Southwest Louisiana is home to a number of diverse natural environments, and one of the best ways to explore them is via the Creole Nature Trail. Designated as an All-American Road, the 180-mile Creole Nature Trail takes visitors through piney woods, prairies, marshes, swamps and Gulf of Mexico beaches. All along the way are places to stop and explore, hike, observe wildlife and take photographs.
The best way to start your travels is at Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point, which lies at the western gateway. This free attraction gives visitors a fantastic overview and introduction to the Creole Nature Trail by immersing you in Louisiana’s unique natural habitats and culture.
When you walk inside, you’ll see a mini Creole Nature Trail road. Follow the roadway through the various interactive displays to discover what makes the Louisiana Outback and culture so unique and special.
Try your hand at crabbing with a magnetic chicken leg, crabs and a net.
Did you know? You don’t need a license to go chicken necking with a net and rope in Louisiana, and you can collect 5 dozen per day.
Find out the best places to spot alligators, migrating birds and other wildlife.
Visit a duck camp and try on some duck hunting gear.
Learn how Southwest Louisiana boudin sausage is made, and find out about the Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail.
Take a sniff of some of Louisiana’s most common spices.
Discover some delicious recipes for local favorites like red beans and rice, beignets and pralines.
Try your hand at making music the Cajun and Zydeco way. You’ll be able to hear the difference between the two musical styles.
Did you know? Cajun is based more on French traditions and storytelling, while Zydeco has greater African influences.
Visitors can also see how many fish a brown pelican can eat at once, get an above and below water peek at a dolphin, and practice saying popular Louisiana French phrases like “Laissez les bon temps rouler”. Push a button and you can listen to how they should be pronounced.
Allow about an hour to enjoy all the interactive displays. You can also pick up various maps and guides to the Creole Nature Trail, and ask any questions you may have before heading out into the Louisiana Outback to explore!