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Heart of Louisiana: Big Branch Marsh nature walk

Updated: Apr. 20, 2021 at 9:45 PM CDT
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LACOMBE (WVUE) - If you want to get outside and enjoy some Spring wildflowers, we found a nice spot where you and the family can spend an hour or two on a nature walk. It’s part of the Big Branch Marsh Wildlife Refuge near Lacombe.

This nature walk is tucked away along the southern edge of St. Tammany Parish near where Bayou Lacombe meets Lake Pontchartrain.

Mornings here are beautiful.

It’s called the Boy Scout Road Trail. A half-mile long board walk takes you through a pine Savannah and then leads you across a lowland marsh. Along, the way you are treated to a blooming landscape. Some obvious and some of it requires a closer look.

John and Leslie Wallace live nearby.

“It’s wonderful. It’s quiet, it’s peaceful and some wildlife we see deer and lots of birds and enjoy the light vegetation is beautiful,” says John.

If you don’t have much of a garden at home, it doesn’t get much better than this. All of the Louisiana irises are in bloom now and they’re right along the boardwalk.

But the blooming plants change by the week.

“It’s just a wonderful place to come and take a walk. Morning or afternoon. Mid-day gets a little hot,” says Craig Houin.

After the boardwalk ends, a wide gravel trail takes you through a shady, wooded landscape where tall pines are replaced by oak trees. The walk to Bayou Lacombe is about five miles round trip.

Houin and a friend find a walk here is a welcome escape.

“This is kind of a special treat to come out here and be a little bit more alone and you can keep your social distance a little bit easier out here,” says Houin. “Gives us a chance to talk together, walk together, do something fun together and just kind of get away from the everyday routine that you have at home.”

Along the path, don’t forget to pause and look around. You can see where woodpeckers make their homes in the tall pines. Watch butterflies move between flowers. And hear songbirds. Take time to listen to the sounds of nature.

You might be surprised at how good this makes you feel.

The Boy Scout Trail is located on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain near Lacombe.

For more information on the nature trail and other outdoor activities, visit HeartofLouisiana.com.

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