Known as Louisiana’s Outback, the Creole Natural Trail is the name for a 180-mile, self-guided nature drive (or 108-mile loop) that is lively with alligators, 400 bird species, marshlands, 26-miles of Gulf of Mexico beaches, Cajun culture and more. Start at the Visitor’s Center where there are interactive exhibits for the kids so they can learn about what they will soon experience on the trial. Grab a full tank of gas — even if you’re only driving a portion of the route — and stock up on snacks and drinks. Make a game of it and ask your older kids to write down each animal they spot. And be sure to download the Creole Nature Trail Video Tour App. The free app offers videos and other commentary for each stop so the kids can learn on the way and then hop out of the car to experience it in real life.
The 108-mile loop takes about three hours with no stops, or anywhere from four to six hours with stops and depending how long you stop. The 180-mile trail includes the “spurs” off the loop that run along the Gulf Coast. Driving the 180-mile trail is recommended for those who are road tripping across Louisiana to either New Orleans or Houston.
Open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m..; Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.