The calming waters and scenic views of Cane River Lake don’t just benefit local boaters looking to soak up the sun.
For more than two decades, college rowing teams have made Natchitoches a spring break destination and a training ground as squads gear up for conference and national championships in April and May.
Five schools visited Natchitoches this year, including LSU, Texas, Wichita State, Oklahoma City and Central Oklahoma.
“Cane River Lake is a natural haven for rowing teams, especially for spring break,” said Jason Stelly, NSU’s rowing coach. “Teams can build up their speed and focus on rowing technique in the calm water.
“It’s a great setup because the city is willing to work with these teams. They don’t charge fees for using the river, and they can get deals on food and hotels, so it’s affordable.”
Texas coach Peter Rosberg says limited boat traffic on the 36-mile oxbow lake offers an ideal training location.