JEAN LAFITTE NATIONAL PARK – the only national park in Louisiana.
Dude, this place is rad. Hike the Coquille Trail on a sunny spring day and you are guaranteed to see alligators sunning themselves on the banks of the marsh. It’s never crowded with people, but sometimes choice spots get crowded with gators.
You can also find barred owls, deer, armadillos, turtles, tons of snakes, swamp rabbits, woodpeckers, gigantic frogs, and huge SPIDERS!
Mostly I see gators when I go, but once I went at night and saw a couple of foxes! It was creepy as hell. You can canoe or kayak in the Kenta Canal or Twin Canals. Like I said, Coquille Trail is best for gators, but there are other trails that offer different stuff. Plus it’s all FREE and the facility is really nice and clean(let’s keep it that way, assholes). Here’s how to get there:
From Interstate 10, take Highway 90 West (this interchange is near the Superdome) across the Mississippi River. The double-span bridge crossing the river is called the Crescent City Connection. Proceed five miles. After crossing the Harvey Canal on a higher portion of the expressway, exit the highrise of Highway 90 (Westbank Expressway) at the Barataria Blvd Exit. Once off the ramp move right one lane on the lower portion of Highway 90. Pass the first traffic light (Ave. D.) and turn left from this lane at the second traffic light (Barataria Blvd). This road merges from 4 lanes to 2 lanes at Ames Blvd. (3 miles). Continue 5 miles to the preserve’s entrance.
Also: use common sense – it’s a swamp; there might be mosquitos.
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