Places & Faces
Spend a Day and Explore the Creole NatureTrail
5/1/2020 1:00:00 PM
Creole Nature Trail

Travel through the marshes and along the coastline of Cameron Parish and experience Louisiana’s own "Outback” – the 180-mile Creole Nature Trail, a designated All-American Road/National Scenic Byway. You’ll find opportunities to fish, hunt for crabs, and observe alligators and other wildlife.


Adventure Point, 2740 Ruth St. in Sulphur, is the best place to launch your Creole Nature Trail journey. This unique visitors’ center is especially geared to kids, with exciting activities to introduce the whole family to the culture of Southwest Louisiana. Listen to Cajun music and pretend you are part of the band. Imagine you’re hidden in a duck blind, hunting ducks in the marsh. Smell the mouth-watering aromas of Cajun and Creole cooking. Explore the wildlife of Southwest Louisiana – alligators, nutria, and birds, to name a few. The knowledgeable staff can answer questions and offer maps and helpful brochures. Visit the gift shop for souvenirs.


Stop for provisions at Brown’s Food Center in Hackberry. This small-town store supplies everything you’ll need for your excursion – gas, food and drinks, bug spray, fishing supplies, cold beer, and other outdoor necessities.

There are several wildlife refuges and sanctuaries along the Creole Nature Trail. Most offer elevated walkways through the marshes that keep your feet dry while allowing you to get up close to this natural habitat and the variety of species that live there. 


Explore the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge on the west side of the Creole Nature Trail, and Pintail Wildlife Drive in the Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge on the east. You’ll find birds in abundance as well as alligators along this three-mile driving loop.


Southwest Louisiana is home to numerous unique birds, reptiles, and animals. Nutrias are in the rodent family. They have brown coarse fur similar to beavers, 

long thin tails like opossums, and orange teeth like . . . 

nothing you’ve ever seen before. They’re an invasive species and detrimental to the landscape, as they feed on large quantities of marsh grass. Also look for Roseate Spoonbills. These distinctive wading birds have long flat rounded beaks and stunning hot-pink wings. While not particularly unusual, red-eared slider turtles are easy to identify and are in abundance in Southwest Louisiana. Look for the red dot near their ears.


Stroll along the sand and surf at Holly Beach, a prime location to find a wide variety of seashells. Clams, conchs, coquinas, cockles . . . approximately 30 different types of shells can be found along 26 miles of natural coastline. You’ll see gulls, brown pelicans, and if you’re lucky, dolphins can also be spotted.

On the topic of dolphins, the Calcasieu Ship Channel and surrounding waterways are home to legendary Pinky the Albino Dolphin. Word on the water is there are actually two pink dolphins who call Southwest Louisiana home. If you are fantastically fortunate, you may spot one of these rare creatures as you cross the Cameron Ferry.


Avian enthusiasts flock to the bird sanctuaries along the Creole Nature Trail, especially during migration seasons (March – May and September – November). Southwest Louisiana lies in the path of one of the busiest flyways and is annually home to over 400 species of birds, making it one of the Top 10 birding destinations in the country. Look for Peveto Woods west of Holly Beach, and Rockefeller Refuge in Grand Chenier.


For more information on planning your day along the Creole Nature Trail and Adventure Point, see visitlakecharles.org.

Posted by: Angie Kay Dilmore | Submit comment | Tell a friend

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