Louisiana Scenic Drive: Creole Nature Trail

Highlights of the Creole Nature Trail

Alligators and other wildlife can often be spotted along the Creole Nature Trail.
Alligators and other wildlife can often be spotted along the Creole Nature Trail.

The Creole Nature Trail provides scenery just as it should be in an outback wilderness--untamed and intriguing. These characteristics are preserved in the way wetland birds roam freely across the countryside and in the way that the ocean waves curl into the salt marshes. Study the shapes of sculpted oak trees that reside on the chenier ridges along the byway. The Creole Nature Trail provides scenery of extraordinary natural quality formed from the interactions of the Gulf of Mexico and the lowlands of Louisiana.

Mineral soils and higher ground form beach ridges, or cheniers as they are called in Louisiana. The most significant of these ridges is Blue Buck Ridge. The chenier ridges are where the live oaks grow, offering a habitat for songbirds and a beautiful photography opportunity.

This tour of the Creole Nature Trail begins in Sulphur, Louisiana (or, if you prefer, start at the other end of the byway and read this list from the bottom up).

Sulphur: At Sulphur, the area is characterized by rolling pastureland that gradually turns to wetland. Small ponds and bayous begin to appear as well.

Cameron Parish: Cameron Parish is the largest parish in the state. The vegetation in the area is mostly of the salt marsh variety. Additionally, the landscape is dotted with oil wells and oilfield pumping stations.

Hackberry: In Hackberry, you find an abundance of shrimp and crab houses along Kelso Bayou. Here, seafood is cheap and plentiful.

Sabine National Wildlife Refuge: At Sabine National Wildlife Refuge, you see views of birds and other marsh animals. The refuge includes the 1.5-mile self-guided Marsh Trail with interpretation stations, an observation tower, and panoramic view of marsh terrain.

Holly Beach: Also known as the Cajun Riviera, Holly Beach provides 25 miles of year-round beaches, campsites, accommodations, and a variety of outdoor recreation.

Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge: The Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge is home to a variety of wintering waterfowl and resident mammals. The refuge is also an important area for research studies on a number of marsh-management strategies. While you can enjoy recreational fishing in this area, hunting is prohibited. Be cautious of the alligators that inhabit the area.

Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge: From this area, you may choose to turn back west toward Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge or continue east toward the western terminus of the byway.

The Creole Nature Trail provides a rare opportunity to experience thousands of acres of unspoiled wetlands, and presents the very best of coastal Louisiana.

Find more useful information related to Louisiana's Creole Nature Trail:

  • Sulphur, Lake Charles: Find out what there is to do in these cities along the Creole Nature Trail.
  • Scenic Drives: Are you interested in scenic drives beyond Louisiana? Here are more than 100 scenic drives throughout the United States.
  • How to Drive Economically: Fuel economy is a major concern when you're on a driving trip. Learn how to get better gas mileage.