Get Outdoors in Louisiana!

Louisiana is an eclectic area of the United States. A delightful mash of French, Spanish, and African influences has created spicy Cajun cuisine, bopping jazz bars, and colorful cities such as New Orleans. All this culture, set amongst the outstanding nature spots that line the inland waterways and beaches of the Gulf Coast.

In Louisiana, the Mississippi River comes to its terminus. The great brown river slows and deposits sediment creating a vast floodplain of backwater bayous, flowering swamps, and exotic wetlands. These areas are extremely rich in wildlife and create many stunning nature opportunities waiting to be explored.

Creole Nature Trail

In the southwest corner of Louisiana, there are 180 miles of roads and by-ways that link together a rich network of nature spots. Stretching from the Gulf Coast, up to Lake Charles, and around Calcasieu Lake, this area, known as the Creole Nature Trail, is often called Louisiana’s Outback due to its raw and unfiltered beauty.

One highlight is the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge. Covering 313 square miles of wetland habitat, the area is home to a dazzling array of mammals, reptiles, and birds. There’s a wetland walkway that ventures deep into the reeds and bullrushes where you can encounter the animals up close.

The Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge offers yet more wildlife opportunities. Aside from wetland walks and fishing tours, there’s also the Pintail Drive. This three-mile loop cuts alongside a lagoon packed with alligators! Stop to take photos but stand clear of the water’s edge, alligators are lightning-fast and can attack without notice.

Avery Island

At first glance, Avery Island seems much like any of the swamps of Louisiana, but there’s more to this nature spot than meets the eye. Situated on an enormous subterranean salt dome, Avery Island was once mined by the Confederate Army before being captured by the Union Army in the American Civil War.

Since then, the area has become a private nature reserve and is also the founding location of Tabasco hot sauce. In the Jungle Gardens, you can walk or drive around a nature trail filled with magnificent live oak trees hanging with Spanish moss – a sight that is iconic in the Deep South.

You can also visit Bird City which is a conservation area for the delicate white egrets. The trees and riverbanks around the island are filled with numerous other bird species such as egrets, ibises, and herons. Be sure to tread quietly through the gardens to fully appreciate the natural creations of this world.

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park

Jean Lafitte NHP is a popular nature spot due to its close proximity to the swinging streets of New Orleans. Many visitors opt for swamp boat tours or canoe excursions to explore the complex maze of tributaries, but there are a few exciting walking routes too.

The Bayou Coquille and Marsh Overlook Trail is a magical path near Marrero. The boardwalk crosses through the swamp and along the peaceful waterways of Bayou Coquille. It’s the perfect place for quiet reflection during the cooler hours around sunrise when the natural world comes alive.


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