• Image of swamp, bayou, and marsh

    Jean Lafitte

    National Historical Park and Preserve Louisiana

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  • Veterans Day and Thanksgiving Closures

    All park sites except Chalmette Battlefield/Chalmette National Cemetery closed Tuesday, November 11, for Veterans Day. All park sites closed on Thanksgiving, November 27. Follow the link for more on park hours and days. More »

Barataria Preserve Trails and Waterways

A green anole rests on a wide blade of grass

Look closely at trailside vegetation: you may see an anole hiding in plain sight.

Many waterways are currently impassable due to heavy aquatic vegetation growth; if you plan to kayak or canoe, call the visitor center at 504-689-3690 ext. 10 to check on current status.

Both hikers and paddlers can find useful information on the preserve trail map and trail map description. These links show distances, trail types, picnic areas, restrooms, roads, history, waterways, canoe launches, and habitats. Paddlers should also check out preserve canoeing information. Everyone should check closures and construction to see if any activity will impact their visit. More useful information is on the page of frequently asked questions about the preserve.

The Bayou Coquille Trail, Visitor Center Trail, and Palmetto Trail are wheelchair accessible.

The brochure for a self-guided tour of Pecan Grove is available here (459kb pdf). You can also pick one up at the preserve visitor center.

For an armchair "walk" along the Bayou Coquille and Marsh Overlook Trails via photos and phone, check out the Barataria Preserve Virtual Tour.

If you're interested in the health asprects of your Barataria activites, check out our Active Trails program and get involved in future park programming!

A crawfish mound on the forest floor

When crawfish dig deep into the ground during a dry spell, the tower of dirt they kick up behind them is called a crawfish mound.

Summer in south Louisiana brings mosquitoes, heat, and high humidity. When you walk or paddle the preserve, you'll want to bring along a hat, insect repellent, and bottled water. Move a little more slowly to avoid overheating and you may see details that you could otherwise speed right by!

Trail Tips

  • Stay on boardwalks and trails.
  • Food is not allowed on the trails. Wild animals should never associate humans with food. Do not feed animals.
  • Leave plants and animals as you find them. Do not pick flowers or dig up plants. Do not tease or try to catch animals,insects or reptiles.
  • Leave your pets at home. Pets are not allowed on trails. Do not leave unattended pets in vehicles.

Did You Know?

St. Louis Cathedral and a statue of Andrew Jackson on his horse in New Orleans' Jackson Square

Tourism has been big business in New Orleans for decades. Before the Civil War, the top must-see site on everyone's New Orleans list was its port, one of the world's busiest at the time. (Early 1800s guides for travelers actually used the term "must-see!")