Cypress Island Preserve, East of Lafayette, Louisiana

May 13, 2023

Yesterday, Bruce was wondering if there was something I wanted to do. I suggested the Cypress Island Preserve.

The Cypress Island Preserve is part of The Nature Conservancy organization. It is 9,500 acres of cypress-tupelo swamp and bottomland hardwood forest habitat.

I suggested we go in the truck due to the heat, but Bruce assured me once we got moving on the motorcycle, the wind would keep us cool.

Yeah, not so much. It was fine while we were moving. But sitting at red lights and stop signs allowed me to start roasting. When we reached the one lane traffic due to roadwork, sitting in the sun in full gear, meant I was cooked.

We got past the roadwork and pulled into the blocked off Rookery Road. We treated it as a trailhead and parked the motorcycle.

We used the “path” around the roadblock. Poison ivy or oak abounds. Once we got on the road, we headed through the gate, and walked along the levee trail.

While the scenery was spectacular in the wild and dangerous way, we didn’t see the rookery.

We walked back to the motorcycle and went a few feet down the road to the visitors center.

The visitors center had a nice pavilion, with spotless bathrooms. There was a drinking fountain that sprayed water. Being so hot and sweaty, I needed to cooldown. I splashed water on my face and that helped tremendously.

We followed the gravel path, over a wooden bridge. On either side of the bridge was the remains of previous bridges.

We saw a boardwalk with a sign about alligators.

From the boardwalk, we could just see the rookery. Louisiana Irises had finished blooming and the plants were making seed pods.

We walked back to the Levee Trail and continued walking to see if we could spot the rookery from a different location. We walked past cypress trees in standing water. We could see the rookery from several spots, but most spots had limited ability to see the rookery. We found one spot with a great view.

Here are some pictures I took on the way back to the visitor center.

Bruce had hoped to see an alligator, but no alligators were visible this time.

It was very hot, so when we made it back to the visitor center, I splashed water on my face. I also wiped my arms and legs down.

We road back to the RV, stopping to get gas along the way. While Bruce fueled up the motorcycle, I went inside and bought us drinks. We drank about half of the drinks before heading back home.

Once we arrived home, I struggled out of my gear and found I was soaked. It was so hot I had “glowed” right through all of my clothes. I had to get a shower and it felt great.

I would recommend you go when it is cool or overcast. Most of the trails are in full sun.

2 thoughts on “Cypress Island Preserve, East of Lafayette, Louisiana

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