Most people may not think of Louisiana as an adventure travel destination, but the state’s diverse landscape ranges from swampland to rolling hills to fast-flowing rivers, lending to unique and memorable moments spent in nature. Here are four ways travellers can make the most of Louisiana’s outdoor culture.
Tour the swamps
Courtesy of Henry Cancienne
If you visit Louisiana without stepping foot in the swamps or bayous, plainly put, you’re missing out!
The state’s swamps are vital to life here. Cajun and Native Americans have inhabited this land for centuries, and the swamps provide an incredibly important ecosystem for wildlife.
If you’re new to swamp life, get oriented by taking a tour. Hire a boat to zip you out to spot alligators or kayak your way through peaceful bayous. We recommend heading out with Captain Billy from Cajun Man’s Swamp Tours to meet gators up-close. Billy has some incredible stories to tell, so ask away.
An egret catching fish
If you’re a bird lover, Louisiana has no shortage of bird watching opportunities. When you’re in the swamps, keep an eye out for herons and roseate spoonbills − to name a few.
Or, head to the Jungle Gardens on Avery Island, home of the TABASCO Factory. The Island’s Bird City is a sanctuary for snowy white egrets, but a great number of other species such as great blue herons and white ibises also grace the grounds. Before the summer birds migrate south in August, northern species including blue-winged teals, gadwalls, ducks and geese begin to arrive. If you want to take a deep dive into Louisiana's birding scene, hop on a tour.
Keep reading: By The Region: Five Great Spots for Birding in Louisiana
Kayak or stand-up paddle Louisiana's waterways
Louisiana’s waterways are excellent for anyone with an affinity for paddling.
Kayaking the Red River might be one of the most underrated things to do here, but it's a worthwhile excursion. You’ll enjoy a peaceful paddle through red-tinged waters amid the lush Louisiana landscape. Rent a kayak or stand-up paddle board from River Paddle Rentals near Alexandria.
On New Orleans’ Northshore, head to Mandeville for a stand-up paddle experience on Lake Pontchartrain or one of the many rivers nearby. Bayou Paddle Co. offers guided trips, outfitting paddlers with all the equipment they need.
Louisiana is a dream destination for the avid angler. Take your pick of lakes, rivers, bayous or deeper Gulf waters.
In freshwater lakes and rivers, cast a line for large-mouth bass and catfish. The brackish waters of the coastal marshes yield speckled trout, redfish and flounder. Head into the Gulf of Mexico to snag much bigger catches, including snapper, grouper and tuna. Fun fact: did you know mature grouper weigh up to 400 pounds?
If you want to make a real adventure out of it, take an inshore fishing trip on Lake Calasieu with Captains Jeff and Mary Poe of Big Lake Guide Service in Lake Charles. They’ll provide everything you need from accommodations to meals.
Discover extraordinary outdoor adventures just a short ride away from the one-of-a-kind good times you’ll find only in Louisiana.
Visit LouisianaTravel.com/Canada to plan your trip today.