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Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
Loop
Distance
0.60 mi (0.97 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Pintail Nature Drive and Boardwalk Trail is made up of a 3-mile loop drive with a 0.6-mile boardwalk trail through the freshwater wetland marshes of Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge.

Cameron Prairie Wildlife Refuge is over 9,600 acres in size, however it has very few publically accessible or recreational opportunities. Along with the refuge visitor center, the Pintail Nature Drive and Boardwalk is the primary accessible area of interest to visitors. 

Upon driving in, signs inform visitors that they must remain inside their vehicles with the exception of those visiting the boardwalk trail. The loop road heads in a counterclockwise direction, immediately passing wetlands areas populated with the waterfowl that inhabit and visit the wetlands.

Shortly in, the parking area for the Boardwalk Trail is marked by a sign. The boardwalk trail is a 0.6-mile loop over a flat wide path set atop the marsh. The trail is ADA-friendly and has sporadically-located benches and telescopes offering the opportunity to take in some of the vast refuge.

From the trail parking area, continue driving the loop road. Alligators may sun themselves when conditions are right. Red-eared sliders are also popular to see on warm afternoons.

The Nature area is free and open daily from sunrise until sunset. There are no amenities located in the nature area.

The Pintail Nature Drive and Boardwalk Trail are featured areas of interest along the Creole Nature Trail.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Optional boardwalk hike. Abundance of wildlife.

Cons

Not permitted to exit car along drive.

Trailhead Elevation

12.00 ft (3.66 m)

Highest point

12.00 ft (3.66 m)

Features

ADA accessible
Family friendly
Bird watching
Wildlife

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Motorized vehicles

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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Visit Lake Charles

Alligators, Monarch butterflies, 400 species of birds, walking trails and natural, Gulf beaches - you can truly surround yourself in nature in Southwest Louisiana along the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road. After experiencing the great outdoors, you can enjoy the food, culture, music and art that Louisiana is known for the world over – in just a short drive to Lake Charles, LA.

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