With work, school, and family you never seem to have enough time in your day. If you want to get away from it all, but don't want to break the budget or the clock, look no further than Acadiana Park Nature Station and trails!
It's located right off I-10 in Lafayette. If you live in the city, you're no more than minutes from the soothing sounds of nature. The area of land was purchased by the city of Lafayette back in the 60s and remains an unspoiled ecosystem centered in a sprawling city.
When you arrive, you can park near the entrance of the campground. There's a short, nicely cleared trail that leads to the Nature Station itself. Stop in and learn about the abundant wildlife within the park. It will also describe plant life and marine life within the waters of the park. It's good to study what you want to see, and creatures you want to avoid. Just outside of the Nature Station, you'll find a kayak launch where you can meander the Francois Coulee that eventually will lead you to the Vermilion River.
For the novice hiker, you can stay along the boardwalks. It will take you through lowland hardwood forest with palmetto everywhere. Just about anyone can handle the boardwalk trails. It also keeps your shoes clean of mud, and you're above the critters on the ground. There are benches where you can rest and have a lunch. Just make sure not to litter and bring out everything you bring in.
For the more adventurous hiker, you can offshoot on some of the more primitive trails along the water. Don't be afraid to try. The trails are clear and well marked. Small hills here and there are your only obstacle.
The park is divided into two areas of trails. Another parking area off Shadow Bluff Drive close to Louisiana Avenue is the gateway to more primitive trails on the north side of Deballion Coulee. Although these trails are still relatively easy, you'll be deeper in the woods, and farther away from any services.\
The Acadiana Park Nature Station and trails, a place where your walk into nature is only a few steps away!