Branching out of the typical boundaries of famous Louisiana cities is a great way to familiarize yourself with the oft-forgotten, yet unforgettable aspects and natural wonders of Louisiana- thanks to a helpful article from Treehugger.
While our state is rightly famous for its culture, music, and cuisine, most commonly intersecting and resulting in New Orleans and Mardi Gras holding the number 1 spot on quintessential Louisiana locations lists, you’d be doing a great disservice to yourself by not exploring beyond the city limits.
Squeezed roughly between Baton Rouge and Lafayette is the country’s largest wetland and swamp, comprising a whopping 260,000 acres of cypress-tupelo swamps, bayous, marshland and open water. To experience this remarkable, sweeping wetland ecosystem of south-central Louisiana, visit the Atchafalaya Wildlife Refuge by traversing the second-longest bridge in the country — the 18.2-mile-long Atchafalaya Basin Bridge.
This picturesque preserve is known for its thriving rookery as it protects 9,500 acres of cypress-tupelo swamp and bottomland hardwood forest just outside the city of Lafayette. It’s not uncommon to encounter a variety of wading birds, including blue herons, roseate spoonbills, cormorants and a variety of egret species while hiking the preserve’s levee and boardwalk trails. Although the preserve is open year-round, plan to visit the rookery between March and June, which is the peak gathering season for these magnificent avians.
Set off for adventure with this 66,000-acre wetland that is located just outside of New Orleans in Plaquemines Parish, as it is only accessible by 10-mile boat ride. Pass-a-Loutre is an exceptionally scenic place for all kinds of activities, including both freshwater and saltwater fishing, crabbing, camping and even house-boating. Besides its scenic marshlands, man made canals, natural bayous and channels.
Despite being Louisiana’s only national forrest, Kisatchie packs a punch amidst the state’s vast stretches of swampland. Originally designated by President Herbert Hoover in 1930, this beautiful 604,000-acre stretch of woodlands is filled with a combination of longleaf pines and bottomland hardwoods. The forest is home for many animals, the rarest of which include the Louisiana black bear, the red-cockaded woodpecker and the Louisiana pine snake; additionally, the area offers a variety of recreational activities, which include camping, horseback riding, boating, fishing, mountain biking, swimming and more.
Breton Island is one of the oldest wildlife refuges in the country , having been established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1904. Roosevelt was prompted to take this action after learning of the ongoing destruction of the island’s birds, nests and eggs. More than 100 years later, the island has transformed into a thriving, low-impact bird watching and fishing destination.
Originating in Arkansas and running 605 miles south into Louisiana, this is the 25th longest river in the country, which is named for the indigenous Ouachita tribe. While it’s mostly utilized for commercial purposes today, certain parts of the river are popular hunting and fishing areas.
For more Louisiana related articles and to learn about other natural wonders of our great state, click here.