Years ago I discovered a hidden gem in Southwest Louisiana. Within the Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge is the Lacassine Pool.
Part of the fun about heading to Lacassine is the drive. Get off of the interstate and take the LA 14 instead. The drive will take you through the City of Kaplan and along the boulevard of the Duck Capital of the World, Gueydan. You may have noticed a great marketing campaign to relocate to the community of Wright on this lonely road. And I’ve always loved making a detour for a few blocks to see downtown Lake Arthur.
Once I arrived at Lacassine, only natural sounds fill the air. Birds and the occasional turtle splashing into the water. And the many alligators letting you know, you’re not welcome for a closer look. It’s a bit eerie, because you can hear them, but they’re usually very hard to spot.
16 thousand acres of wetland within a 35,000 acre refuge. The area was designated as a refuge in 1937 and is home to alligators and other wildlife. Since discovering this place with my boys over a decade ago, with the “drive by” alligator sitings. Now grown, they prefer a kayak and a more up close adventure.
For someone who would rather enjoy nature from the comfort of your car, this is the place. A gravel road lets you take in about five miles of wetland. You probably won’t see any deer or coyotes that populate the refuge, but you’ll get a chance to see an armadillo, a raccoon, or maybe a nutria as I did on this trip.
The pool is along the Mississippi Flyway and at peak times will support over a half million ducks. It’s a major wintering ground for different species of waterfowl. Blue heron gracefully skim the water. Although I didn’t actually see a Roseate Spoonbill, I knew one was around.
There’s an observation deck where you can step out and get a great view of everything. Although the area is now just making it’s comeback from the winter…there’s even more beauty when thing start turning green. For me, it’s still looking for alligators and just enjoying the sounds of nature.
The Lacassine Refuge is open every day from sunrise to sunset. Fishing at the Lacassine pool opens today, March 15 and will remain open until October 15th.