Get Immersed In Nature At Black Bayou Lake NWR


The Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge is an expansive 5,300-acre property that consists of a 1,700-acre lake, swampland, plants, trees, and plenty of wildlife. It is supported in part by the Friends of Black Bayou, Inc. The group is committed to the conservation, restoration, and public appreciation of the natural environment.

Learning Center

One of the features people can find at the Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge is a learning center that offers a variety of educational opportunities. Located in a separate building than the property’s visitor center, the learning center provides a way for the public to learn about wildlife and conservation. There is a well-equipped classroom plus live wildlife exhibits. This includes aquariums with freshwater fish like bass and gar, non-venomous snakes in safe displays, and even enclosures with small alligators and turtles. Here are some other features:

  • Wetlands ponds area
  • 1,200-foot wildlife observation pier
  • Observation deck
  • Arboretum
  • Amphitheater
  • Wildflower and prairie area with concrete walkways
  • Butterfly gardens
  • Hunting area (brochures with regulations available)
  • Boat launch/fishing
  • Canoe and kayak rentals


Birdwatchers may find that there is plenty to see at the Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Many species are located in the area, such as the great egret, green heron, yellow-billed cuckoo, blue-winged teal, tree swallow, barred owl, downy woodpecker, and countless more.

Hiking or Walking

Whether people want to take a leisurely walk or go on a hike, there are plenty of paths at the Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge. In fact, the refuge boasts a system of trails that provides opportunities for guests to view wildlife, take pictures, and get an education on the environment. Guests who would like to bring their dog can bring them if they are on a leash. Dogs are not allowed on the Challenge Trail. Here is a list of the trails:

  • Prairie Trail. This trail, located in front of the visitor center between the pond and the railway track, is about one-third of a mile long.
  • Nature Trail. This one-mile trail is part crushed asphalt, part boardwalk. It takes hikers through a wetland where they can see birds, frogs, lizards, snakes and other animals.
  • Wildlife Pier Trail. Visitors can get a panoramic view of the lake and potentially catch a glimpse of alligators, turtles, herons, egrets, and more.
  • Arboretum Trail. People who have an interest in trees may enjoy what they see and learn about on the Arboretum Trail.
  • Wildlife Challenge Trail. This short loop includes 10 activities that kids can enjoy as they learn about wildlife in the area.
  • Edgewater Trail. As the name implies, much of this trail follows the edge of the lake. People have been known to spot birds, deer, bobcats, rabbits, coyotes, and squirrels.

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Adopt a Tree

One of the ways people may want to support the Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge is through their tree adoption program. It is a great way for someone to honor a person in their life or a loved one they have lost.

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