Baton Rouge Outdoor Activities
Sure, Baton Rouge has plenty of swamps within its city limits and surrounding areas, but there are many more natural amenities that can be enjoyed by anyone who just wants to get out and commune with nature for the weekend. Even if that time outdoors translates into just a few hours out of the office, Baton Rouge offers several places for you to enjoy the clean fresh air, among other things. Here are some fine natural destinations that will make that escape a real (and convenient) possibility.
If you like your nature served up with a good helping of history, then the Port Hudson State Commemorative Area
is just for you. Enjoy the expansive walking trails, picnic tables and open lawns as they make up this sprawling 650-acre area that was once part of a Civil War battlefield. With such an historic backdrop, it is no wonder that there are always Civil War reenactments happening on site several times a month. So whether you're a history buff or just want a great day outdoors with the family, the Port Hudson State Commemorative Area is an excellent choice.
Address: 236 Hwy 61, Jackson, LA 70748 - MAP
Phone: (225) 654-3775 or (800) 877-3400
If you love birdwatching and want to make a bit of an escape from the usual rat race to do it, look no further than the Peveto Woods Sanctuary
. Associated with the Baton Rouge Audubon Society, Peveto Woods Sanctuary encompasses approximately 40 acres and is located along the Louisiana coast in Cameron Parish. This habitat has been carefully preserved by the Baton Rouge Audubon Society and its reputation is so highly regarded that birders, nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts from all 50 states and 20 foreign countries have journeyed here to take in the beauty of this magnificent slice of nature.
Address: LA 82, 8.5 miles west of LA 27/LA82 intersection - MAP
Phone: (225) 578-1838
Baton Rouge's Burden Center
is a visually compelling sight, and if you're a garden and nature lover, it might just be a sneak peak at what heaven must be like! This amazing 440-acre is a tract that is used for a wide array of projects that test various crops and plants as they grow in Louisiana's climate. There are also several beautiful gardens of roses, flowers and vegetables that have walking paths and and various rest areas where you can sit in the great outdoors and reflect on this buffet of visual beauty.
Address: 4560 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70808 - MAP
Phone: (225) 763-3990
If you're a real nature lover and want to see animals from all over the world but don't have the time or resources to make the trip, the Global Wildlife Center
is a total must-see! This is the largest totally free-roaming wildlife preserve of its kind in the world. The 900-acre center is home to over 4,000 exotic, endangered and threatened animals from all over the planet. You can actually feed and touch the animals when you take the guided safari tour. Just reach out and touch a fascinating world of nature.
Address: 26389 Highway 40, Folsom, LA 70437 - MAP
Phone: (985) 624-9453
The Afton Villa Gardens
stand as proof that there can be beauty among the ruins. These breathtaking gardens rest on the terraced ruins of the palatial home built by Susan Barrow in 1849. These are 250-acres of trees, plants and flowers that line a winding walking trail. Take a stroll along this gorgeous path that always proves to be a calming, restorative exercise no matter what the season. And speaking of seasons, when spring brings the flowering and budding of these plants and trees, it also brings throngs of nature lovers to see the indescribable outdoor beauty unfold right before their eyes.
Address: 8841 Hwy 61, St. Francisville, LA 70775 - MAP
Phone: (225) 635-6773
If absorbing nature sounds like a great idea to you, then you can take it all in at BREC's Cohn Memorial Arboretum
. The facility is used for the preservation and study of plants from other areas, but having them all together only adds to Baton Rouge's beauty. In addition to the enticing foliage, there are fruit orchards, a butterfly garden, paved walkways and a bamboo collection that inhabit this outdoor environment. Choose between self-guided or guided tours. If you prefer the guided tour, the number of participants is limited to 14 and arrangements must be made ahead of time. Admission to the area is free, but no picnics or pets are allowed.
Address: 12206 Foster Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70811 - MAP
Phone: (225) 775-1006