Barataria Preserve Trails, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park

New Orleans Area
New Orleans Area
Type of Route

The Barataria Preserve outside Marrero offers a taste of Louisiana’s wild wetlands. The preserve’s 20,000 acres include bayous, swamps, marshes, forests, alligators, nutrias, and over 300 species of birds. Boardwalk and dirt trails wind through the preserve, and waterways can be explored by canoe or kayak. Exhibits at the preserve visitor center highlight how the Mississippi River built Louisiana's wetlands, the national importance of the area, and the relation between the land and its people. Seven interconnecting waterways are available for canoeing here, and there are three canoe launches: Bayou des Familles in the Pecan Grove area (check the gate closing time), Twin Canals and Lower Kenta Canal. Pick up a map at the visitor center so that you can plan your route. 

Within the Barataria Preserve are marshes, swamps and natural levee forests, interlaced with bayous and canals open to canoes, or to pirogues, the flat-bottomed, keel-less canoes used throughout south Louisiana. Canoeing in the preserve is a wonderful experience for novice and expert alike, but familiarize yourself with the conditions and check ahead on water levels. Ask visitor center rangers for current canoeing information. Some waterways are not passable during periods of low water. Heavy aquatic vegetation growth can make canoeing difficult in some areas.  
The preserve is located at 6588 Barataria Boulevard, Marrero. For more details and directions to the preserve, click here or call 504-689-3690, ext. 10./