Heart of Louisiana: Bayou Segnette State Park
WESTWEGO, La. (WVUE) - If your idea of getting outdoors is a short drive from the city, nature may be only minutes away.
At Bayou Segnette State Park, you can spend the night in a cabin that floats on water.
You can spend time at Bayou Segnette State Park, which is only a 15 minute drive from the city located on the west bank of the Mississippi River.
“You’re out in the marsh, which again, you’re 15 minutes from the Superdome, which is kind of, you know, it’s the best of both worlds. If you want to come to visit New Orleans, but you don’t want to be in the city, you can go visit, you can come back to us and be right out here in nature,” says Clifford Melius.
The park is located on Bayou Segnette, a winding waterway that takes fishermen from the westbank town of Westwego into the swamp and marshes of Lake Salvador.
The canal that passes the state park cabins is frequented by swamp tour boats, 14 cabins are on the canal and this part of it is a no wake zone for boaters. And that’s important when you have cabins that are actually floating on the water. The cabins were redesigned and built after Hurricane Katrina.
“And it got the cabins out of the water where they were much more in tune with the environment. We didn’t have to drive pilings on land. We didn’t have to disturb the marsh. They’re out in the water,” says Melius.
The cabins sit on pontoons so they gently rise and fall with the tide. And the new construction is unlikely to ever be damaged by termites which was a major problem with the old cabins.
“They’re all aluminum, concrete and steel. There’s not even a wood byproduct in the cabins. The sheetrock doesn’t even have paper on it. It’s fiberglass faced,” says Melius.
But nature is the main attraction. Here, you can walk up to three miles of nature trails where wild flowers change with the seasons. You are likely to spot an alligator in the canals and it’s home to egrets, herons and other birds of South Louisiana.
Bryce and Lynn White of Pennsylvania are repeat visitors to Bayou Segnette.
“The park is very nice and the birds. Good campgrounds. Real nice. Last time I was here, we saw a bunch of bald eagles, almost all the herons, most of the water birds,” says Bryce White.
There is a large picnic area for family or group gatherings. There are nearly a hundred campsites, a wave pool during the Summer months and a boat launch with access to both freshwater and saltwater fishing.
“You can pull your boat right up to the edge. You can watch the birds fly in, the ducks swim by, even the gators swim up to come visit you. So, it’s absolutely wonderful. You can fish right from your cabin,” says Melius.
From the screened cabin porches, you can enjoy sunrises and sunsets and even the twinkle of stars at night. It’s a big dose of nature just barely out of sight from the big city.
For more on Bayou Segnette and other state parks, visit HeartofLouisiana.com.
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