Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Guided tours
No
Backcountry camping
No
Lodging
No
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 Lake Charles area of Southwest Louisiana has several wildlife refuges in the region, but few are as popular with the locals as Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge. Rockefeller borders 26 miles of the Gulf of Mexico and encompasses approximately 86,000 acres. Much of the acreage of the refuge is composed of coastal marshland and a couple lakes. Most sections of the refuge are connected by constructed canals that traverse the 86,000 acres, making boats the preferred method of transportation through the refuge. There are two public boat ramps, and both are about 3 to 4 miles east of the refuge headquarters on the south side of Highway 82. Canoeing and kayaking are not permitted at the refuge due to safety concerns with large alligators.

The wildlife is abundant at Rockefeller, with the main attractions being fishing and birdwatching. The refuge is one of the most biologically diverse wildlife areas in the nation. Given the amount of people that like to frequent the park, you’ll probably have more luck with a fishing pole than you will with birdwatching. Visiting in the winter or midspring will increase your chances with the birds, but you can hear the intoxicating calls of the many bird species year round.

One of the attractions of the refuge is the Price Lake Nature Drive, which is the main public feature of the wildlife refuge. You’ll find many visitors lining the roadsides and docks with their fishing equipment. You won’t have to keep an eye on the fishermen for long before watching them reel in a catch. The waters here seem to be full of fish! Locals also like to come out with nets and traps for crustaceans such as crabs, crawfish, and shrimp.

It’s clear that the biological health of the refuge has been well-maintained by looking at the tall healthy grasslands and clear waters that run throughout the refuge. Rockefeller has been under Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries management for over 100 years and has served as a research area into marshland restoration. Taking a drive on the Price Lake Nature Drive might just be one of the highlights to your visit of Southwest Louisiana!

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall
Winter

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Excellent fishing. Pristine nature.

Cons

A little crowded. Mosquitoes.

Features

ADA accessible
Family friendly
Picnic tables
Boat ramp(s)
Near lake or river
Wildlife
Tide pools
Bird watching
Crabbing
Fishing

Location

Field Guide

Comments

Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.

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.

More content from Visit Lake Charles