Louisiana is known as the “Sportsman’s Paradise” and with fishing, golf, hiking, paddling, and year-round hunting opportunities it is easy to see why. The state’s topography includes the vast coastal wetlands in the southern portion of the state – including the Atchafalaya Basin – as well as the rolling hills and valleys to the north and the Kisatchie National Forest. Louisiana’s state parks are situated all across this diverse landscape, and are just one route to discovering the state’s outdoor adventures.
When it comes to getting out on the water, Louisiana offers no shortage of activities. Saltwater fishing in the marshes or the Gulf of Mexico and freshwater fishing at one of the best bass fishing lakes in the United States (the Toledo Bend Reservoir) keep anglers returning to drop a line year after year. Check out all of Louisiana’s fishing opportunities.
For paddling, Louisiana offers trails across the state, including through state parks and wildlife refuge areas, where varying foliage and wildlife from unique bird species and alligators to the threatened Louisiana black bear. Guests can choose their trail and plan their paddle adventure. And, of course, the Louisiana swamp lands hold a special place in the state’s culture and landscape. These are a critical ecosystem and guests can learn about them through any one of the available guided tours, from speedy fan boat tours to relaxing pontoon adventures to get up close and personal in your own kayak.
Back on land, hiking and biking are popular with visitors. Louisiana’s road cycling and off-road trails can take cyclists through wilderness like the Atchafalaya Basin and the Kisatchie Forest or through small towns and big cities like Natchitoches or New Orleans. Either way, you’re in for the ride of your life! Guests can find their biking trail and pick their ride online. On foot, the state’s parks and preservation areas offer fun and family-friendly ways to stretch your legs and take in the fresh air of Louisiana.
Kayaking through the bayous.
Tammany Trace Bike Trail in the Northshore.
Catching big redfish in the marshes.
For golfers, Louisiana’s Audubon Golf Trail offers 17 courses designed by the likes of David Toms, Arnold Palmer, Pete Dye, and Robert Trent Jones Sr., all while taking in Louisiana’s nature beauty. The trail was named for naturalist and artists John James Audubon who painted a number of famous bird studies in the state. Today, the courses that are part of this incredible trail are also members of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary for Golf Courses, a program dedicated to protecting the environment and preserving the natural heritage of the game of golf. Learn more about the trail and the golf courses.
No matter where you are in Louisiana, whether it’s on water or land, opportunities for birding abound. Louisiana’s rich ecosystems provide a nurturing habitat for vast numbers of birds. In addition to local species, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has documented the migratory movements of bird populations throughout the Western Hemisphere, and the state falls along the migratory path for many of these glorious species. The coastal marshlands offer access to some of the most unusual species of songbirds, raptors and water fowl.
Louisiana is the ideal location to get off the beaten path and out into nature – however you choose to do it.