TRAIL CLOSURE FRIDAY, JUNE 15: It's alligator nesting season, and a protective mama gator has decided she doesn't want company. To keep everybody safe, the Marsh Overlook Trail has been closed just after the big bridge over Bayou Coquille. See the trail map : you can walk the Bayou Coquille Trail from the parking lot, take a right on the Marsh Overlook Trail where it joins Bayou Coquille Trail at Lower Kenta Canal, and cross the bridge over the Bayou Coquille waterway---then you'll come to the closure. Updates will be posted as they're received.
Wetlands Walk - 10:00 a.m.. every Wednesday through Sunday. Join a ranger for a guided walk on a boardwalk trail through wild Louisiana swamp and marsh. Stop by the visitor center or call 504-689-3690 ext. 10 after 9:30 a.m. to find out which trail the day's walk will explore. No walk on federal holidays when the visitor center is closed. Free.
Explore & Restore Family Fun - 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Saturdays, June 16 and July 21. Join a park ranger for a guided "inspiration walk" or an outdoor activity, then create a craft from recycled materials. Children 4 and up are welcome and must be accompanied by an adult. What to bring? Comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen, bug spray, water bottle, and maybe a hat. Program is free but space is limited so reservation are required; call the visitor center at 504-689-3690 to sign up beginning the first day of the month for that month's program. Here's a pdf of an Explore & Restore Family Fun flier to download, print, and share.
Join a citizen science project as part of a group or on your own. Follow the link to find out how you can contribute to research and management at the park.
A section of the Plantation Trail and the final few hundred feet of the Ring Levee Trail are closed for repairs. Follow the link for the preserve trail mapand information about trails.
Never approach, harass, or feed alligators. Remember that they are wild animals and can move very quickly. You can find more information about safety and outdoor activities at the preserve at the safety page.
Although canoeing and kayaking have been favorite Barataria Preserve activities in the past, most waterways are currently impassable due to several years of heavy growth by aquatic vegetation. The National Park Service is working to secure funding for longterm waterways management. At this time, do not plan to canoe or kayak in the preserve; information will be posted here if the situation changes.
Pets are only allowed in parking areas and on the deck at the visitor center; pets in these areas must be on a leash and a human must be on the other end of the leash. Do not leave pets unattended in vehicles; pets in vehicles must have a human in the vehicle with them. Please clean up after your pet. Although service animals assisting people with visual, hearing, or mobility impairments are welcome everywhere, note that the presence of wildlife may mean that service animals may not be comfortable on preserve trails.
The Barataria Preserve outside Marrero offers a taste of Louisiana's wild wetlands. The preserve's 23,000 acres include bayous, swamps, marshes, and forests. Walk along boardwalks and dirt trails to spot animals including alligatorsand over 200 species of birds plus an ever-changing array of wildflowers and plants . See the trail map, enjoy a self-guided tour, or explore with a cell phone tour. Exhibits at the preserve visitor center highlight how the Mississippi River built Louisiana's wetlands, the national importance of the area, and the relation between the land and its people. Kids can earn a badge with the Junior Ranger program. An environmental education center is used for field trips and special programs. The center's museum store has books, music, children's books, insect repellent, field guides, and more on sale. Admission to the preserve is free. Follow these links for the park's calendar of events, exhibits, and programs; for directions and transportation options (be sure to see important information about using ride share services to reach the preserve); and for accessibility information.
6588 Barataria Boulevard, Marrero (near Crown Point) (If you use a GPS system, doublecheck it with the map since not all systems find the preserve successfully)
504-689-3690 ext. 10
Visitor center is open Wednesday-Sunday 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; closed on federal holidays and Mardi Gras (Tuesday, February 13, in 2018). Parking lots are open for access to trails daily including federal holidays 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. except on Mardi Gras, when the preserve is completely closed. Links to useful information like maps, public transportation, pets, permits for special uses, etc., are available on the basic information page; there's also information about the preserve at the Barataria Preserve Frequently Asked Questions page.
You are welcome to bring your group and explore the preserve on your own (admission is free). For a fun activity for your self-guided group, try Barataria Bingo! (download the pdf at the link). Curriculum-based materials and other activities suitable for self-guided groups are available at the link. Please call the preserve at 504-689-3690 ext. 25 about your group's plans whether or not you plan to request a ranger program; this will allow us to alert you to possible other large groups visiting the preserve on the same day you are planning to come.
Summer camps - sorry, all camp sessions are full. See you next year!
plants and animals in south Louisiana---remember that you can report all bird and animal sightings at the preserve visitor center to help with research and management. You can also use the eBird kiosk in the visitor center to find out what birds have been sighted where and to report your own sightings or to plan your visit to the preserve.
education offerings, including field trips, free downloadable curriculum materials, and more.
in May 2013, Jean Lafitte teamed up with National Geographic for BioBlitz 2013at the Barataria Preserve, a 24-hour blitz of scientific discovery that attempted to inventory as many of the preserve's plants and animals as possible. The BioBlitz page also has links to National Geographic science and nature webpages.