Ideas for February Festivals

With lots of music and other festivals, February is a great month to take to the road in an RV. There is always Mardi Gras – this year falling near the end of the month on Tuesday, the 25th, but prior to that is the huge Florida State Fair, followed by the Sea-Blues Festival in Clearwater. That may be a lot of dates to remember so we made it simple for you:

February Key Dates to Note:

Feb. 6 – 17th, Florida State Fair – Tampa, FL

Feb. 22nd-23rd – Sea-Blues Festival – Clearwater, FL

Feb. 25th Mardi Gras – New Orleans, LA

 

Florida State Fair: Feb. 6th-17th – Tampa – Florida State Fairgrounds

This year’s Florida State Fair will be something to remember. As usual the fair lasts 12 days, but this some new things have been added. There are season passes available at Publix stores for the entire fair – with unlimited rides, unlimited visits to the Fair. College students will get in free on Thursday, February 13th with a valid ID and there will be a 5K Race called the Deep Fried Dash on Saturday, February 15th. In addition to all that, the entertainment at the fair is endless with Sea Lion Splash, XPogo, Demolition Derbies, Dueling Pianos, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! and lots more. Live music happens all throughout the Fair schedule. Check out the Florida State Fair Website for more details.

 

Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival – Feb. 22nd-23rd – Coachman Park

The Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival is a two-day open air blues music and seafood festival. Located in the heart of downtown Clearwater, you can find our Coachman Park venue next to the inter-coastal waterway that runs parallel with the number one beach in America. Attendees are serenaded by five musical acts each day. In concert with the incredible artists on stage is a smorgasbord of seafood dishes. A stroll through the food village will surround you with aromas of fresh grouper, Cajun shrimp, large dishes of paella, and that’s only the beginning. There are also other options for our non-seafood loving friends. This Festival is free for the public to enjoy and there are also VIP and reserved seating packages available as well. Check out the City of Clearwater’s Website for more information.

Mardi Gras – Feb. 25th – New Orleans, LA

The 2020 Mardi Gras promises to fulfill all your expectations and then some.

This year also introduces some new features like the Mardi Gras Photo Contest and the 2020 Theme & Throw Updates: What’s New With Your Favorite Krewes? Lots of fun and information about the krewe history and more can be found on the 2020 Mardi Gras Website.

Despite what you might think this event is famous for, this is a great place to come with your children to enjoy outdoor picnics and watch the Greatest Free Show on Earth! You and your family will enjoy watching marching bands, amazing floats in the parades, listening to music throughout the city, and catching free toys, doubloons and beads as you catch the excitement in the air!

 

Need an RV?

You can rent an RV from El Monte’s Orlando Location for your trip to Tampa or Clearwater, or even New Orleans. See availability and rental rates on their page, or better yet, call them to reserve your RV soon.

If you happen to be coming from the west or southwest, you can also rent an RV at our El Monte RV Rentals and Sales location in Dallas, TX. The drive to New Orleans is less than 8 hours but you can see some lovely country along the way.

Posted in Florida RV Camping Vacation, Louisiana RV Camping Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas | Leave a comment

RV Vacation – Living it Up in Louisiana

January is a great time to head to Louisiana! In addition to the five National Park Service properties, 1,346 National Register of Historic Places listings, 22 state parks, and the Kisatchie National Forest, Louisiana is also temperate in the winter months, making it a wonderful destination for those who are outdoor-minded. These numerous properties, as well as over 50 private Louisiana campgrounds, offer many opportunities for RV camping adventures. See our Louisiana RV Campgrounds for a complete list of possibilities.

And, this January, you can come to New Orleans for the BCS (Bowl Championship Series) National Championship in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. This event brings together the top two college football teams who have competed already in the five bowl game match-ups that involved ten of the top ranked teams in the NCAA Division/ Football Bowl Subdivision of American college football.

The two teams that stand to make it to this year’s auspicious event are among the top 4, which include LSU, Ohio State, Clemson and Oklahoma. In the semi-finals, LSU will face Oklahoma at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl in Atlanta, while Ohio State will challenge Clemson (both have 13-0 records this season) at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona. Both of these games take place on December 28th, and the winner of each will meet up in New Orleans on January 13th.

This year promises to be a great game as well as a tailgating party seemingly designed for people in their RV’s.

See other sights around New Orleans and Louisiana while you are there as this state offers abundant wildlife and amazing natural attractions. Take in at least a few of these while you are visiting the State.

  1. The Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, America’s Foreign Country

Our country’s landscape is rich and mysterious. It is filled with twisting bayous, rivers and America’s largest river swamp. We have fields of sugar cane and cotton, ancient live oaks and towering cypress. Alligators, raccoons, and even bears roam our lands while 270 species of birds take to our skies. From our waters come catfish, shrimp, oysters and the crawfish that make us so well known.

  1. Cane River National Heritage Area

More than 300-years of history are etched into the rural landscape of colonial forts, plantations, churches, cemeteries, and homes that comprise Cane River National Heritage Area. Historically, this region lay at the intersection of the French and Spanish Realms in the New World, with the town of Natchitoches originating as an important 18th century trade center.

  1. Cane River Creole National Historical Park

Get a glimpse of a culture within a culture here at the Cane River region; the Creoles. Generations of the same families of owners and workers, enslaved and tenant, lived on these lands for over 200 years. The park tells their stories and preserves the cultural landscape of Oakland and Magnolia Plantations, two of the most intact Creole cotton plantations in the United States.

  1. Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve

In Jean Lafitte’s day, silver and gold filled a pirate’s treasure chest, but today’s treasures are people, places, and memories. Discover New Orleans’ rich cultural mix. Learn Cajun traditions from people who live them. Watch an alligator bask on a bayou’s bank. Walk in the footsteps of the men who fought at 1815’s Battle of New Orleans. Follow the link to discover the treasure of Jean Lafitte.

  1. New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park

Only in New Orleans could there be a National Park for jazz! Drop by the visitor center at 916 North Peters St. to inquire about musical events around town. If you are in the mood for a world class musical experience, you may be able to attend a jazz concert or ranger performance at the state of the New Orleans Jazz Museum.

 

Need to Rent an RV?

Do you need an RV? You can rent an RV for your Louisiana RV adventure from one of our many El Monte RV Rental Locations. Check out Where You Can Rent RV’s to see the nearest location to where you want to start your adventure. Our Dallas RV Rental location is probably the closest to Louisiana, but depending on where you are starting from, you may consider Orlando or even Louisville as your starting point.

Wherever you decide to go, be sure to take your camera to capture your exciting and fun RV adventure.

Posted in Louisiana RV Camping Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas | Leave a comment

Beads, Bayou and Beignets

Let’s visit the Big Easy, better known as NEW Orleans…

The beginning of the new year is a great time to hop in the RV and head to New Orleans. Mardi Gras is a huge tourist draw for many first time or repeat visitors to this Louisiana city surrounded by a swampy bayou on the Mississippi River, near the Gulf of Mexico.

This year Mardi Gras is on Tuesday, February 13th. Every year Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday”, falls on a different date depending on the observance of Ash Wednesday, which begins the religious season of Lent. However, Mardi Gras is most famous for its costume parties, parades, rich foods and famous “beads” which give it more of a carnival atmosphere.

Mardi Gras mask

Mardi Gras mask

There are 70+ parades scheduled this year. So… you should be able to see a few or many, depending on your time and interests. There are even family parades that are much more low key so everyone in the family, young and old alike, can experience Mardi Gras.

MARDI GRAS parades begin in January, so if you want to avoid the most crowded time and still see some spectacular floats check out the earlier scheduled parades. The peak Mardi Gras time is the weekend prior to Fat Tuesday. This is when you will see the most elaborate floats built by different krewes. A krewe is a social organization whose main purpose is to plan, design and build a float for a Mardi Gras parade.

One cannot attend Mardi Gras without indulging in the delicious cuisine from different cultures. How about trying some sinful beignets (pastry introduced by French immigrants), gumbo (a spicy Creole stew), Po’Boy (sandwich invented to feed striking streetcar workers in 1929) or just some good old red beans and rice.

There are numerous campgrounds near the city, but plan ahead to be sure of availability during this busy tourist event.  Visit our page on Louisiana RV Campgrounds for ideas on places to camp.

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Bayou Teche RV Camping—Good Times!

An RV trip to Louisiana’s Bayou Teche is a step back into a slower-paced world. But what can you do once you’re there? Paddle your way down a national water trail or take a walking tour through a small town’s historic attractions. Learn what it means to be in the heart of Acadiana, that storied place where Cajun meets Creole along Louisiana’s cypress swamps and marshlands.

Visit a wildlife refuge to observe endangered species or bike along under massive oaks. No matter what you choose to do on your vacation, you’ll find warm, Cajun-flavored hospitality in semi-tropical surroundings.

How to Get to Bayou Teche: Franklin, LA at the south end of Bayou Teche is just two hours south of Baton Rouge via LA-70. Another way to reach this vibrant bayou in South Central Louisiana is to travel an hour south of Lafayette on US-90.

Things to Do on Bayou Teche:

  • Visit Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge: Located near Franklin on Hwy 182, the Wildlife Refuge celebrates and preserves such threatened species as the American alligator, the Louisiana Black Bear and the American Bald Eagle. Plan to spend a day hiking the trails, photographing wildlife or fishing for bream and bass from a kayak or other small craft.
  • Visit Breaux Bridge: A town filled with historic buildings, Breaux Bridge, LA is also known as the “Crawfish Capital of the World”. While on your trip, why not take the self-guided walking tour past this bayou town’s many historic homes and businesses? Be sure to try the blue crab, pecan pie and, of course, crawfish, while you’re there.
  • Take a Water Tour: Bayou Teche has been added recently to the National Water Trails System, attracting paddlers from across America. All along Bayou Teche there are access points to put in a kayak or canoe. Take off down the bayou on a guided Bayou Teche tour to find the birds, wildlife and scenery that make this part of the country so memorable.
  • Visit Lake Martin/Cypress Island Preserve, where from January to April, thousands of migratory birds come to roost. The Preserve is halfway between
    Lake Martin LA

    Lake Martin LA

    Breaux Bridge and Lafayette and features a visitor center and a levee walking trail where you can observe such species as the Green Heron and the Great Egret.

  • Travel the Bayou Teche Scenic Byway: A 125-mile collection of roadways, this Byway travels through small towns, swamplands and forests deep into Teche territory. It’s the perfect way to learn more about this unique section of American culture.

RV camping in South Central Louisiana is pleasant year-round, thanks to warm temps even in winter. RV campgrounds in Bayou Teche country range from large, improved parks in nearby cities to small, intimate water and electric sites right on the Bayou. Louisiana RV parks in towns like New Iberia and Breaux Bridge will keep you close to the Bayou and all the outdoor action.

Your trip is even easier with an rv rental, so why not get in touch today? Then get ready to relax in bayou country!

Posted in Fishing Vacation, Louisiana RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

Five Summer Food Festivals to Tempt RV Travelers

A weekend food fest is the perfect excuse to head down the road in an RV. Today’s post is a delicious concoction of food fest and camping info from five of the best summer fests. Read on for what you need to know to plan your next RV camping trip to US food festivals.

Vintage Virginia Wine & Food Festival – Centreville, VA – May 30-31

Who knows what kind of fun RV campers could get into when two dozen Virginia wineries, a cavalcade of top-notch food trucks and a whole lot of food and wine lovers converge on Bull Run Regional Park? Great food, sassy music and the best of Virginia wines are featured at this fabulous outdoor festival just down the road from Manassas Battlefield. Get your tickets here and make it a weekend to remember!

Here’s a link to Virginia RV campgrounds. El Monte RV Rentals in Manassas is happy to help with the right RV for your trip.

Great Chowder Cook-Off – Newport, RI – June 6

If you love a good cuppa chowda, Rhode Island’s world-famous chowder fest is the place for your next RV camping trip. Heated competition for the chowder crown blends with spicy local bands and fun family activities at Fort Adams State Park.

Camp near Newport and make it a long weekend as you discover the mansions, beaches and local charm that make Newport an A-1 tourist destination. 

French Market Creole Tomato Fest – New Orleans, LA – June 13-14

Did you know a tomato imported from the West Indies is at the heart of many Creole culinary treats? The Creole tomato is so important to cuisine in New Orleans that a festival is held in its honor every June! Bring the family on this weekend RV trip and let the kids play in Dutch Alley, watch cooking demonstrations and, of course, sample savory dishes featuring the star of the festival.

Louisiana RV camping venues can be found here.

Arcata Bay Oyster Festival – Arcata, CA – June 20

Here’s the chance to visit California’s magnificent Redwood Coast and enjoy boatloads of fresh oysters as a bonus! The Arcata Bay Oyster Festival celebrates the bivalves that fuel this area’s aquaculture, and it’s a whole lot of fun for oyster lovers, too. Come sample oyster creations from talented chefs, watch cooking demonstrations and get in on family-friendly festival fun.

Eight national forests nearby supply unforgettable scenery as you camp, so plan to stay awhile after the festival. Here’s a list of California campgrounds, including those in the Arcata area. Bon appetit!

Fiestas Puertorriqueñas – Chicago, IL – June 18-21

Scenic Humboldt Park is the setting for this enormous celebration of Puerto Rico and its culture, music and cuisine. Come and sample, play and people watch with thousands of festival goers and don’t miss the parade on Saturday!

Camping in the Windy City is simple—just use our guide to point you in the right direction.

There’s so much to taste, see and do this summer in cities across America! Get started now making your RV camping plans to visit food festivals. Grab your knives and forks and be sure to let us know which ones you can’t wait to visit again next year.

Posted in Food RV Vacations, Illinois RV Camping Vacation, Louisiana RV Camping Vacation, Rhode Island RV Camping Vacation, Virginia RV Camping Vacation | Leave a comment

Mardi Gras RV Camping Vacation

The parades! The jazz! The Creole and Cajun culinary delights! February 2015 is the time to travel by RV to New Orleans, Louisiana to join the non-stop celebration known as Mardi Gras. Culminating on Fat Tuesday, this legendary street party draws visitors from all over the globe. Isn’t it time you joined the crowd?

If you haven’t booked your campground and RV rental yet for Mardi Gras, there’s still time! What better way to enjoy the sights, sounds, flavors and people of New Orleans than by attending the biggest party of them all. Here’s how!

Choose Your Mardi Gras Activities

 Family Friendly Option: Bringing the kids on your Mardi Gras RV adventure and looking for family friendly activities? Why not opt for Family Gras—a free, family-centered celebration in Metairie (Jefferson Parish) just west of NOLA? From February 6 to Febuary 8, 2015, you’ll find concerts, art fairs, Mardi Gras parades and an enormous food court to keep young ones occupied all weekend long.

Mardi Gras Parades: The creative and colorful Krewes of New Orleans have presented Mardi Gras parades for decades, each with their own special style. From the magnificent Krewe of Endymion Parade to the fun-loving women of the Krewe of Iris, each procession adds unique color and excitement to Mardi Gras.  Pick the parades that suit your fancy and purchase grandstand tickets in advance for the ultimate viewing experience.

Mardi Gras Tours: Learn about the art and pageantry behind the festivities by booking tours at Mardi Gras World, where breathtaking floats and street displays are designed and built year-round. Hoping to learn even more about the city while you’re there? Schedule a New Orleans walking, Segway or bike tour led by local hosts who know the secrets of the past and the special neighborhoods of the Crescent City.

Hesitant about coming to Mardi Gras because of something you’ve seen online? Relax! There’s plenty of good-natured fun to be had beyond the French Quarter rowdiness. You’ll find families, senior citizens and locals enjoying the annual extravaganza with picnics, parade watching and non-stop sampling of the city’s many cuisines. The visual splendor provided by parading Krewes, the sound of jazz at all hours and the hospitality for which this city is famous are not-to-be-missed experiences.

 Book Your New Orleans Campsite

 Take advantage of affordable motorhome camping and save your vacation dollars for beignets, café au lait and Mardi Gras souvenirs. Book your campsite today using our handy list of Louisiana RV campgrounds. Note: campgrounds may have a minimum stay requirement during Mardi Gras due to high demand.

Mardi Gras

Don’t have an RV but love the idea of traveling and camping in motorhome comfort? Let us know when you’re going and we’ll have an RV rental ready.

Come to the party in NOLA! You’ll come home with a camera-full of spectacular vacation photos. You’ll finally understand what makes New Orleans unlike any other city in America. And you’ll do it all affordably, thanks to RV travel options. “Laissez les bon temps rouler” let the good times roll!

Picture credits:  “Mardi Gras boxes yellow” by Wikid77 – Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mardi_Gras_boxes_yellow.gif#mediaviewer/File:Mardi_Gras_boxes_yellow.gif
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RV Camping the Cajun Coast at Louisiana’s Lake Palourde

Are you ready to explore one of Louisiana’s largest inland lakes by RV?  Then it’s time to turn your motorhome to southern Louisiana and Lake Palourde.  This scenic lake is part of an enormous collection of swamps, streams and interconnected waterways that make up the Atchafalaya Basin.

Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana

Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana

Here’s how to get there: Travel US90 about one-and-one-half hours southwest from New Orleans to Morgan City, LA.  That’s where you’ll find the best access for RV campers to Lake Palourde.  Let the city’s Lake End Park be your home base, with affordable, full-service campsites adjacent to the water.

This stunningly scenic park also boasts fishing piers, a boat launch, plenty of hiking and biking routes and a sand beach.  Be sure to make reservations before you come, so you’ll have your prime camping spot secured.

What You’ll Find While RV Camping at Lake Palourde: Here are some of the first impressions RV travelers to Lake Palourde have shared, “Spanish moss hanging low on cypress trees,” “nature at its best, right at your camper’s front door” and “fishing like nowhere else in America.”

Fishing in Louisiana

Fishing in Louisiana

So let’s talk about the fishing first—the anglers in your crew aren’t going to want to leave the water when they realize just how many crappie, catfish and bass make this lake and the area’s canals and bayous their home.  Be ready to eat some of the freshest seafood imaginable, as oysters, crayfish and crabs are also plentiful on the Atchafalaya.

There’s also something here for history buffs, nature lovers and outdoor sports enthusiasts at Lake Palourde.  Brownell Memorial Park and Carillon Tower, just a half-mile down the road from the RV campground, is a delightful place to hike the trails, watch for unusual bird species and photograph one of the world’s tallest carillon towers (if you’re lucky, you’ll get to hear the bells ring!)

Another way to savor the character of Louisiana’s inland lakes is to understand their important role in history.  Take the time to ask a local about the Civil War battle in which a much smaller Confederate force came on small boats and then on foot through the swamps to attack and conquer a large Union encampment at Fort Brashear.

But let’s not forget about the outdoor sports enthusiasts who come to the shores of Lake Palourde.  There are plenty of ways for them to spend their time, from biking along the bayous and through picturesque small towns to looking for eagles’ nests from the water along one of the Cajun Coast Paddling Trails.

A beautiful Blue Heron

A beautiful Blue Heron

Speaking of birding, sections of the America’s Wetland Birding Trail can be found throughout the Atchafalaya Basin, including at Lake Palourde.  Keep your eyes open for great blue herons, double-crested cormorants and a multitude of both common and rare birds that make Louisiana’s Cajun Coast their home.

One more suggestion for getting back to nature in America’s favorite freshwater swamp—take a swamp tour!  Local outfitters like Cajun Jack’s are happy to introduce you to the alligators, backwoods trappers and Cajun lore of the Basin.

Coming to southern Louisiana is taking a step into Cajun hospitality and untamed beauty everywhere you look.  Bring your bikes, your hiking shoes and your cameras and set up camp on the shores of Lake Palourde.  You’re going to have a hard time leaving!

We’d like to hear about your Atchafalaya adventures by RV, especially if you’ve visited Lake Palourde.  What keeps you going back?  Share your tips for fellow travelers in the comment section below.  And be sure to let us know if you need an RV rental for the trip!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE! or call 1-888-337-2208

Photo credits: Top, Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana photo by U.S. Army Corps of Engineer, unknown [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons; middle, Fishing in Louisiana by finchlake2000, and bottom, Blue Heron by Andrea Westmoreland are are licensed under Flickr Commons
Posted in Louisiana RV Camping Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas | Leave a comment

A Winter RV Vacation in Louisiana

The natural beauty of Louisiana attracts people from all over the country – those who love the wildlife of the bayous and rivers, the scenic forests and marshes and the many miles of trails and paths.  Enjoying the diversity of landscapes is just one aspect of experiencing a Louisiana vacation.  There is also outdoor recreation that can’t be beat!  And driving an RV to this vacation destination makes the entire getaway one of ease and comfort.

Louisiana bayou

Down by the Bayou

A visit to the Kisatchie National Forest offers the opportunity to explore some of nature in its purest form.  The bayous are alive with flora and fauna and wildlife is hugely abundant.  This is the only national forest in the entire state, and most definitely worth a trip.  Within the boundaries of the forest is the Kisatchie Hills Wilderness and a scenic drive on the Longleaf Scenic Byway.  Numerous trails take you in the back country for a real wilderness experience.

Fishing is always a great vacation activity and you can catch some catfish or bass at Kincaid Lake Recreation Area.  You can camp with your RV at Kincaid Lake Campground and find shower facilities, full hookups, and a dump station.  They also have a boat dock, ramps, hiking trails, and much more.  Nearby attractions include Tunica-Biloxi Indian Museum, Louisiana Cowboy Town and Hodges Gardens.

Swimming Bass

Swimming Bass

Find some great fishing also at Fullerton Lake.  There are crappie, catfish, largemouth bass, and other game fish for you to hook.  Between fishing expeditions, you can get in some hiking.  The favorite trails are Big Branch Trail and the Ouiska Chitto Trail.  The outdoor fun in this region is something exciting for the whole family to experience.  From horseback riding and hiking, to fishing, and boating or kayaking – there is a favorite kind of fun for everyone!

Ensure you put the Grand Cote National Wildlife Refuge on your list to see.  The forest wildlife is thrilling to see, particularly if you happen across a black bear or catch a glimpse of a bald eagle soaring across the sky.  Specifically this is waterfowl habitat so you can expect to see wood ducks, mallards, teal, and plenty of geese.

Next should come the Catahoula National Wildlife Refuge, a huge refuge at 25,000 acres of lowland forest.  Regular flooding creates the ideal environment for many birds and wildlife species.  This is the perfect time of year to visit as migratory waterfowl are wintering here.  You will witness wildlife in their natural habitat such as raptors, reptiles and amphibians.  Nearby you might like to see the Dewey Wills Wildlife Management Area where raccoon, rabbits, mink, bobcat, and beaver roam.

You will never seem to be able to get enough of wildlife refuges or forest areas when in Louisiana.  Don’t leave out Bayou Cocodrie National Wildlife Refuge or the Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge.  So many species of birds, fish, and mammals live in these regions, and you can add to your list of sightings as you travel through this amazing state.  An RV trip to Louisiana –  a complete adventure and one you shouldn’t pass up.

El Monte RV

El Monte RV

For information on renting an RV near Louisiana, CLICK HERE.

Picture credits:  Top photo of the bayou by Pop Top Lady and the swimming bass by Jprime84 are both licensed under Explore/Creative Attribution Commons license on Flickr Creative Commons.
Posted in Fishing Vacation, Louisiana RV Camping Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas | Leave a comment

A Louisiana RV Vacation for Wildlife Lovers

A boardwalk at the Tensas River

A boardwalk at the Tensas River. Photo: Garry Tucker, USFWS.

With Spring finally here, an RV vacation can be very tempting. It might be good to get going before the summer crowds. A great place to go is Louisiana and the Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge. This refuge area is protecting 80,000 acres of bottomland hardwood forest. With a wide array of flora and fauna here, it makes a wonderful destination for wildlife lovers.

The refuge is just one fragment of the beautiful Mississippi Alluvial Valley. You may not have time to count them, but believe it when we say there are more than 400 species of birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles and fish that live on this wildlife refuge. When you are exploring, look for the wood duck nest boxes which are intended to aid the ducks in nesting success.

You would probably give your eye teeth to spot an Ivory-billed Woodpecker. This North American woodpecker is thought to be extinct and the last sighting was very close to Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge in the 1940s. Although the chances are unlikely of seeing this unusual bird, there is plenty of other wildlife to view. The Louisiana black bear may be behind that next bush, or you may see an otter, raccoon, alligator, or wild turkey.

Enjoy the refuge to the utmost by first going to the Visitor Center where you can browse the exhibits. Walk the Boardwalk Wildlife Trail, pick up a map of the refuge and really begin your adventures. You will find plenty to keep the whole family busy here. Best of all, it is open all year. The diversity of habitat is best seen by hiking through the woods and getting up close and personal with Mother Nature and her work of art at this refuge.

Explore by boat! River paddling (PDF) is a pastime that many visitors enjoy. This is a unique way to move through the forests and see animals and birds – not to mention alligators. If you have sharp eyes you will probably catch a glimpse of one. Mostly you’ll see them on the roads. You will also find places to launch a canoe and paddle to your heart’s content. Fishing is another activity many love at Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge. Find year-round fishing on Africa Lake. You can catch largemouth bass and hook more of them as temperatures warm up.

Another lake where you will want to throw in a line is Judd Lake. Pull out your rod and reel and hook some bluegill, crappie or largemouth bass. Use grubs, maggots or frogs for bait in these waters. Big Rainey Lake means more crappie, bluegill and largemouth bass. This time your bait should consist of crickets, minnows and maggots. The above lakes are open all year for fishing. The rest of the refuge waters open on the 1st of March and stay open until the 31st of October.

Once you have your fill of nature (if that is even possible), you should head to Tallulah, Louisiana for a wide array of sights. If you love history, you will love the historic plantations and magnificent homes. Civil war buffs can tour battle sites and old encampments. Drive the scenic Bayou Drive and get the real feel of the Old South. There is RV Camping in Tallulah as well, at Hunters Bend Campground.

The Hermione House is a great place to see while in Tallulah. This museum showcases some very interesting tidbits, such as the display on the first woman millionaire in the U.S. It also exhibits artifacts from ancient Indian times all the way up to the Civil War.

Three miles north of Delhi is Poverty Point State Historic Site where you have the rare opportunity to see an exceptional culture. The earthworks here are dated back as far as 700 B.C. and estimated as having taken millions of hours of labor. You should stop in the museum for an interpretive experience. There are guided tours you can take advantage of, as well as other special events and programs. A tram tour is one of the best ways to see this amazing site.

Now that your RV vacation is coming to an end, you may be hesitant to leave. No one can blame you. This area is just too relaxing and there is just too much to do. You can always extend your time away and stay a little longer. Or just plan on returning again next year for more adventures in Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge.

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Take a Louisiana RV Trip and Visit Sabine National Wildlife Refuge

Marshlands in the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge

Marshlands in the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge

Louisiana is a great place to visit in an RV. You can drive to all sorts of out-of-the-way destinations with amazing sights to see when you arrive. A winter vacation is perfect in Louisiana because the weather is ideal for boating, hiking, bird watching and much more.

The Sabine National Wildlife Refuge in southwest Louisiana is the place to go. Established as the perfect habitat for migratory birds and waterfowl, this refuge offers the solitude and beauty of marshes, oak ridges and coastal prairie, all coming together to bring you a nature experience that will stay in memory for many years to come. Because this region is designated an “Internationally Important Bird Area,” it means that birders will find a paradise for bird watching.

Sabine National Wildlife Refuge is only one of the four federal wildlife refuges that make up the Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Others you can visit when the time is right are Cameron Prairie, Lacassine and Shell Keys Refuges. For winter habitat, these areas excel and are a welcome place of refuge for migratory waterfowl of all kinds.

On your way to the refuge, you will pass through the town of Sulphur, Louisiana. You can stop here for a visit to get a feel for the heritage of the state and enjoy some of the delicious foods served in their authentic restaurants. Make your home base at Hidden Ponds RV Park in Sulphur. They have full hookups and free WiFi as well as a pond where you can try a little fishing. Then it is only a 22-mile drive to the south to reach the Wildlife Refuge.

While you visit this unique wildlife refuge, you will get to experience the Creole Nature Trail All American Road in all its beauty. This untamed wilderness is a combination of coastal wetlands and marshes where animals and birds roam free in their native habitat. Here you can be inspired by the wonders and even cast a line into the waters to catch a variety of fish.

Do you love to go boating? You will find a boat launch at the West Cove Recreation Area that lies along Highway 27. The bayous, canals and waterways invite you out into the sun for a lot of fun. You can go crabbing here from mid-March to mid-October.

More crabbing opportunities are available at the Northline Recreation Area as well as at Blue Crab Recreation Area and Hog Gulley. This is also a great place to do some photography. Even if you are a novice, you will certainly get some wonderful shots that will speak clearly of your visions. Watch more wildlife wandering, feeding and drinking.

Check out the Visitor Center to watch some educational films and pick up some leaflets to help guide you as you head for the Wetland Walkway. Take boardwalks or trails and stop at observation decks to marvel at the freshwater marsh. Rest shelters are all along the way where you can stop for a break. This is the ideal way to end your Sabine National Wildlife Refuge RV trip before heading home.

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