Barataria Preserve

Three turtles on a log enjoy the sunshine
As you stroll the Barataria Preserve trails, look for snakes, turtles, and alligators swimming through waterways or sunning themselves on logs and bayou banks.

The Marsh Overlook Trail is closed at the Bayou Coquille bridge for a wildlife management project. Barataria Preserve trail maps are available at the link.

Attention, hunters! Follow the link to the hunt season information web page to find out about a late change to hunting zones due to Entergy powerline work. You are invited to a public meeting about the Barataria Preserve hunt program at 6:00 p.m., Monday, October 15, at the Barataria Preserve Visitor Center.

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 October 13 and November 10. 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 the Explore & Restore Family Fun flier to download, print, and share.

Swamp Science Fest - 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., Saturday, October 20. Learn from a frog, check waterway health, track bird migrations, and more on a day filled with science and fun. Join the preserve rangers, ISeeChange, Nature's Notebook, the Audubon Society, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, FrogWatch USA, and more for hands-on activities, walks, and talks. Here's a pdf of a Swamp Science Fest flier to download, print, and share. Free.

Creatures of the Night Bat Program - 6:00-8:00 p.m. Friday, October 26. Get to know Barataria's bats with researcher Dr. Craig Hood of Loyola University. Hood's talk will be follow by bat-spotting with special bat detection equipment. A children's bat craft will be available during talk. Here's a pdf of the Barataria Bat Program flier to download, print, and share. Free but space limited so reservations required; call 504-689-3690 ext. 10.

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.

Important information:

  • 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 map and 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 alligators and 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.

Special programs:

Learn about

  • 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 2013 at 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.
  • the Active Trails program and how you can participate.
  • research at the Barataria Preserve.
  • wetlands restoration projects and management challenges at the preserve, including waterways management and the geocrib and Yankee Pond project.
  • more things to do in Jefferson Parish, where the preserve is located.
  • the town of Jean Lafitte, right down the road from the preserve.

Last updated: October 4, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

419 Decatur St
New Orleans, LA 70130


(504) 589-3882

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