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Visitor Activities

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Change is constant at Bayou Cocodrie National Wildlife Refuge. Seasons, life cycles and migrating animals make each visit to the refuge a new experience. There are a multitude of opportunities to interact with wildlife at Bayou Cocodrie National Wildlife Refuge. What will your next visit unveil?

  • Hunting

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    Both hunting and fishing are permitted on Bayou Cocodrie National Wildlife Refuge. Other recreational users should be aware of hunting seasons on the refuge. Visitors are encouraged to wear hunter orange during hunting seasons for safety. An Annual Public Use Permit must be purchased to hunt and fish on the refuge. Hunting is permitted for small game, waterfowl and some big game animals in designated areas during specific seasons.

    Bayou Cocodrie NWR offers fishing on the Cross Bayou cut and various ponds and sloughs within the refuge. Fishing is open year round, except during deer youth and lottery firearms seasons as per refuge regulations. A fishing pier is available on the Hoover Slough Unit which is located off of Highway 15.

    The annual Public Use Regulations brochure is available for more information at State hunting and fishing licenses are required to hunt or fish on refuge lands and all state and refuge regulations apply.

  • Fishing

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    Boating and Canoeing opportunities can be best accessed at the end of boat ramp road off of Poole Road within the Headquarters unit. It may not be accessible to the public during low water and during youth lottery and special access hunts. A canoe/kayak launch/retrieval site is located on the Wallace Lake Unit where the end of Boggy Bayou Road meets Bayou Cocodrie.


    For a great place to reconnect with a favorite childhood activity or to try it for the first time, make plans to fish at a national wildlife refuge soon.  Find more information with our on-line Guide to Fishing on National Wildlife Refuge.

  • Wildlife Viewing

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    There are two maintained trails available for hiking and wildlife observations year round. The Cypress Creek Boardwalk trail begins outside the gates of the refuge office and the Observation Tower trail is located along the Boat Ramp Road. There are over 13 miles of primitive trails throughout the refuge open for wildlife viewing when hunting season is closed.


    If you enjoy getting outdoors and looking for wildlife, consider a visit to your nearest national wildlife refuge!  From birding to whale watching, from viewing speedy pronghorn antelope or slow-moving box turtles, wildlife observation is the most popular activity for refuge visitors.


    From every state and all parts of the globe, about 40 million people visit each year, especially for the chance to see concentrations of wildlife and birds.  The National Wildlife Refuge System’s extensive trail system, boardwalks, observation decks, hunting and photography blinds, fishing piers and boat launches encourage visitors to discover America’s best wildlife spectacles.

  • Interpretation

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    Interpretative programs provide opportunities for visitors to make their own connections to the dynamic world of Bayou Cocodrie National Wildlife Refuge. There are a variety of exhibits, signs, brochures and electronic media available for you to learn more about the refuge’s natural and cultural history. There are currently no scheduled interpretative programs at Bayou Cocodrie National Wildlife Refuge.

  • Environmental Education

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    Refuges provide unique and exciting outdoor classrooms – excellent locations for hands –on learning activities. Environmental education is a very important management tool. Programs can be arranged by contacting the refuge headquarters at (601) 442-6696 in advance to schedule a tour or event.

    Lesson plans and additional materials about Environmental Education, as well as tips for teachers and how to schedule a refuge visit are available here…

  • Photography

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    Perhaps the fastest growing activity on national wildlife refuges in the past ten years has been wildlife photography. You don’t need to purchase expensive equipment or have any experience to get started. A small camera or basic cell phone will do just fine for most visitors.

    There are numerous photographic opportunities along the Cypress Creek Trail and the Observation Tower Trail.

  • Hiking

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    One of the best ways to experience the refuge is to leave your car behind and start walking. Bayou Cocodrie National Wildlife Refuge has walking opportunities for all ages and abilities, including the Cypress Creek Trail and the Observation Tower Trail. Refuge map including trails.


    There are two handicap accessible hiking trails which lead to observation decks as indicated on the attached map, which can be accessed off of Poole Road. The fishing pier located off of Hwy 15 is handicap accessible.

  • Nature Trails

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    "In every walk with nature one receives more than he seeks” – John Muir
    There are many opportunities to enjoy wildlife observation and photography opportunities on Bayou Cocodrie National Wildlife Refuge. One of the best ways to view wildlife is to take a short walk on one of the two (2) designated nature trails (Bayou Cocodrie Nature Trail and Impoundment Overlook Trail).

  • Cypress Creek Trail

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    The Bayou Cocodrie Nature Trail is a 1.2 mile hiking and learning trail. Leaving from the refuge headquarters, this out-and-back trail features signs with interesting facts about the local wildlife such as wood ducks, cottonmouths, white-tailed deer and woodpeckers. The trail joins with a boardwalk that takes hikers to a large bald-cypress tree and observation deck over the bayou. In that area, benches provide an excellent spot to bird watch or listen to the sounds of nature. The trail is in a "No Hunting Zone".

  • Observation Tower Trail

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    This is a short, easily navigated trail that offers impressive views of waterfowl impoundments. The path quickly leads to a roofed observation deck, where hikers can experience a wide view of the moist-soil impoundments. Refuge staff manage the water levels here to create a haven for migratory birds. Spring and summer months bring wading birds, while fall marks the arrival of several species of ducks. The trail is in a "No Hunting Zone".

  • Trail Guidelines

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    To ensure that all visitors have an opportunity to enjoy the hiking trails, please follow these guidelines:
    - Stay on marked trails to help prevent erosion and damage to plants
    - Leave all plants for others to enjoy
    - Keep all pets on a leash
    - Bicycles are not allowed on the trails
    - Motorized vehicles of any kind are not allowed on the trails
    - Do not litter. Pack it in, pack it out
    - To see more wildlife, be as quiet as possible
    - Insect repellent is advised spring through fall
    - Be aware of snakes during warm weather

Page Photo Credits — Credit: USFWS
Last Updated: Nov 03, 2014
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