Port of Jefferson Boat RampTrees








I was so excited to hear the news this week that the highly anticipated Port of Jefferson Riverfront Project had begun this week.  The heavy equipment was delivered on Wednesday and work began in earnest on Thursday.  Woo Hoo!

This project has been in the works for decades and is something that we have needed for generations.  The Big Cypress Bayou area has been altered and degraded from hundreds of year’s of boats and man’s influence. Many of the native species of plants  have died out and native animals no longer come to the shores of the water or are even in this area.  This project will return this wetland back to it’s original state and re-introduce many of the trees, plants, animals, and fish that once populated this unique swampy area of Texas.  The Army Corps of Engineer’s estimate the entire project to take anywhere from 18 months to 2 year to complete.

For more information about this project, please visit the project website at

Please enjoy this video of the first day’s work.  The first work effort of the project is to move the current boat ramp (located at the Polk St bridge) down Austin Street right next to the Historic Jefferson Railway depot.

I hope you enjoy this update!  I will be making more as the project moves forward and milestones are achieved.

Big Cypress Fish & Wildlife Restoration Project

August 9th, 2011 by carriagehouse

This afternoon Tuesday August 9, a reception in honor of the Big Cypress Fish & Wildlife Habitat Restoration Project will be held from 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. at the Excelsior House Hotel Ballroom.
Speakers will include:  Mayor Jeff Fratangelo; U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison; Colonel Richard Muraski, District Engineer USACE Ft. Worth District; Richard Collins, Chairman of Today Foundation.
This event is hosted by the Jessie Allen Wise Garden Club and the Excelsior House Hotel.

New Gator Park in Uncertain Texas

August 8th, 2011 by carriagehouse

Gator (1)


Gator (2)


This past weekend, we had the honor of hosting my mom and niece here at the Carriage House B&B.  It is always nice to have family come visit us.  We love getting the chance to catch up with them and the chance to play tourist here in Jefferson.

I think the biggest thrill for us all this weekend was going to Captain Ron’s Gator Park in Uncertain, Texas.  Captain Ron is a dear friend of ours and he gave us a grand tour of his new gator park and petting zoo Friday afternoon.  If you are thinking that you don’t remember this place last time you were here, it is because it just  opened a few weeks ago.  We will be recommending this place from this point on.  This is one of those experiences that you can only get here in the swamps.

The petting zoo is full of unusual and unique varieties of chickens, goats, turtles, pigs, and birds.  But the biggest thrill of all is the gigantic pond teaming with alligators.

Captain Ron held off on feeding them until we got there.  As soon as these primitive beasts saw the chicken on the bamboo pole, the water came alive.  It was obvious that the large gator was the alpha male of the pond.  He tried his best to keep the others away from the feeding area and only a few of the brave and nearly as large gators even dared to come close.  We all stood in awe as these large beasts jumped straight up and out of the water to snatch the chicken right off of the pole.

Since the show, Swamp People, started airing on TV, we have had several people come out to Jefferson and want the “Swamp People” experience.    You do not have to run all the way down to Louisiana’s bayou country to have a Swamp People vacation.  Caddo Lake is a one tank getaway from most of Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.  

I will get everything set up for you.  We will send you deep into the dark and mystical swamps in a go devil in search of gators in the wild and get you up close, and personal to a gator feeding on chickens.  At the end of the day, we will send you to a restaurant where you can sit under Bald Cypress trees draped in Spanish Moss and eat some fried gator.  By the end of the weekend, you will be able to say “Choot ’em,Liz”, and smile at the memories.

Give me a call at 903-665-9511 to book your Swamp People vacation.


I have a Peaceful, Easy Feeling

September 28th, 2009 by

One of the things that attracted us to Jefferson was all of the things to do in the area. There is always something going on here in town. I mean…always! This weekend was no different.

Tom had been bugging me all weekend to go to the Caddo Lake Ramsar Wetland Center Grand Opening that was going to held on Saturday. Of course when you have a house full of guests you don’t get to go out and play on the weekends, so I got to be the bad guy and say no.

Friday night Belinda and Renee from the North East Texas Film Commission checked in. Look honey, new friends! We had a lot of fun talking with both ladies and learning more about the work that the film commission does. These two ladies work very closely with the Texas Film Commission and different production companies to promote our area. Frankly, I believe that we have so much to offer. If you are looking for southern antebellum mansions, we got ’em. If you need a scary atmosphere for a horror movie, we have it. If you need dark piney woods, fall color, or spring time flowers, we have it. It is these ladies job, to bring all of this to the attention of anyone who may be considering filming in this area.

Belinda and Renee were in town to observe the final days of shooting of Boggy Creek. They convinced us to go with them to the grand opening of the new Wetlands. This new wildlife refuge used to be the Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant and was decommissioned in the late 1980s and became a Superfund site (think environmentally contaminated). Many people fought to clean up this area and keep it out of the hands of the developers. One of the people that lent his name to the project was Don Henley. He is originally from this area and is fighting to keep this land pure and pristine. Apparently there were plans to turn this site into another industrial park. Don’t we already have enough empty industrial parks?

Tom and I got the chance to meet Don Henley. We stood there like groupies stumbling over our words. Mr Henley was very gracious in talking to anybody who came up to him and signing autographs.

At the same time that this was going on, the first annual Fire Brigade Car Show. People from all over the area brought their classic cars to show. I am not an antique car buff, but even I could appreciate the beauty of these vehicles. If you have a love for cars, then you will definitely want to make plans for next year’s show.

If you are a garage sale fiend, then you definitely want to come to Jefferson next weekend. Next Saturday is the City Wide Rummage Sale. I know that I will have a ton of stuff that I will be selling. So come on down. There will be a lot of great finds!
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