Mandalay Wildlife Refuge Hiking Trail

If you are ever in Houma, Louisiana, Mandalay Wildlife refuge is a great spot to check out.  The majority of the wildlife refuge is only accessible by boat, but there is a mile long nature trail that you can hike without a boat.  It’s a great way to get to view the very unique Louisiana swamp ecosystem and there’s tons of cool animals you can see there.  The trailhead is down a long gravel road that connects to Bayou Black Drive.  You will see a sign for the nature trail if you’re heading west (from Houma).  The gravel road will be on your left.  You’ve gone too far if you pass the bridge that goes over Bayou Black to Cannon’s Boat Launch.  There is a lot of wildlife you can spot here from the trail. Here’s a collection of pictures from a recent hike in Manadalay Wildlife Refuge.

Peacock climbing a fence
There was a flock of peacocks crossing the gravel road on the way up to the trailhead
Here’s the trailhead at the start of the hike
Mandalay Spanish Moss Canopy
The tree canopy in Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge is full of Spanish moss and makes you feel like you’re walking in the Amazon.
Houma, Louisiana baby alligator
Spotted a baby American Alligator chilling in the Mandalay Wildlife Refuge swamp

Walking under all the Spanish moss in the woods is a really cool experience.

Huge Banana Spider
They had some huge Golden Silk Orb-Weavers here

There were a lot of these spiders.  At least they help keep the bugs down!

Louisiana venomous snake
Ran into a small Cottonmouth snake near the trail in Mandalay Wildlife Refuge

 

Louisiana Reptiles
A 5 Lined Skink was out sunning himself on a tree trunk

 

Louisiana Wild Crawfish, Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge
This little crawfish on the trail tried to put up a fight
Louisiana Box Turtle
Gulf Coast Box Turtle

When you reach the end of the trail, you will come to a boardwalk that leads out to a nice observation deck.  This is a great spot to sit and watch for birds, gators, and tons of other wildlife.

Mandalay Wildlife Refuge Boardwalk
The boardwalk with a viewing deck at the end of the trail in Mandalay Wildlife Refuge

We ran into another snake on the walk back.  This guy is non-venomous though.

Louisiana non-venomous snake
Louisiana Black Rat Snake along the trail in Mandalay Wildlife Refuge

 

Mandalay Wildlife Trail
Here’s the trail walking back to the parking lot

 

As you can see from the pictures, there is tons of wildlife to see if you keep your eyes open.  The trail in Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge definitely has a jungle feel to it.  I highly recommend getting out there and doing this quick hike!  Questions or Comments?  Let us know in the comments below!

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