Sabine National Wildlife Refuge Travel Guide

  • off the Creole Natural Trail, LA-27
    off the Creole Natural Trail, LA-27
    by mrclay2000
  • Gator very close to us.
    Gator very close to us.
    by mafootje
  • A view of the Sabine Wildlife refuge.
    A view of the Sabine Wildlife refuge.
    by mafootje

Sabine National Wildlife Refuge Things to Do

  • mrclay2000's Profile Photo
    Blue Goose Trail, where it all begins

    by mrclay2000 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    This trail begins near the refuge's visitor center of LA-27 south of the city of Lake Charles. At roughly a mile in length the path will take you into the lowlying wetlands of the refuge to sample a bit of the area wildlife, the birds especially but possibly the alligators also. The covered observation platform however mainly provides shade, but spotting birds from there or alligators will require telephoto lenses or binoculars.

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  • mrclay2000's Profile Photo
    a dozen or so baby alligators cavorting

    by mrclay2000 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Wetland Walkway around the Marsh Trail begins roughly four miles south of the refuge visitor center off LA-27, the Creole Nature Trail. A parking lot sits near the mouth of the trail and restroom facilities are nearby. The path winds through marsh and sawgrass, and gators aplenty are generally close to or even on the trail. Use caution when approaching or photographing such wildlife.

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  • mafootje's Profile Photo
    Looks like a nice and calm water...

    by mafootje Written Jul 12, 2003

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    When you have been traveling for a few 100 miles this place is really great to chill out.

    When we where there the weather was great, it wasn't too hot and the sun wasn't too bright.

    We stopped the car at a parking place along the trail didn't know what the expect. When we got out we saw a large paved path through the wilderness. With lot's of colourful birds, but also gators just next to the path in the water. Strange enough we didn't see any of the gators ashore on this side of the water. Maybe they don't like human meat.


    Picture taken sunday june 1st 2003, 13:59

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Sabine National Wildlife Refuge What to Pack

  • mafootje's Profile Photo
    Cooler behind the driver seat out of the sun.

    by mafootje Written Jun 22, 2003

    Miscellaneous: If you are going to drive around in the Louisiana nature it's always smart to have something to drink with you, especially if you're going to drive in the heat in not so populated area's.

    If your car breaks down, the airco does so to and your bound to get thirsty then. It can be smart to buy a cooler, you can get the simple styrofoam ones for about $ 2,00 if you fill this with ice cubes at the hotel or buy a bag at a grocery store you could keep you drinks cool up to two days, even the melted ice keeps your drinks cool.

    We always carry one or two gallons of water (about $0,60 cents a gallon) and a small refilled bottle in the front of the car.

    It's much cheaper as buying bottles and as i said earlier you can keep your drinks cool when your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere.

    Oh and another tip don't drop a gallon of water in the elevator, you and the elevator will get soaked :-).

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Sabine National Wildlife Refuge Off The Beaten Path

  • mrclay2000's Profile Photo
    canal off the Wetland Walkway

    by mrclay2000 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Most park visitors barely leave the road or the established trails. The locals routine ply the bayous for good fishing, commonly taking or finding red fish, flounder, alligator gar, black bass, crappie, channel catfish, and sunfish. For visitors with extra time, the areas most frequented by wildilfe are the offshoot canals. Gators and herons are notorious predators in these shallower waters. Check with refuge headquarters on LA-27 for regulations on boating in the area.

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  • mrclay2000's Profile Photo
    one egret, one great blue heron, Pintail Drive

    by mrclay2000 Updated Mar 1, 2005

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    On the east side of Lake Charles from Sabine is its opposite number the Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge. Similar in many respects to Sabine, the refuge offers trails (both foot and by car) that bring you closer to the wildlife. Expect herons, egrets and alligators to be your ambassadors as you continue along the Creole Nature Trail around Lake Charles. Stop by the visitor center for addition information.

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Sabine National Wildlife Refuge Favorites

  • mrclay2000's Profile Photo
    canalside observation post, Wetland Walkway

    by mrclay2000 Written Jan 28, 2005

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    Favorite thing: The best way to visit the refuge is by boat. The area highway offers several areas where boats can cast off, provided the user adhere to the refuge regulations. For those who wish to visit on foot, there are a few short trails along LA-27 for this purpose. The Blue Goose Trail and the Marsh Trail are the best-known examples. If you visit in the sunnier months, expect wilting temperatures and few sunshades along your route. This is after all southern Louisiana.

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  • mrclay2000's Profile Photo
    marshy area off the Wetland Walkway

    by mrclay2000 Written Jan 28, 2005

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    Favorite thing: Most of the refuge is under a few feet of standing water near sea level. Canals and bayous radiate away from the lowlying "lake" and there one will be able to approach the wildlife with the least trouble. Watch your footing at all times. Soil might be so saturated that your step might plunge abruptly, and as always be careful when approaching taller grasses. . .these are the preferred hideaways for the refuge's alligators.

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  • mrclay2000's Profile Photo
    anhingas off the Blue Goose Trail

    by mrclay2000 Written Jan 28, 2005

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    Favorite thing: Anhingas (pictured), egrets, herons, geese and several other species of waterfowl are commonly seen throughout the refuge, but normally along the canals where water tends to be more shallow and wading is less of a problem. Unlike the birds in the Everglades however, the larger birds here are more skittish around human traffic and will often not allow one to approach within 50 yards without taking wing.

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Sabine National Wildlife Refuge Travel Guide
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