Located in Southwestern Louisiana, the Creole Nature Trail offers visitors a great opportunity for an up-close-and personal look at the bayous and marshlands bordering the Gulf of Mexico. And with this free audio tour, you’ll be able to get a little background on the area and learn about the wildlife it supports.
This excellent audio tour can be downloaded at www.creolenaturetrail.org. Some of it is a bit dated and it doesn’t include updates about recent hurricane damage, but the website does a good job of keeping those things current. You can download the whole tour or just a few sections, depending on your itinerary.
The Creole Nature Trail makes a great driving tour, and there are several wheelchair-accessible spots to stop along the way. My favorite is the paved mile-long Blue Goose Walking Trail, which meanders along the edge of Calcasieu Lake. The area is teeming with waterfowl in February, and it’s an excellent place to spot neotropical songbirds in the spring and fall. During the rest of the year the resident waders and marsh birds round out the avian mix.
The trail is very doable for wheelchair-users and slow walkers; however if you can’t manage the distance, there is an accessible viewing platform near the parking area. A wheelchair-accessible porta potty is also located near the trailhead.
Even if you don’t have time to do the whole drive, it’s still a very economical day trip. But be sure to bring some water along, as rest stops are few and far between along certain stretches of the route.
And don’t forget those binoculars, as the wildlife spotting is spectacular!