There is definitely a lot of social activity here at Betty’s every evening so we have to plan our countryside excursions to be back in time for the 4:30 happy hour. The places we love to go are all less than a 40-50 minute drive and offer a little solitude in our otherwise hectic lifestyle at Betty's RV Park.
One such place is Palmetto Island State Park. Entry into the park is $4.00 unless you are over 62 and well, we are… It pays to be an old fart sometimes because free entry in Louisiana State Parks is one of the perks of old age.
There are several trails within the park but some are labeled primitive and when they say primitive they mean it. Picture yourself on a mostly indiscernible trail filled with palmetto fronds blocking the way. While pushing your way through the thicket of palmetto fronds you have to continually search for not only poisonous snakes but you also have to remain vigilant about looking for signs of the trail itself.
Another neat place we like to go hike is at the Acadian Nature Preserve in Lafayette LA. This little gem offers a lot of elevated boardwalks allowing hikers to enjoy the area without having to get their feet wet. One day we took Jim and Nanc along for this hike since they had never been there. However, before going we just had to stop at Olde Tyme Grocery in Lafayette for one of our favorite shrimp po’boys.
With our bellies full we headed out to the park. As we wandered along the boardwalks it was apparent that this area was quite dry. The river which flows through the park was very, very low. We stopped at bridge and chatted with a park volunteer who pointed out a few water snakes below the bridge we were on.
We really enjoyed Jim and Nanc’s company on this hike but before we knew it, the time was approaching 3:30 so we had to get our butts back to Betty’s. This nice easy hike in the Acadian Nature Preserve was just the serenity in nature we needed before another raucous happy hour back at the park.
The park we most frequent is Palmetto Island State Park since it is the closest so here is some more about it. This time of year the Louisiana Blue Flag Irises are beginning to bloom in the swamps. Another neat one to see is one only found in this area as it is a reddish form of the blue flag, the Abbeville Iris. It is quite striking in the swamp.
The trail we like best wanders past a lake and then continues over to a short boardwalk into the swamp. We spotted a lot of turtles sitting atop the fallen logs soaking in the sun to warm up their cold blood. We even spotted a few alligators lounging in the thick marsh vegetation trying their best to appear as floating logs hoping some prey might get close by for a tasty snack. This last time we visited, a great horned owl flew in and landed close enough for us to admire him with our binoculars.
While we love our springtime flowers in Texas better, walking among the Louisiana flora and fauna in the spring reinvigorates our souls…
NOTE: We are at Betty’s RV park until April 16th before continuing on toward Texas…