Louisiana is as notorious for its outdoor adventures as it is for its beignets, crawfish boils, and festive Mardi Gras celebrations. As a matter of fact, the bird watching, line casting, alligator sunning, bayou-paddling Pelican State may just be one of the best places to take the ultimate outdoors vacation. Here are five top outdoor activities in Louisiana to get started.
1. Get Birding
The Louisiana Northshore is ideal for birding enthusiasts to get a glimpse of some unique finds like the elusive, rare, and endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. Other resident birds to be found here include great blue herons, great and snowy herons, great egrets, white ibis, numerous hawk species and hundreds, (maybe even thousands) of others.
A few places to find these and other species are:
Local’s Tip: True bird-lovers may already be aware, but the Great Louisiana BirdFest in Northlake Nature Center (held each April) isn’t one to be missed.
Honey Island Swamp Tours offers two-hour tours through one of the wildest swamps in Louisiana. Small boats (covered and uncovered) allow for deep access into the swamp where tour-goers will get the chance to see alligators, turtles, bald eagles, otter, mink, beavers, owls, hogs, and so much more.
Photographers (and Instagram addicts fanatics) will love getting up-close-and-personal with nature while history buffs and nature enthusiasts will love the historical explanations provided by the knowledgeable, native guides.
3. SUP with Bayou Paddle Co.
Paddleboarding is one of the fastest growing sports in the country, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t be getting in on the action if you’re on the Louisiana Northshore! Whether you want a great workout or want a guided tour of one of the the beautiful waterways in St. Tammany Parish, Bayou Paddle Co. can hook you up!
Get your paddle on while you cruise through one of these bodies of waters:
- Bogue Falaya
- Tchefuncte Rivers
- Lake Pontchartrain
- Bogue Chitto River
Local’s Tip: Brought your own board but need a repair or gear that you left behind? Bayou Paddle Co. can help with that, too!
4. Kayak with Bayou Adventure
Seven days a week in Lacombe, Bayou Adventure is ready to get your kayak trip started. If you want to get your heart really racing, they’ll send you by way of a gator or two.
If you like your alligators best when their hanging out in a zoo, maybe a trip on Cane Bayou is more your style. Couples can get all romantic with a sunset guided paddle trip.
Avid fishermen won’t be left out, either—Bayou Adventure offers add-ons to the kayaks for anglers (and has plenty of fishing-related items for sale in their shop, too). No matter what your kayaking goals, the folks at Bayou Adventure will make sure they’re achieved.
5. Get Hooked in Slidell!
If fishing is more your deal, head to Slidell. Here, you’ll find charters to help you catch redfish, trout, flounder, shark, Jack Crevalle, sheepshead, drum, and more. Fish in Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Borne, and Biloxi Marsh. With so many choices, all of your fishing dreams can come true (and then you can embellish a little when you retell the tale—it is a fish story, after all). To find a charter that’s right for you, click here.
Ready to get started on your St. Tammany vacation and experience some of the best outdoor activities in Louisiana? Head to LousianaNorthshore.com and start planning today!
Kayaking, Honey Island Swamp Tours, and Bayou Adventure photos courtesy LouisianaNorthshore.com; paddleboarding photo by Mark Salvetti, courtesy Bayou Paddle Co.