There is little as beautiful as a swamp in all its putrid glory and no better way to enjoy it than to get down on the ground, mud and water and plough through it. Although Hog has blazed several trails it is always more fun to leave the beaten path and sink into a newly discovered mud hole. Most trails connect with the Scatter Point, the landing Hog habitually uses for his explorations.
- Gator Walk
- This trail has its head near the Watch House and was established when Hog hunted down a large gator that had gotten to close to the premises. It is a one-way trail that ends in a shallows that has been recently cleared. Trail length: 1.5 miles. Trail difficulty: moderate. Gaters are damn hard to catch.
- Grendle's Mere
- This trail has its head near bungalow #6 and ends where there is an unexpectedly deep hole. The hole isn't marked, but you'll know you've reached the end of the trail when you fall in. Trail length: 0.6 miles. Trail difficulty: easy.
- Over Water
- This trail has its head at the cottage cluster and debouchs around bunglaw #9. It is characterized by elevated walks over the water built on temporary pilings Hog sank five years ago. Trail length: 5 miles. Trail difficulty: easy.
- This trail has its head a couple of hundred hards from the Watch House at a tie-up. It goes around Hog's Swamp and has multiple interruptions to increase interest. Some causeways still intact, most trail markers in place. Trail length: 20 miles. Trail difficulty: moderate.
- Lynch Landing
- Your saga begins at historic Lynch Landing, under the
watchful eyes (and shotguns) of the Watch House. From the newly
refurbished and nearly hole-free boat dock, you can still see the towering
old mangrove where, in bygone days, runaway slaves, runaway slave owners,
and runaway Yankees were hanged.
- Marsh March
- Splash across four vividly scenic miles of bog, swamp,
marsh, fen, mud and quagmire. There are relatively few alligators here so
you can relax and enjoy the numerous waterfowl, frogs, snails, mosquitoes,
leeches, and waterborne parasites. C'mon, get your feet wet up to your
- Razorback Ridge
- Scramble over a high ridge of blissfully dry scrub
forest, thick with wild rose, blackberry, greenbrier, locust, devil's
walkingstick, stinging nettle, cocklebur, and vicious wild hogs (no
relation to Hog, but just as dangerous). Tusk wounds should be treated
promptly to reduce the risk of infection (Troll's Fine Shine is the best
antiseptic we know).
- Serpent Stroll
- This shady arboreal wonderland supports a variety of
venomous snakes and constrictors from all over the globe. Of course
there's plenty of puddles so you won't miss out on the water mocassins and
Hog's favorite, the giant anaconda (genuine import). Watch those
low-hanging branches, and mind your step!
- Gator Crossing
- From the picturesque cypress-log-and-bailing-wire
bridge, you can see hundreds of colossal alligators basking in this
pristine estuary. Be sure to bring a camera and plenty of ammo. The
bridge is less likely to collapse if you cross one at a time. Last one
across is a quiche-baking carpetbagger!
- Wayside Shelter
- “Four star” cabin equipped with modern amenities
including a latching door, partial roof and fire pit; maintained annually.
Stylish rustic decor with outdoor hygiene, cozy mud floor, and bones left
by genuine predators. A comfy, convenient place for survivors to rest,
regroup, reload and regret. At night you can see at least four stars
through the authentic bullet holes in the walls.
- On the banks of the beautiful Dieumetuer River, you'll
find a botanical bonanza, including 19 of the 17 known species of contact
irritant plants, razor-sharp thorn wattles, and the world's largest poison
ivy bush. Carnivorous plants found only in Hog Swamp feed on insects,
rodents, birds, turtles, sandwiches, and you, if you're not careful.
- Swamp Romp
- Nowhere else is the pure natural beauty of Hog Swamp so
evident. Literally trillions of mosquitoes and biting flies fill the air
with the gentle purring and iridescent shimmer of their wings. Watch for
leeches the size of your fist, rare venomous lizards, man-eating
alligators, and giant pythons. If you're lucky, you may even sight the
exotic poison arrow frog! Remember, to get out of quickmud, lie on your
back, spread your remaining limbs and “swim” with a slow backstroke.
- Cannibal Point
- On this beautiful shale outcropping overlooking a
spectacular view (and scent) of Stanqmore Bayou, the Shiddiewaddah tribe
once roasted and ate its feeble, humorless or otherwise undesirable
members. You yourself may have a companion who isn't quite pulling his
delicious weight. Aren't you hungry by now?
- Malibu Tree
- The ultimate mystery! Perched in the upper branches of
a giant mangrove is the rusting hulk of a 1964 Chevy Malibu. Neither
science, hoodoo, nor drunken speculation can explain how it got there, but
ancient Indian legend says that looking in the trunk can cause spontaneous
combustion. Climb up and have a peek!
- Old Latrine Pit
- Centuries ago, the Trenchfoot clan of the
Shiddiewaddah tribe which then inhabited our bountiful wetland used this
natural sinkhole to bury cursed relics and the carcasses of diseased
animals. Later, settlers expelled from Starvin Parish for unnatural
practices used the spot as a latrine and trash pit. Today, the adjacent
well supplies Hog's Hangout with our famous “Sippin' Juice”. Try some, if
you make it back.
- Slimybottom Creek
- You're almost there! Wade with wary water
moccasins, or thrash through the thorny brambles on the bank — it's your
choice! Either way, the footing is as treacherous as a carpetbagger, so
watch your step. You and any surviving companions will have some
memorable stories to share at the next Thursday night barbecue.
- Castle Rassle
- Ending at the Castle, the trail starts at the Scatter Point and takes a scenic route through the swamp. Portions of the trail are underwater some parts of the year, especially after particularly heavy rains. Trail length: 6.3 miles. Trail difficulty: hard.
Established paths are not inspected and irregularly maintained. Logs may be rotten, eaten through, or otherwise no longer providing support. By embarking on a hiking trip you agree to indemnify and hold harmless Hog, Hog's Hangout, its employees and other guests from any damage or injury that may result from undertaking said trip.
I can't thank Hog's Hangout enough for their generosity: I've never had a vacation because its something I can't afford. Always thought they were for people with money. Then an acquaintance told me about the "hardship" offer. A phone call later I was on my way. It *is* a little hard to find, what with the road being closed and all, but well worth the long drive.
— O'Hare, Toolsby