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Plan Your Visit

Plan your visit photoBig cypress tree area is a beautiful place to be.

 

NOTE (09/19/2016): The main access route to Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge (CINWR) has been damaged and is now closed to the general public.  During the recent flooding events, a portion of Creek Rd. (approx. 150’) washed into Bayou Sara.  Recently, that portion of the road has been temporarily patched to allow access for limited purposes.  Keep in mind the stretch of road that was patched is on private property, and we are forbidden to allow the public to cross private lands.    

Those limited purposes will include access for utility companies, timber operations, and private landowners that need access to their property.

Cat Island NWR will remain closed until further notice.  Keep in mind that this closure also affects any areas accessible by boat. 

Questions can be directed to the St. Catherine Creek NWR office at 601.442.6696. 


Directions, Address, and Contact Info


Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge is located in St. Francisville, Louisiana, approximately 30 miles north of Baton Rouge. This refuge is administered from St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge in Sibley, Mississippi.

From Natchez, MS: From U.S. Highway 61S, turn right onto Highway 66 and turn left (west toward Angola). Continue 1.5 miles, and then turn left on Solitude Road. Continue approximately 3.5 miles, and then turn right at the refuge sign. Continue another 1.5 miles to the refuge entrance.

From St. Francisville, LA: From Commerce St. take Ferdinand St. one mile and take a right on Mahoney Rd. Go three miles, cross the low-water crossing bridge and take a left on Creek Rd. Take a slight left to stay on Creek Rd. Creek Rd continues to the Cat Island NWR Entrance. Be aware that this route may not be accessible when river levels are high.

Click here for a google map of the entrance to Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge:
https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?mid=zOjmEJSiUycU.kEmyjdEMk4CA
Click here for the Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge map to view trails and significant locations on the refuge.

The refuge is open during daylight hours, except during hunting season. See refuge regulations for specific information.

Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge consists of 10,473 acres. In general, we strongly recommend you do not rely on an electronic navigation device to find your way around the refuge. Inaccurate maps and limited reception can lead you astray. For visitor information, please stop at the St. Francisville Historical Society at 11757 Ferdinand Street in St. Francisville, Louisiana 70775. Visitor maps are also located at the entrance to the refuge.

Mailing Address: PO Box 217, Sibley MS 39165
Telephone: (601) 442-6696
Fax: (601) 446-8990
Email: catisland@fws.gov

Visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/#!/LowerMissNWRComplex for more information on current events, road closures, etc.

Points of Interest

National Champion Bald Cypress Tree
National Champion Bald Cypress Tree
Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge is home to the largest tree of any species east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. At an impressive height of 96 feet, a diameter of 17 feet and a circumference of 56 feet, it is truly a sight to behold. The tree is estimated to be approximately 1,500 years old. Visitors may view the tree by way of the Big Cypress Trail, a .75 mile round-trip trail through a unique mixture of bottomland hardwood forest on flat terrain. Parking is located at the trailhead, which is located 4.6 miles from the main gate. This trail is in a "no hunting area". This trail allows foot traffic only.

Blackfork Walking Trail
Black Fork Walking Trail
The Blackfork Walking Trail is a 2.5 mile trail created and maintained by volunteer members of the Louisiana Hiking Club. This scenic trail winds through the cypress forest and is marked by white diamond markers, providing an easy walk over relatively flat terrain. The trail starts from the refuge road, 1.7 miles from the main gate, with parking across from the trailhead. Less than a mile from the trailhead the trail splits around a short loop following Blackfork Bayou. Visitors will pass by spectacular, large old-growth cypress trees. The trail is in a "no hunting area" and allows foot traffic only.

Know Before You Go
Hiking
 
There are no facilities on Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge. Roads are passible in a 2-wheel drive vehicle, but are in poor condition. Refuge access becomes questionable when the Mississippi River reaches 20’ on the Baton Rouge gauge. Click here for current river stages http://155.76.244.230/riverstage/bullet.txt


Visitors should bring insect repellent, drinking water, sunscreen, etc. when visiting Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge.

All visitors are required to complete a Daily Visitor Use Reporting Card each day they visit the refuge. Cards are located in the kiosk at each refuge entrance.

NOTE (09/19/2016): The main access route to Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge (CINWR) has been damaged and is now closed to the general public.  During the recent flooding events, a portion of Creek Rd. (approx. 150’) washed into Bayou Sara.  Recently, that portion of the road has been temporarily patched to allow access for limited purposes.  Keep in mind the stretch of road that was patched is on private property, and we are forbidden to allow the public to cross private lands.   

Those limited purposes will include access for utility companies, timber operations, and private landowners that need access to their property.

Cat Island NWR will remain closed until further notice.  Keep in mind that this closure also affects any areas accessible by boat. 

Questions can be directed to the St. Catherine Creek NWR office at 601.442.6696. 

 

 

Page Photo Credits — USFWS photo, National Champion Bald Cypress Tree by Lizzie Boes, Blackfork Walking Trail by Charman Cupit, Hiking, USFWS Photo
Last Updated: Mar 20, 2017
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