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Black Bayou Lake
National Wildlife Refuge

Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Reserve borders Egret Landing to the East and is accessible via various nature trails. If you’re a boating or fishing enthusiast or just like a walk in the wild Black Bayou has something for you.

Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge is one of five managed refuges in the North Louisiana Refuges Complex. Thanks to “Friends of Black Bayou” a beautiful learning center and nature trail, large observation deck, photo blind and boat launch are just some of the great facilities that make Black Bayou a nature lover's destination.

Keith Yahl -

Visitor Center

Where history becomes reality…

A restored 19th century planter’s house, Black Bayou’s complex visitor center is located in the Black Bayou Lake Environmental Center.

Interactive Exhibits introduce visitors to wildlife and habitats found on the refuge. Children are encouraged to explore the “Touch Me!” table, gaining hands on experience with bones, snake skins, fur, feathers and turtle shells.

Small alligators, turtles, wading birds, swamp rabbits, coyote and deer are a common sight in the areas surrounding the Visitor Center.

Other amenities include a large, covered amphitheater used for refuge educational programs, a nature trail and the new Conservation Learning Center.

Conservation Learning Center

Where learning is fun…

Built with funds from the community and a matching grant from U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service the Conservation Learning Center is central to Black Bayou’s educational outreach. 

An Aquarium Room with live, native fish, reptile and amphibian exhibits is one of the main attractions of this center. The other, a Discovery Room features learning and computer stations, sinks and a reading corner with a small library and puppets. The Discovery Room also boasts state of the art audio/visual equipment and can host up to 100 seated visitors.

Observation Deck

Where swamp things happen…

This large, wheelchair accessible deck is equipped with a spotting scope and shaded seating. Surrounded by a bald cypress swamp the raised deck is perfect for observing all sorts of birds and even spotting an alligator or two.

Wildlife Pier

Where you walk on water…

The 1,200-foot wildlife pier allows visitors to take a closer look at Black Bayou’s local residents. Extending onto Black Bayou Lake visitors can make use of two spotting scopes to explore into the far corners of the lake.

Fishing, bird watching and alligator spotting are just some of the activities that can be enjoyed amongst the bald cypress and tupelo trees. As the pier is handicap accessible no one need miss out.

Nature Trail

Where the woods surround you…

The mile long, nature trail winds through a bald cypress brake and forested wetland. Benches, inspirational signs and labeled trees add to the pleasure of exploring the trail.

Albert Herring -

Photo Blind

Where discoveries are made…

Hidden in the rear of the refuge the photo blind provides the perfect settings for observing and photographing birds and other wildlife.

Boat Launch

Where records are set…

A popular spot for largemouth bass, crappie, sunfish and catfish Black Bayou Lake’s boat launch sees over 5,000 boats annually. 1,600 acres of lake is accessible to canoes and boats up to 50hp.

Wetlands Art Project

Where art imitates nature…

Pay close attention to what you see and feel in this place. The Wetlands Art Project invites you to notice the textures of the ground, grasses and wood and to experience the water, sky and wildlife. Project elements. -- Alexis Wreden

Additional Features

  • Edge Water Trail, a long walking trail on the edge of Black Bayou Lake and Bayou DeSiard.
  • A 100-seat shaded outdoor pavilion.
  • Visitors Center bird watching blind.
  • Explore the lake in a canoe using the marked canoe trail.


For more information see the "Friends of Black Bayou".