Hiking at Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge


Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge consists of several units near Franklin, Louisiana, and most units have a hiking trail. See the Refuge map for trailhead locations.  

Hiking trails are open to hikers February 1 - September 30, during daylight hours. Hiking trails, (except the Garden City Interpretive Boardwalk Trail and Franklin hiking trail), are closed to hikers during the hunting season for public safety. Trails are only periodically mowed/cleared of brush as weather and staffing permits, so a sense of adventure can sometimes be an asset!

The Refuge hiking trails travel through bottomland hardwood forest and/or along levees. These trails can be great places to look for neotropical birds during the spring, or watch for alligators in the canals. Knee high mud boots may come in handy during the wet season. Insect repellent and sunscreen are also recommended.

Garden City Interpretive Boardwalk Trail: A short interpretive boardwalk trail leads to an overlook in a cypress tupelo bottomland hardwood forest. (This boardwalk remains open year round). The Garden City Levee trail continues west past the entrance to the boardwalk, following the top of the levee for about three miles. Take a virtual hike on the interpretive boardwalk at this link.

Stinson Road Trail: This trail, located in the Centerville Unit, follows an old levee that borders a cypress tupelo swamp. The levee is now covered by trees, providing a shaded walk. This trail is about a mile one-way. Take a virtual hike on the Stinson Rd. trail at this link.

Franklin Unit Trail: This 1.5 mile long trail follows the west side of the Franklin Canal. It is a high and dry walk that remains open to hikers during the hunting season.