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May 04

Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Black Bayou LakeKaren and I are always looking for areas to go to see nature, and if it is free to visit then that is even better. We got the opportunity to see some of Americas natural places at Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge.  Black Bayou Lake is just a short drive northeast of Monroe Louisiana and one morning after spending the night in Monroe Karen and I thought since it was not that far away we would go visit Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge.WalkwayWe tried to get there as early in the morning as possible for us to see what wildlife would be moving about in the morning, and having a baby there is usually no need for us to turn on the alarm clock because our little girl does a good job of getting us up in the morning.  By the time we had the car packed and took the short drive up to the refuge, it had us there pretty early in the morning to get some quality time in at the Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge before we needed to get bVistor Centerack on the highway to continue our road trip.
Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge is a relatively new national wildlife refuge having just been established in 1997 in partnership with the city of Monroe.  The refuge is over 4,000 acres which includes the 2,000 acre lake of Black Bayou.  There is also a nice visitor center which was located in an old restored farm house that was on the property, The Conservation Learning Center with several live examples of the local wildlife, a prairie demonstration area, and an arboretum. Karen and I were really impressed with the layout and the amount of things to see at the refuge.Swamp ReflectionWe wish we could have spent more time at Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge but we still had a full day ahead us.  The refuge staff was extremely nice and personable and gave us a nice little tour of the visitor center explaining the refuge and what it has to offer and showing off some of the fine photography that was on display for their annual contest.  You can check out some of the photos on the Friends of Black Bayou website by clicking here.  Baby GatorWe highly recommend going to the national wildlife refuges in your area and on your next trip check to see if there are any along your path, there probably are considering there are over 550 of them in the National Wildlife Refuge System.  Just remember whenever entering a wild place you are not in a controlled environment- be alert, be safe, and most important leave no trace of your visit behind.

To see other national wildlife refuges like Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge click here. Black Bayou Lake SignBlack Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Located just off U.S. Hwy 165 North of Monroe on Richland Drive
Cost as of this Posting: Free
For more information visit their website at http://www.fws.gov/northlouisiana/blackbayoulake/

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