• Image of swamp, bayou, and marsh

    Jean Lafitte

    National Historical Park and Preserve Louisiana

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    All park sites closed Monday, October 13, for Columbus Day. Follow the link for information about park hours and days and about access to the Barataria Preserve and Chalmette Battlefield/Chalmette National Cemetery on holidays. More »

Boat Tours of Bayou Vermilion

Children and a park ranger wave from a traditional wooden boat during a bayou tour

Bon voyage! Explore Louisiana on a bayou boat trip with a National Park Service ranger

Cruise Bayou Vermilion in a traditional Louisiana boat and learn the history of Lafayette, Louisiana's "Cajun Capital." A National Park Service ranger will share stories of Indians, farmers, trappers, and traders as you watch for wildlife on the banks and relive another era in an old-fashioned bayou "schoolboat."

Tours are offered in spring and fall and cast off from the Vermilionville Heritage & Folklife Park of the Bayou Vermilion District (right next door to the Acadian Cultural Center).

Tours leave at 10:30 a.m. and return at noon. Note that although boat tours are offered Tuesday-Saturday, National Park Service rangers lead the tour on Tuesday and Thursday only. Spring 2014 cruising season begins Saturday, March 1, and ends Saturday, May 31.

Two tour packages are available; one is the boat tour only and the other includes the boat tour, a buffet lunch at Vermilionville's restaurant, and a self-guided tour of Vermilionville. Tour package prices can be found here at the Vermilionville website. Call Vermilionville at 337-233-4077 ext. 200 or ext. 206 for reservations (required) and information, including information about booking boat tours for groups.

Did You Know?

Two big red, black, and yellow lubber grasshoppers sit on a leaf

Lubber grasshoppers are sometimes known as devil's horses in south Louisiana. They lay their eggs in the fall and prefer loose dirt, so they often lay their eggs in cemeteries. These enormous flightless grasshoppers hatch in spring and spend the summer munching their way through vegetation.