Creole Nature Trail: All-American Road
Outdoor adventure is in store in Louisiana’s Outback™, the Creole Nature Trail: All-American Road! The Creole Nature Trail route takes you through coastal marshlands, prairies and along 26-miles of natural Gulf beaches. World-class bird and alligator populations make this scenic byway a natural wonder; and top-notch fishing, hunting, crabbing, boating, nature photography and other outdoor opportunities make the Creole Nature Trail a recreational paradise for all ages to enjoy.
Begin Your Adventure!
|Redfish…yum! (credit: MonsoursPhotography.com)|
Start your adventure in Lake Charles, Louisiana, the hub city for the Creole Nature Trail. Here, you can enjoy three (and soon to be four!) fabulous casino resorts, numerous authentic Cajun or fine dining restaurants and more than 75 annual festivals and events. And don’t forget, Lake Charles has the 2nd largest Mardi Gras in Louisiana…super-sized AND family-friendly!
A short drive up I-10 West, take exit 20 to venture from the gateway city of Sulphur to Hackberry, where you can catch speckled trout and redfish in Calcasieu Lake! Professional charter fishing guides are ready to make sure you catch your fill. The Sabine National Wildlife Refuge is your next stop featuring the Blue Goose Trail overlook and walkway to the Calcasieu Ship Channel as well as the 2.5 mile fully accessible Wetland Walkway right into the marsh. There are also four well marked recreation areas where you can easily catch your own fish or crabs! Farther south you’ll find Holly Beach as well as five other coastal beach areas where you can swim, surf fish, shell or even camp out! If you’re a birder, you won’t want to miss the Peveto Woods Bird & Butterfly Sanctuary—especially during the spring migration of neo-tropical songbirds!
Experience the Coast!
Jump on the Cameron Ferry to cross the Calcasieu Ship Channel. Be sure to be on the lookout for porpoises playing! The community of Cameron features the Cameron Parish Jetty Pier with a birding observation tower, RV park and a fishing pier right into the Gulf. Just west of Oak Grove, you’ll have access to Rutherford Beach featuring excellent shelling.
East is for…Alligators!
Exit 36 from I-10 (or heading north from Oak Grove if you have followed the route above) will show you a whole different view of Louisiana’s Outback. From rice fields which gradually change to freshwater marshes, the east side of the Creole Nature Trail features the Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge and Visitors Center. Just a short drive south is Pintail Wildlife Drive, a 3-mile driving tour which usually holds hundreds of birds as well as lots of alligators (assuming it’s not too cold, of course.) Crossing the Intracoastal Waterway, you will see miles and miles of open marshland leading the communities of Creole and Oak Grove. And if you travel east on LA 82 you’ll reach the Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge and Price Lake Nature Drive. Price Lake Nature Drive is also a wonderful place to bank fish, cast net for shrimp and crab or just view the wildlife.