U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
Banner graphic displaying the Fish & Wildlife Service logo and National Wildlife Refuge System tagline

National Wildlife Refuge

American alligators of all sizes may be viewed when hiking the 1.5 mile Wetland Walkway that winds through a freshwater marsh habitat.
3000 Holly Beach Highway
Hackberry , LA   70645
E-mail: sabine@fws.gov
Phone Number: 337-762-3816
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
The best times of year to see alligators sunning along the Wetland Walkway are spring and fall.
Gray horizontal line
Sabine National Wildlife Refuge

Sabine NWR,about 8 miles south of Hackberry, on State Highway 27, was established in 1937 to provide habitat for migratory waterfowl and other birds. The refuge consists of a basin of wetlands located between the Gulf's beach cheniers (oak ridges)and the coastal prairie, which is one of the most productive and fertile areas of North America. It encompasses 124,511 acres of fresh,intermediate and brackish marshes and is one of the largest estuarine-dependent marine species nurseries in southwest Louisiana. It has also been designated as an "Internationally Important Bird Area" due to the numerous wading, water and marsh birds that utilize it throughout the year.

Over 280,000 people visit the refuge annually. The exhibits in the refuge visitor center and the Wetland Walkway are considered two of the principal tourist attractions in southwest Louisiana. The refuge is an integral part of the Creole Nature Trail All American Road

Getting There . . .
Sabine NWR is located about 22 miles south of Sulphur, Louisiana. Take Exit 20 off of Interstate 10 in Sulphur. Turn south on Highway 27 and proceed south through Hackberry. The Refuge Headquarters/Visitor Center is located approximately 8 miles south of Hackberry on the East side of Highway 27.

horizontal line

    Recreation and Education Opportunities
Environmental Education
Wildlife Observation
Learn More >>

Management Activities
The refuge is located where the river's fresh water and the Gulf's saline waters mix; where the abundance of all wildlife is dependent on the proportion of vegetation to water, with the amount of vegetation being the important ingredient. This area could be called an estuary, a marsh,or a wetland; its name is Sabine National Wildlife Refuge. Sabine encompasses 33,000 acres of impounded fresh marsh and 91,511 acres of brackish to intermediate marsh. Management of this 124,511 acre refuge is not as intensive as that found on smaller refuges. Because of many man-made and natural factors, habitat losses have occurred on an estimated 40,000 acres of the refuge. Major efforts are being taken to correct or prevent further loss.

The primary management objective is to maintain and perpetuate Gulf Coast wetlands for wintering waterfowl from the Mississippi and Central Flyways. The refuge is one of the largest estuarine-dependent marine species nurseries in southwest Louisiana. Wetlands are maintained using prescribed burning, and water level and water quality manipulation. There are over 115 miles of canals, 61 miles of levees, and 8 water control structures that are part of the complex water management operation. Major issues involve restoration of 40,000 acres of marsh habitat for migrating birds, maintaining aquatic conditions for saltwater and freshwater fisheries, and regulation of gas and oil exploration activities to benefit wetlands.