Sometimes I long for the trails in Texas and the beautiful American southwest. Since moving to New Orleans last fall, I’ve struggled to find nearby places to explore outdoors. Jean Lafitte National Park’s Barataria Preserve, a short 15 minute drive from New Orleans to Marrero, LA, is a must if you’re in the Crescent City, but what next?
From waterfalls to beach yurts and dismalites (glowworms), there are three amazing trips you need to take if you call Louisiana home. Each of the three below are within a five-hour drive from most places in Louisiana. I expect this list to grow over time, but these are my next three adventures.
- Tunica Falls (Clark Creek Natural Area) Pond, MS
Clark Creek Natural Area boasts over 50 waterfalls (like this beauty), and offers camping and non-strenuous hiking. Make sure to take plenty of water if you are hiking during the summer. At a little over 2 hours away from New Orleans, you can make a day trip of it and be back in the Big Easy before nightfall.
- The Outpost (Gulf State Park) Gulf Shores, AL
Want to camp along the gorgeous white sand dunes of the Gulf Coast? Go three hours east to Gulf Shores and look at the new accommodations at Gulf State Park. The yurt campsites (named The Duke, Bonanza and The Alamo) are a pretty cool way to spend a summer night under the stars with friends.
- Dismal’s Canyon Phil Campbell, AL
This is a bit of a trek from New Orleans at ~6 hours, but it’s going to be worth the visit. Dismals Canyon boasts breathtaking waterfalls and … wait for it … dismalites. Dismalites are close cousins of the glowworms found in Australia and New Zealand, and you can get up close and personal with them on one of the night tours offered. Make it a long weekend trip and go canoeing Bear Creek, too.
Any other places that I should put on my list?