Coastal Louisiana is filled with wildlife, rich cultural influence and long stretches of road uninterrupted by civilization. The Creole Nature Trail All American Road sprawls across nature preserves and along the Gulf Coast, providing chances to see an incredible variety of wildlife. Here are just a few of the ways Louisiana RV travelers have enjoyed the Creole Nature Trail.
Let’s start by recognizing the abundance of RV campgrounds near this All American Road. Although much of the Creole Nature Trail is in uninhabited areas, you’ll find excellent RV parks near Sulphur, Lake Charles and the area’s nature preserves. Consider these possibilities as you plan your trip:
- Intracoastal Park in Sulphur, LA can be your first stop along the Creole Nature Trail. Located on the Intracoastal Waterway, it’s a fisherman’s paradise, so plan time to fish as you enjoy the quiet beauty of the area.
- Myers Landing & RV Park on the east leg of the Creole Nature Trail near Lacassine Refuge, is right on the Mermentau River. Bring the boat along and fish the day away, or just relax in the shade of a live oak.
- Jellystone Park Lake Charles is a fun place with events and activities for the whole family. Come in from the wild and camp in comfort at the eastern end of the Creole Nature Trail.
If you’d like to see more RV camping possibilities in the area, use this guide to plan your trip.
Now that we’ve settled your RV campground itinerary, let’s talk about the sights you’ll see along the Creole Nature Trail All American Road. We have it on good authority that you’ll be perfectly equipped to see those sights, thanks to the conveniences of RV travel. There are long stretches of road with no amenities, so be sure to fill your motorhome’s water tanks and visit the nearest RV dump station before you hit the Trail. Also make it a point to buy your Louisiana fishing license if you plan to get in some angling action.
Starting at the Trail’s eastern terminus, Sulphur, LA on I-10 (or come in on LA-108 from Vinton) head south toward Holly Beach on LA-27. Enjoy the view as you cross the Intercoastal Waterway and watch for signs you’re viewing the seafood-rich waters of Cameron Parish.
You’ll soon approach Sabine National Wildlife Refuge, an amazing coastal marsh where thousands of birds and waterfowl migrate and an alligator or two just might appear. Be sure to enjoy the hiking trails as well as the scenic wonders of Calcasieu (Cal-ka-shu) Lake.
As you continue south on the Creole Nature Trail, you’ll soon learn firsthand how hurricanes have impacted Coastal Louisiana. Holly Beach, once hailed as the “Cajun Riviera” was completely destroyed by Hurricanes Rita, Gustav and Ike. But the Gulf Coast beauty of the area’s beaches will lure you to stop and play awhile before moving on.
At Holly Beach, the Trail turns East toward the towns of Cameron and Oak Grove (although an interesting side trip lies to the West along the Gulf Coast Highway to the Texas border). You’ll enjoy a ferry ride across the Calcasieu Ship Channel before reaching Cameron. Again, you’ll see much evidence of hurricane damage here, but Cameron Parish continues to survive. You’ll also see the importance of offshore oil exploration and shipping as you drive along the Gulf.
If you haven’t had enough of the beautiful Gulf Coast beaches, continue east toward Oak Grove. But for this blog post, we’re heading north on the Trail to visit two more wildlife sanctuaries. The Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge includes not only freshwater marshes but a coastal prairie completely different than the land we’ve covered. Watch for birds and waterfowl overhead, since this refuge is a major migratory stop-off. Be sure to stop and fish on the road to the refuge for a unique Southwest Louisiana experience.
Farther north on the Trail, RV travelers will soon see signs of the Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge, an immense freshwater marsh where alligators, black bears and bald eagles make their home. Things get a bit wilder here, but there are still ways to enjoy the habitat, thanks to hiking trails and an observation tower.
The Creole Nature Trail now heads north to the exciting city of Lake Charles, a lakeside community with plenty of outdoor charm. Charter a fishing boat on the lake or launch your boat at the marina. Take the kids to play at Adventure Cove Park and be sure to spend some time on the white sand beach along Lakeshore Drive.
Fascinating, isn’t it? There’s simply no way to know what you’ll find on the Creole Nature Trail until you visit. To prepare for that visit, listen to the excellent audio tours at CreoleNatureTrail.org. And remember, if you’re starting your journey to Louisiana in Dallas, we’re here to help make your Louisiana RV camping trip a great one.