Cypress Island Nature Preserve
The Nature Conservancy’s Cypress Island Preserve is the largest remaining tract of hardwood forest in the Teche-Vermilion watershed. This preserve protects almost 10,000 acres of wild bottomland hardwood forest habitat and cypress-tupelo swamp. The preserve’s unique forested wetlands foster a spectacular rookery that supports thousands of nesting birds each spring, including White Ibis, Anhinga, Neotropic Cormorants, Cattle Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Great Egrets, Roseate Spoonbills, Little Blue Herons, Green Herons, Great Blue Herons, Tricolored Herons, Black-crowned Night Herons and Yellow-crowned Night Herons. The preserve’s walking levee trail is also an ideal place to observe trans-gulf migratory songbirds. Keep an eye out for a variety of reptiles and amphibians, including the American alligator.
A small visitor center and boardwalk run by The Nature Conservancy are located at the south end of Lake Martin. The trail is suitable for children ages 5 and up but might pose a challenge for strollers due to uneven terrain and muddy conditions after rain. Other ways to enjoy the preserve include hiking, boating, and kayaking from a small launch at the northern end of the levee trail.
NOTE: The preserve’s boardwalk is currently in disrepair. TNC is working to replace and improve the .25-mile loop.
- 1264 Prairie Highway, St. Martinville, LA 70582
- Cypress Island Nature Preserve
NOTE: Rookery Road is closed starting at John D Hebert Road to Prairie Highway (LA 353) until further notice.