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    Discover Birds, Butterflies And Wildlife Along Louisiana's Creole Nature Trail

    One of the wonders of traveling is exploring unexpected destinations. Whether you're overseas, or cruising around in your own backyard; there are many treasures to discover. One of our favorite means of travel is driving, which gives us the opportunity to enjoy scenic vistas and visit local sites and attractions.

    Some of the best places to drive are along our nation's Scenic Byways. Wherever you're traveling, a key to making the most of your trip is to pick up or download a map of the area. The Creole Nature Trail is one of the first and oldest National Scenic Byways in Louisiana. Along with great maps and guides for your trip, the Lake Charles Visitors Bureau has a Creole Nature Trail App for iPhone's and Android devices, and is like a personal tour guide for your trip. To enhance your trip, you can also visit the Lake Charles Visitors Bureau located at 1205 N. Lakeshore Drive, and pick up a FREE GPS Explorer®.

    Now that you have your maps, set off on a cruise along the Trail that offers chances to visit the wetlands that are preserved and maintained as wintering habitats for waterfowl. Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge, SWLA Refuge Complex Cameron Prairie, and Sabine National Wildlife Refuge are all located in this area, and a perfect for viewing nature.

    The Rockefeller Refuge, located at 5476 Grand Chenier Hwy in Grand Chenier is among the five Wildlife Refuge and Sanctuaries in the region. Along with viewing wild bird habitats, you'll also find alligators roaming about. And, be sure to visit the observation tower for a great photo opportunity on your visit.

    Along the Creole Nature Trail is the Peveto Woods, Bird, and Butterfly Sanctuary, which is preserved and maintained by the Baton Rouge Audubon Society. One of the interesting facts about Peveto Woods is that it is on the Trans-Gulf migration path on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico. This offers an opportunity to capture wonderful photos of migrating birds.

    Then, there are the beautiful butterflies that include black, spicebush, tiger, zebra and pipevine swallowtails; the gorgone and pearl crescents; red admiral; buckeye; cloudless sulphur; spring azure; variegated and gulf fritillaries; zebra longwing; hackberry; queen; viceroy; and red spotted purple.

    With natural beauty, wildlife and plenty of recreation options available, Louisiana's Creole Nature Trail is a must see destination when visiting Southwest Louisiana.

    By Melody Schubert

    Getting There:

    To discover more nature trails, recreation, attractions and festivities to enjoy in the Lake Charles region visit the
    Lake Charles Visitors Bureau online at http://www.visitlakecharles.org or call 1-800-456-SWLA.