Share:

Adventurer's Guide to Southern Louisiana

04.06.18

Start Exploring
Adventurer's Guide to Southern Louisiana

Share:

Advertisement
  • Canoe and kayaking rental area inside Lake Fausse Pointe State Park.- Adventurer's Guide to Southern Louisiana
  • Lake Fausse Pointe State Park's boat launch area provides a way to access the park's water trail system.- Adventurer's Guide to Southern Louisiana
  • Paddling in the late afternoon light along Southern Louisiana's Cane Bayou.- Adventurer's Guide to Southern Louisiana
  • Paddling on Cane Bayou.- Adventurer's Guide to Southern Louisiana
  • Paddling gives you the chance to get close to the wildlife, like these red-eared snappers on Lake Martin.- Adventurer's Guide to Southern Louisiana
  • Kayaking on Lake Martin.- Adventurer's Guide to Southern Louisiana
  • The Marsh Overlook Trail will take hikers deep into the Barataria Preserve.- Adventurer's Guide to Southern Louisiana
  • Deep into the trails of the Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge.- Adventurer's Guide to Southern Louisiana
  • A lone observation tower at the end of the White Lake Wetlands Birding and Nature Trail.- Adventurer's Guide to Southern Louisiana
  • The Riverwalk Trail inside Sam Houston Jones State Park meanders from forest to river to swamp and back.- Adventurer's Guide to Southern Louisiana
  • Northline Recreation Area in Sabine National Wildlife Refuge along the Creole Nature Trail is popular for fishing.- Adventurer's Guide to Southern Louisiana
  • Bank Fishing Road inside the Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge offers a public fishing area near the Pintail Nature Boardwalk.- Adventurer's Guide to Southern Louisiana
  • A crabbing and fishing pier sits in a pond inside Grand Isle State Park.- Adventurer's Guide to Southern Louisiana
  • A duel boat ramp at Joseph Harbor inside Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge.- Adventurer's Guide to Southern Louisiana
  • A boat tour offers visitors the opportunity to head deep into the Atchfalaya Basin.- Adventurer's Guide to Southern Louisiana
  • A northern cardinal stands out in the canopy deep in the Atchafalaya Basin.- Adventurer's Guide to Southern Louisiana
  • A bridge along the Tammany Trace, a trail for walkers and cyclists to go from the city to the forested interior of Southern Louisiana.- Adventurer's Guide to Southern Louisiana
Article
Pro Contributor

Possessing a varied bounty of bayous, forests, beaches and wetlands, the southern portion of Louisiana is not just a hunting and fishing paradise, it's also an adventurer's paradise! For the intrepid explorer whose interests include hiking, paddling, fishing, bicycling, camping, or just heading deep into the wild where the chances of spotting wildlife are far greater than spotting a fast food restaurant, Southern Louisiana has an enviable variety of options.

Spread throughout its area lies a system of state and national parks, wildlife refuges, open roads and coastline developed with the outdoor recreationist in mind, and there are wild rivers and natural areas that can get the adventurer seemingly far away from civilization.

Paddling

Southern Lousiana's numerous bayous, rivers, swamps and lakes offer a wealth of opportunities for getting off of solid ground and into the landscapes and waterways far off the beaten path. In Cane Bayou, adjacent to Fontainebleau State Park, it's possible to paddle from the slow-moving bayou to the waters of Lake Pontchartrain. While Franklin and Bayou Teche Paddle Trails offer over 30 miles of water trails, at nearby Lake Martin there is a seemingly endless cypress-lined lakeshore that can be explored by paddlers. Lake Fausse Pointe State Park offers canoe and kayak rentals and has backcountry camping accessible from the water.

Hiking

Though it may not seem as adventurous as other choices on this list, the Jean Lafitte Barataria Preserve Trails outside of New Orleans lead hikers deep into the bayou and historic canals along a series of boardwalks and bridges to where sunning alligators can sometimes be seen along the banks. The Bonnet Carre Spillway is an example of trails created from overlooked land outside of an urban area. The White Lake Wetlands Birding and Nature Trail is set in a rural part of the state at the far end of a series of gravel roads, offering up wide vistas that are often filled with migratory birds. The Riverwalk Trail inside Sam Houston Jones State Park is the best example of a forested trail that meanders along rivers and wetlands accessible from a park environment. And while the wilderness area in the Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge may take some extra work to reach, the trails reward hikers with a truly wild and solitary experience.

Fishing

Fishing figures prominently into the history of the people and cultures who have inhabited the Southern Louisiana landscape. While fishers can take to the waters in nearly any park and wild area in the region, a few stand out as offering a more isolated experience. Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge and Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge both offer waterways in the center of large tracts of protected lands that are rich with birds and wildlife. These are just two areas along southwestern Louisiana's Creole Nature Trail, a designated scenic All-American auto route that offers other fishing spots as well. Grand Isle State Park on the state's southeastern Gulf Coast area has areas for crabbing as well as a pier for casting lines into the sea!

Getting Away From It All

And finally, while the state's largest urban areas are set in its Southern region, some of its most idyllic and wild areas are as well. For those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of New Orleans, the 31-mile Tammany Trace paved trail is a short drive away, and it runs from towns and breweries deeper into the forested lakeshore and along the north side of Lake Pontchartrain. If you are looking to really get away and head deep into the backcountry, the Atchafalaya River Basin encompasses over a million and a half acres of space that is most unreachable by roads or trails. Boats offer the best access to its deepest reaches, and an Atchafalaya Swamp Boat Tour provides the chance to personalize your trip into the "Grand Canyon of the South."

Advertisement
Published By

Published by

Pro Contributor
341 Adventures Explored
341 Adventures Published

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info