9:00 - 41.5 miles / an hour 22 minutes - 10:22
Long recognized for its fishing industry, with its menhaden
plant, shrimp houses, and easy access to the Gulf for sport
fishing, Cameron Parish has had the distinction of being ranked as
the leading fishing port in the nation for several years. Menhaden,
commonly called the pogey fish, is a small, oily fish that is much
sought after. After processing, the oil is extracted and used in
cosmetics, paints, medicine, and even margarine. The meal that
remains after the oil is extracted is used in poultry, livestock,
and swine feed. The bone meal is used for fertilizer.
The town of Cameron is the parish seat of government and home of
the Cameron Fur and Wildlife Festival. Nicknamed "The Oldest and
Coldest Festival in the State," a range of activities such as
oyster shucking, duck calling, nutria and muskrat skinning
contests, arts and crafts displays, beauty contests, and a parade
attract thousands of people each January.
10:52 - 58.7 miles / an hour 57 minutes - 12:50
Imperial Calcasieu Museum and Sallier Oak
The Imperial Calcasieu Museum stands on the homesite of Charles Sallier, the early settler for whom Lake Charles is named. Among its displays are an antique apothecary collection, an old-time kitchen, a toy collection, an early 1900s' barber shop, a turn-of-the-century country store exhibit, and a Victorian parlor. Original Audubon bird and animal prints are displayed here in the Gibson Library, which also houses rare books and early school materials.
This Louisiana Colonial building is shaded by the 300-year-old Sallier Oak, a member of the Live Oak Society; a unique organization made up of oak trees 100 years old or older.
12:50 - 13.4 miles / 26 minutes - 13:17
Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge
Consisting of over 9,000 acres of freshwater marsh and coastal prairie, the refuge was previously owned by companies that constructed levees and dikes for controlling water levels in their rice fields. When rice farming became unprofitable, they sold their properties for a refuge, which had in the meantime been identified as being crucial to meeting goals set by the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, an international plan to restore wetlands and waterfowl numbers.
Besides wintering waterfowl, the refuge boasts many long-legged waders, including egrets, herons, and Roseate Spoonbills. Rails and shorebirds in season are also attractions. The visitor center at Cameron Prairie opened its doors to the public in 1994. Included among its interpretive exhibits are a diorama, which describes the four types of marsh found in Louisiana, and Tante Marie, an animated exhibit that discusses life on the refuge from her perch in a pirogue, a narrow, flat-bottomed, hand-made version of the canoe.
13:17 - 0 miles / 0 - 13:17
Brimstone Historical Museum and Tourist Information Center
This museum was established in 1976 to commemorate the development of the Frasch process of mining, which launched the American sulfur industry. Exhibits include a one-ton block of sulfur, display of the Frasch process, and a short color movie explaining its importance to the industry. Other permanent exhibits include a diorama of Southwest Louisiana wildlife, a collection of antique medical instruments, photos of the community during its sulfur-mining days, and other memorabilia of the period.
The museum itself is housed in the old depot of the Southern Pacific Railroad, which was moved from Frasch Park to its current location, 900 South Huntington, in early 2003.
Contact the museum at 337-527-0357 for more information.
13:17 - 15.6 miles / 31 minutes - 13:48
Seafood provides the basis for the major industry of this part of Louisiana's Outback. This is particularly evident in Hackberry, where shrimp and crab houses line the byway.
The importance of the waterways to this area is obvious as travelers pass through town. Signs advertising seafood, crab bait, cast nets, hunting and fishing supplies, and local guide services are common sights. Because of the abundance of natural resources,
many commercial crabbers, shrimpers, trappers, and fishermen make Hackberry their home.
14:08 - 21.0 miles / 41 minutes - 14:50
Nicknamed "The Cajun Riviera" by natives and visitors alike, Holly Beach provides sun and fun in a casual atmosphere and boasts of the most accessible, free, natural, sandy Louisiana beach enjoyed by the public.
Holly Beach has become a place where thousands come to swim, fish, crab, sunbathe, people watch, collect shells, bird watch, and hunt (in the winter). One of the greatest obstacles to the maintenance of these gulf beaches is erosion. Structural techniques, such as the rock levees and tire and brush fences that lie just offshore, act as a physical barrier between the beach and waves.
15:50 - 22.7 miles / 45 minutes - 16:35
Creole Nature Trail - end