Snakes, turtles and alligators, oh my! This is what you’ll find when you visit BREC’s Bluebonnet Swamp, where the hikes and trails are authentic, and the wildlife is plentiful. Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., and Sundays from noon until 5 p.m., it is the mission of this 103-acre all encompassing nature center, located just off Bluebonnet Boulevard on North Oak Hills Parkway, to connect people to nature, and to do that by providing environmental education, conservation, recreation, and tourism.
Visitors are awed by the scenery and the variety of activities available, especially the up close and personal encounters with the animals that are expertly conducted by the swamp staff. As you walk along the trails, not only will you notice many snakes and turtles, but you may also catch a glimpse of raccoons, rabbits, opossums, armadillos, squirrels, foxes and more. And bird lovers will be impressed with the hundreds of bird species that use this habitat throughout the year, especially the seasonal species that appear during peak migrations.
Walking trails seem especially designed for immersion into the beauty of nature, with benches dotted along the paths so that visitors can sit, observe and listen. One of the trails even extends out over the delightfully swampy swamp water so that you can look down and marvel at what is swimming beneath your feet.
When you have finished touring the hiking trails, be sure to visit the expansive open-aired, award-winning exhibit building that is 9,500 square feet in size, and is filled with live animal exhibits, photographic presentations, and natural artifact and mineral displays. And if you have young children, this destination is one of the best Baton Rouge facilities for interactive learning and discovery at the live animal displays and touch tables.
Upcoming events include Flashlight Night at the Swamp on February 15, 2019, where swamp staff will be hosting animal encounters and showing special nature films, and on March 6th and March 7th of 2019, is Trail Time for Toddlers. But you will definitely not want to miss the ever popular Rockin’ at the Swamp on March 12, 2019, where beautiful rocks, gemstones and crystals steal the show.
For more information visit http://www.brec.org/index.cfm/park/BluebonnetSwamp. Or for information on educational opportunities or to plan a field trip, contact Clair Coco at Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center at (225) 757-8905.