Special Alert
Special Alert
Grosse Savanne

Creole Nature Trail

Festival Capital of Louisiana
(Tours can be on your own or a step-on guide can be arranged)

The Creole Nature Trail, including more than 180-miles of nature's best, is one of the first National Scenic Byways designated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation in the Gulf South, and that designation was upgraded in 2002 to the highest category, an All-American Road. Along this distinctive natural corridor through Louisiana's Outback - one of America's "Last Great Wildernesses" - you have the opportunity to experience world famous wildlife habitats and estuaries. The Creole Nature Trial is a journey through a wild and rugged terrain unique to Louisiana, America and the world. http://www.creolenaturetrail.org/

SUGGESTED ONE OR TWO DAY ITINERARIES:
Brimstone Museum / Henning Cultural Center

Start your day with a southern style breakfast at one of our many restaurants in Southwest Louisiana. Begin the tour in the city of Sulphur, named for the mineral mined here many years ago. Here you can visit the Brimstone Historical Society Museum in the old Southern Pacific Railroad Depot and the Henning Cultural Center next door, featuring historical and cultural exhibits.

Hackberry / Sabine National Wildlife Refuge

Continue traveling to Hackberry, a center for commercial crabbing, fishing and shrimping. The town of Hackberry is home to some of the first oil wells drilled in Louisiana. The first national wildlife refuge that you reach is Sabine where the Wetland Walkway, a winding trail through the marsh awaits. Once you have passed through the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge area, you can begin enjoying the beautiful 26 miles of Gulf Coast beaches which offer a variety of activities. These activities include, shelling, swimming, sunbathing, picnicking, tubing, jet skiing, surf fishing, and of course, birding. Enjoy the bountiful and scenic outdoors with a box lunch on the beautiful Gulf of Mexico or a picnic style - checkered table cloth seafood boil which could be arranged by the Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau to give your group the total outback experience.

American Alligators

Louisiana's Outback is home to the American alligator, a wild reptile who likes to glide up and down bayous and lakes or sun on the banks. During the tour you will see Acadian-style architecture, which features hipped roofs, primarily using cypress, which was abundant and did not rot in the warm, moist climate. Acadian-style architecture is still very much evident along the trail today. Roofs extend over wide porches, to provide shade and cooling breeze under raised homes.

Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge

Now you are in Cameron Parish, where the primary industry is fishing for oysters, shrimp, crabs, finfish, and most importantly, menhaden or pogey fish. This small sardine-shaped fish is incredibly valued for its oil, which is used in the creation of such things as perfumes, cosmetics, medicines and paints. While in Cameron Parish, you would not want to miss a visit to the Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge where you can view ducks, geese, white-tail deer, many species of migratory birds (seasonal), nutria and alligators up-close. The refuge's visitors' center is newly renovated with animated characters telling colorful stories as well as interactive learning displays.

Other Points of Interest

Other sites not to be missed along the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road are Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, a scientific site with a serious commitment to the study of indigenous wildlife and fauna. On the Western Spur, Peveto Woods bird and Butterfly Sanctuary, near Johnson Bayou. Enjoy the wildlife drive at Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge. The 35,000-acre refuge is exclusively a freshwater marsh dominated by the Lacassine Impoundment. Known locally as "the pool" the impoundment was created enclosing a 16,000-acre marsh with a low levee.

For more information on group tours, accommodations and travel arrangements, contact Eric Zartler, acting sales director, at ezartler@visitlakecharles.org or call 800-456-7952.

Photo Credit: Kevin A. Savoie