St. Landry Parish is true to Louisiana's claim to Sportman's Paradise.
Cycling Cajun Country
Tour St. Landry Parish on two wheels and soak in the Cajun prairie, country roads, and scenic bayous. Pick from routes that fit your experience level—10, 25, 50 or more miles. Routes span around Opelousas, from Washington to Whiteville, and through Arnaudville. Schedule your day to include stops at attractions, historic sites, museums, live music and of course, fuel up with famous Cajun cuisine at any local restaurant or diner.
Recreational cycling is becoming increasingly popular in rural areas and is a low impact sport with great health benefits. With our climate great for biking at almost any time of year, St. Landry Parish is a perfect fit for riders of all skill levels. There are organized bike rides in the spring and fall as well as every weekend with bike groups. When you make your plans, if not a day trip, include a bed & breakfast to round out your experience.
St. Landry Parish government has partnered with the state Department of Transportation and Development to encourage safe biking with “Share the Road” signage along service roads. Plans to add more signs beside heavily traveled back roads are in process.
Krewe de Velo of St. Landry Parish is a friendly, recreational cycling club that welcomes riders of all skill levels and bike types. Rides are every Sunday ranging from 20 to 40 miles of scenic and rural landscapes. Other cycling organizations that promote the sport of biking with rides through St. Landry Parish and South Louisiana are Cajun Cyclists and Cycle Zydeco.
About 200 years ago, horse racing started in Louisiana on bush tracks, which were unregulated and located all over Cajun Country. The last bush track closed in 1997, but horse racing and breeding is alive and well today in St. Landry Parish. Today, the horse industry is the 4th largest industry in Louisiana contributing more than $1.5 billion to Louisiana’s economy. As you drive our scenic byways, you can appreciate the numerous horse farms and sprawling pastures that have long been part of the equine industry, which provides jobs in Acadiana.
Major businesses located here cater to the equine industry providing jobs, tax revenue and events for visitors and residents. Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino is the first “Racino” built in this country from the ground up, featuring a one-mile oval track. The racing season is open Wednesday-Saturday in the spring and summer for thoroughbreds and in the fall for quarter horses. The entire property rests on 750 acres and features 1,000 stalls, hosts horse sales and has a clubhouse offering spectacular views. Inside, choose from four dining options, a sports bar and slot machines.
Four to six horse sales are hosted per year at Equine Sales of Louisiana. The facility, which rests on 13 acres, opened in 2010 as the first Louisiana facility dedicated to horse sales. Millions of dollars are transacted at each sale. When not being used for a horse sale, the facility is available for groups to host parties, events, reunions, weddings and live music. Copper Crowne Equestrian Center is adjacent, on 200 acres and offers professional services such as breeding, training, stalls, boarding and an onsite vet clinic.
Access to this area is via US Hwy. 190 exit at Krotz Springs and take LA Hwy. 105 south about 11.5 miles to the fifth parking area on the right. Managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Indian Bayou Area is a 28,000-acre public access area. It contains some of the country's most productive wildlife habitat. It's a paradise for hunters, fishermen, bird-watchers, boaters, nature photographers and outdoor enthusiasts. Hiking & ATV Trails are available. The area is located in the heart of the Atchafalaya Basin, the world's largest freshwater swamp wilderness, and offers some of the finest bottomland hardwood hunting in the South.
Physical location: Located in St. Landry and St. Martin parishes, the area is 40 miles west of Baton Rouge
Paddling the Bayous
Explore Bayou Teche, part of the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, by canoe, kayak, stand up paddle or small boat. What the Chitimacha Indians once claimed was a large poisonous snake is actually a 135-mile long bayou, perfect for paddling, birding, fishing, and host to several events and races. The bayou starts in Port Barre, St. Landry Parish, flows through St. Martin and Iberia Parishes ending in Berwick, St. Mary Parish all within the Bayou Teche Corridor.
What started as a cleanup project has blossomed into a nonprofit organization called the TECHE Project. Through their efforts, the bayou is now recognized as a Paddle Trail featuring 13 established access points for paddle trips. In 2015, it helped bring recognition to Louisiana as the first waterway to be listed as a National Water Trail. This designation places the Teche in an elite group of rivers across the nation and will increase recreational tourism for the visitors and residents in the 15 communities and the four parishes.
To experience this paddle trail, take part in one of several events and races throughout the year organized by Tour du Teche. Visitors and paddlers come from all over the country to experience Cajun Country by water and explore the landscape, community, and environment from a natural, non-motorized perspective.
For customized group tours along the teche contact, Bayou Teche Experience, an eco-friendly Cajun outdoors experience. No experience necessary and all ages are welcome. Choose from a Natural History Wildlife Tour, Louisiana Birding Tour or Cajun Cultural Heritage Tour. A chief biologist with more than 30 years of experience will lead and educate you in Louisiana's natural habitat. BTE specializes in kayak rentals and shuttle service. Contact Cory Werk, CEO or call 337-366-0337.
Boat Launches & Canoe Access:
Big Alabama Bayou – Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA)
Little Alabama Bayou – Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA)
- Port Barre, LA – at the corner of Hwy103 and Hwy 741
- Washington, LA – on Elizabeth St., off of Hwy. 103
- Arnaudville, LA – St. Francis Regis Church grounds
- Leonville, LA – 150 Mistric St., Leonville, LA 70551
- Port Barre, LA – Bayou Teche RV Park
Eunice City Lake - 900 Hwy. 190 West, Eunice, LA 70535
Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA)
Sherburne encompasses 40,000 acres within the Atchafalaya Basin and is located in Pointe Coupee, Iberville and St. Martin Parishes, as well as St. Landry. Many outdoor recreational opportunities, such as hunting, fishing, ATV trails, trapping, camping, hiking, bird watching, nature photography, along with many more activities exist on this WMA. Development and management have improved access, habitat, wildlife populations, and public use on the Sherburne WMA complex. Camping is permitted on two designated camping areas, one each on the northern and southern portions of the area. A shooting range complex consisting of rifle, handgun, archery and skeet shooting is available for year-round use. Boat launches are available on both Big & Little Alabama Bayous.
Physical location: Access to this WMA is via Hwy. 975, which connects with Hwy. 190 near Krotz Springs on the North, and Interstate 10 at Whiskey Bay on the South., Arnaudville. Map
For more information call 337-948-0255 or 337-566-2251.
St. Landry Parish Solid Waste - Landfill Tours
When you think about an attraction, the odds are that a landfill would not come to mind. But here in St. Landry Parish, our nationally recognised facility has proven to be an unexpected must-see. While touring the property, you will witness firsthand how nature and proper waste management can co-exist side by side. Duck boxes, alligators, a wildlife habitat, bird sanctuary, and peaceful ponds are some of the many sites.
St. Landry Parish Solid Waste is also the first landfill in the country to convert methane gases created as a by-product into a renewable source – CNG (compressed natural gas). The CNG is used to fuel garbage collection vehicles and our local sheriff department’s fleet. So the saying is true, our trash does become treasure.
Tour this unique landfill to learn how they service the community, all the while being sensitive to the environment and the surroundings. From garden clubs to kindergarten classes, these tours prove to be of interest for all age groups.
Ici on parle français. French is spoken here.
Monday-Friday 6AM-5PM | Saturday 6AM-4PM | 337-826-5211 | firstname.lastname@example.org
417 Solid Waste Rd., Washington, LA 70589
Group tours by appointment only
Small Town, Big Impact: St. Landry Parish Fuels Up on RNG – Energy Vision
Peggy and Mark, owners of the Cajun Cabin Guest Cottage in Arnaudville, have over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry and love of the Louisiana outdoors. In fact, the couple now offers swamps tours called, Cajun Customized Excursions. Those with an appetite for adventure can tour the Henderson Swamp area for a minimum of two hours and view native birds, alligators, and beautiful scenery in the "Wood Duck", a brand new 18' vessel with a cover. Tours of the Atchafalaya River and Big Alabama, located in the Sherburne Complex Wildlife Management Area, are also available.
Ici on parle français. French is spoken here.
113 E. Railroad St., Arnaudville, LA 70512 | 337-303-8060 | email@example.com
Thistlethwaite Wildlife Management Area
Thistlethwaite WMA is a 17-square mile tract of 11,000 acres of mature hardwood forest, boasting the largest diversity of oak species anywhere in the state of Louisiana. Eleven miles of wood trails make hunting, as well as birding and nature walks, very popular. Year-round birding is best along the area's numerous roadsides and ATV trails. In addition to woodland songbirds, raptors such as Red-shouldered Hawk, Mississippi Kite and Broad-winged Hawk appear regularly along these woodland edges. During the winter months, the site's numerous agricultural fields hold waterfowl, shorebirds and sparrows. Thistlethwaite WMA is part of the Red River Birding Trail of American's Wetland Birding Trails.
Physical Location: 522 Plant Road, Washington. Take I-49 North to Exit 27. Travel North on LA 10/LA 182 for 1.5 miles. Turn right onto Plant Road and go approximately 3.5 miles to the WMA.
For more information call 337-948-0255.
Part of the Red River Birding Trail of America's Wetland Birding Trails
Tour Our Sustainable Visitor Center
The 4,600 sq. ft. St. Landry Parish Visitor Information Center opened its doors in May 2011. The Center was constructed utilizing sustainable practices and many LEED-certified materials. It was designed to incorporate both old and new practices, many relating back to those used by our Cajun ancestors. A water cistern collects rainwater for landscaping today, as water was collected for household use in years gone by. A vertical axis wind turbine, reminiscent of windmills that powered well pumps used on farmland, provides backup power if needed for lighting an area in the center. Reclaimed materials are featured throughout, from recycled asphalt in the parking lot to salvaged bricks and long leaf pine flooring from old buildings that were saved.
The landscape design plays an integral part in this project utilizing indigenous plantings and trees from St. Landry Parish, reflecting several of Louisiana's ecosystems. The selected species, virtually, are carefree and can obviously survive our extremely hot and dry summers or our wet and cold winters.
Staying true to our goal of being sustainable, construction scrap was kept out of the landfill and materials were collected to be repurposed by our talented local artists. This resulted in the creation of both visual functional pieces of art that are proudly displayed and used here at the Center.
The Visitor Center is warm, welcoming and serves our area well in spreading the news about St. Landry Parish and the surrounding regions.
Book a field trip or group tour today! Call 337-948-8004 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Located at I-49, Exit 23 | 978 Kennerson Rd., Opelousas, LA 70570