Saturday, March 30, 2013

Hiking Jean Lafitte National Historic Park…

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Jean Lafitte Natl Historic Park 015With Easter weekend just around the corner we decided that instead of leaving today and heading over toward Mississippi that we would just stay a few more days. Thankfully there was space available and we didn't even have to move to a new site, score one for us! We will stay here until at least Sunday and may add Monday if the weather looks iffy. That will still leave us 12 days to get to Gaffney, SC for the Freightliner Class and we can stay south a bit longer to enjoy the sunshine.
New Orleans isn’t all about the French Quarter and the city.

Jean Lafitte Natl Historic Park 001To prove this point we headed about 20 minutes south of New Orleans in our CRV with friends Holly and Randy in tow to visit the Jean Lafitte National Historic Park. There are several parts to this Historic Park but the part we wanted to see was the Barataria Preserve outside the town of Marrero which would give us a taste and feel of the Louisiana wetlands. This piece of wilderness provides 23,000 acres of bayous, swamps, marshes and forests along with the local critters that live in this area including the prolific alligators.

Jean Lafitte Natl Historic Park 003One thing becoming more and more evident is that spring has sprung in this part of the USA making us both so happy. This has been a contrasting year to our our first year of full timing in that it has been a much chillier year and worse, I have even had to buy a new pair of jeans since I finally wore out my other pair. Sharon and I much prefer wearing wear flip flops and shorts…

There are some lovely hikes in the preserve but we opted to hike two trails that connected the Palmetto Trail and the Bayou Coquille Trail. These two trials gave us a scenic hike through all the biota Jean Lafitte Natl Historic Park 004types that the preserve has to offer. Greeting us at the trailhead was a Yellow Crowned Night Heron searching for lunch. Many of the plants were greening up including the Sweet Gum, Red Maple, Hawthorns, and Black Cherry. Also many flowering plants such as the Yellowtops and the Dew Berries were starting to display their spring colors so as to attract the pollinators to their showy and colorful flowers. We were a bit too early for the swamps to be covered with large displays of the Giant Blue Iris as only a few were flowering. We did find one or two with its tall leafy stalks topped with the beautiful blue flowers.

As we entered onto the Bayou Coquille Trail there was more water present and as the trail dead ends into Kenta Canal we continued onto the Marsh Overlook Trail. Here we saw several alligators sunning including one magnificent beast that had to be well over 10 feet in length. Unfortunately this trail was an “in and out” Jean Lafitte Natl Historic Park 011trail and not a loop so once we got to the end of the Marsh Overlook we returned back to the Visitors Center the way we came in and just made it back before the parking lot closed up at 5:00 pm. We hiked a total of about 4 miles and thoroughly enjoyed this day since it contrasted sharply with our previous hustle and bustle days in the city…


  1. I continue to enjoy reading your blog. You may recall we met you last summer at Harrisburg, Oregon. We spent the winter in North Fort Myers, Florida and enjoyed sharing some time with mutual friends Pam and Vic. Having lived in Louisiana for several years, we particularly enjoyed this post on Jean Lafitte National Park. Safe travels.

  2. I enjoyed reading about your travels in New Orleans. Thank You