Jan 1, 2013 12:35 PM by AP
SULPHUR, La. (AP) - Sulphur officials are tickled that their city will get a visitors center for the Creole Nature Trail - 180 miles of scenic byways in Calcasieu and Cameron parishes.
The American Press reports that the Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau recently received $2.5 million in revenue bonds for the center from the state bond commission.
The center at the intersection of Louisiana Highway 27 and Arena Road will have interactive exhibits about the estuary system and local culture, the bureau's executive director, Shelley Johnson, said in a news release.
"This immersive program experience will be designed to educate visitors and children, while identifying area assets including the best places to spot alligators, view migrating songbirds and enjoy the natural beauty of our area," the news release said.
The state recognized the route as a scenic byway in 1975, and the Federal Highway Administration did so in 1996. In 2002, the FHA's America's Byways program named it one of 31 All-American Roads - unique and important enough for the route itself to be a tourist destination.
"It will be located on our side of the Creole Nature Trail, and it's going to attract a lot more visitors to the area," Sulphur Mayor Chris Duncan said. "It's location being in close proximity to the West Cal Arena and the events center is really going to enhance both of those."
The trail's website has links about accommodations, attractions, bait shops, boat launches, campgrounds, dining, fairs and festivals, fishing guides, fuel, hunting guides, licenses, fishing, seafood shops, birding, a free tour app, seafood shops, other services and restrooms.