June 24, 2022
Since we had to go into West Monroe to pick up our prescriptions, I looked online to see what sort of attractions were in the area.
Restoration Park looked interesting. It started out as a sand and gravel strip mine and when the mining operation was done, people used it as a dump.
It was cleaned up and turned into a wetland.
Here is a arial view of the park with the trails marked out.
I was impressed with how many entrances the park had. The designers made it easy to get on the perimeter trail from several locations. There were two main trailhead parking lots. There was an entrance from an apartment complex and another entrance from a hotel. The industrial buildings on another side also had an entrance to the park.
The park had two main bodies of water. One body was muddy and the other one was clear.
We parked by the office for the park and started our walk. There was a boardwalk overlook which we walked out onto. We could barely see the water due to bushes that were blocking the view. We could see the water from the path.
One of entrances by the apartment complex was a beautiful deck made of multiple levels. One level had an octagonal picnic table.
We walked on and came to the other trailhead. It had a cool sculpture of a great blue heron.
At the trailhead, we saw a five-lined skink and sensitive plants. The five-lined skink is in the lower right corner of the picture. Can you find it?
The mimosa trees were blooming and smelled so delicious.
We continued on our way and came to a choice. Should we go over the boardwalk or not? We decided the boardwalk would be more fun. We did check out the overlook next to the boardwalk before crossing the boardwalk.
We crossed the boardwalk slowly as there was so much to see. We reached a spot were the great blue heron sculpture was clearly visible from the boardwalk.
We crossed over the boardwalk and that allowed us to reach another wooden overlook one the second body of water. This water was muddy and full of turtles. The turtles started swimming towards the overlook as soon as we walked out over the water. We saw over 12 turtles. (I stopped counting at 12.) We also saw a snake swimming across the water, as well a duck with a couple of ducklings.
We continued along the trail and it took us to the perimeter trail. Bruce spotted a five-line skink who had lost its tail. There was an arched footbridge to cross a small stream and we were back at the trailhead we started from.
I would highly recommend visiting this park. It is beautiful and full of wildlife.