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 to find out which trail the day's walk will explore. No walk on federal holidays when the visitor center is closed. Free.
Better Health BaYOU - 10:00 a..m.-2:00 p.m. Saturday, October 21. Fresh air and fun for the whole family with dance and exercise classes, live music, a ranger fun run, games and hands-on activities for Junior Ranger of all ages, healthy lifestyle tips, and wetlands walks. Here's a pdf Better Health BaYOU flier to download, print, and share. Free. (And if Better Health BaYOU sounds like fun, check out the preserve's Barataria Preserve's Active Trails program).
Creatures of the Night Bat Program - 6:00-8:00 p.m. Friday, October 27. Get to know Barataria's bats with researcher Dr. Craig Hood of Loyola University. Hood's talk will be followed by bat-spotting with special bat detection equipment. Children's bat craft available during talk. Here's a bat program flier to download, print, and share. Free but space limited so reservations required; call 504-689-3690 ext. 10.
Bloomin' in the Bayou Fall Wildflower Walk - 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Saturday, November 4. Learn some basic botany and find out what's growing wild in the wetlands. Free but space limited so reservations required; call 504-689-3690 ext. 10.
Explore & Restore family fun - 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Saturdays November 18, December 16, and January 13. Join a park ranger for a guided "inspiration walk" on a boardwalk trail, then create a craft from recycled materials. Children ages 4 and up are welcome and must be accompanied by an adult. Program is free but space is limited so reservations are required; call the visitor center at 504-689-3690 ext. 10 to sign up. Reservations for each program open on first day of program month. Here's an Explore and Restore Family Fun flier pdf to download, print, and share.
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, forests, alligators, nutrias, and over 200 species of birds (learn more about preserve wildlife). Boardwalk and dirt trails wind through the preserve; check out 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; 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 28, in 2017). 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.
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.