Louisiana’s Creole Nature Trail

802873_creole01_lrg.jpgIn southwest Louisiana, the Creole Nature Trail beckons to travelers who prefer wildlife of
the non-human variety. This 180-mile National Scenic Byway was the first in the GulfSouth
and was designated an All-American Road in 2002. But these are the distinctions, not the
reasons this scenic stretch has earned its accolades. More than 300 species of birds, 132
species of fish, 35 species of amphibians and reptiles and 39 species of mosquitoes
(yikes!) today soar, swim, slither and buzz throughout this section known as Louisiana’s
Outback.

 

South of Interstate 10 and north of the Gulf of Mexico, the Creole Nature Trail
essentially forms a large loop around Calcasieu Lake and the city of Lake Charles, with the
roads LA 27 framing the expanse north and south and LA 82 providing the southern border. On
the western side, visitors should be sure to explore the Sabine National Wildlife Visitors
Center to the east and the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge Walking Trail to the west.
Continuing around the arc west to east will alert travelers to the area’s rich oil
industry, with tankers and freighters dwarfing shrimp boats that ply the waters. White
pelicans, seagulls and brown pelicans, Louisiana’s state bird, sail above the jetties and
the ever-present anglers. The fishing north of Creole in the ponds, created by the giant
marsh fire of the 1930s, is generally excellent for white perch, crappie and large-mouth
bass. But whether the birds, fish or dangerous alligators provide the draw, visitors to
this swath of Louisiana will get an eyeful.

 

For more information, call (800) 456-SWLA or
visit visitlakecharles.org.

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