Spring is in the air! As a nature lover, I happily welcome the season of spring each year. The sun shining and the mild temperatures in New Orleans are the perfect combination for outdoor adventures with loved ones. My son, like most children, also loves being outdoors. Going on our little outdoor adventures brings both of us so much joy. I especially like places that are “off the beaten path” and feel a bit more immersive.
Earth Day takes place annually on April 22 and is dedicated to demonstrating support for environmental protection. Are you looking to enjoy this nice spring weather outdoors? Check out my favorite nature spots in New Orleans. They’re great spaces to celebrate Earth Day or simply enjoy a day with family and friends.
Couturie Forest at New Orleans City Park
You enter this tucked-away gem on Harrison Ave. located in a lesser visited area of City Park. The urban forest offers nature trails, sitting areas, hills to climb, scenic lagoons, and beautiful bird sightings. There are multiple trails that offer varying levels for a hike. Once you enter the little forest it doesn’t even feel like you’re in the city anymore. You can grab a spot along the trails for a nice picnic, outdoor classroom, or an adventurous family day.
Bucktown Marsh Boardwalk
Located at the border of Orleans Parish & Jefferson Parish, this 1,000 foot boardwalk is the perfect spot for a beautiful view of Lake Pontchartrain. My favorite time of day to visit the boardwalk is at sunset. Watching the sky turn orange while sitting on the boardwalk benches overlooking the lake is simply beautiful. There are sitting area benches along the boardwalk to take in the beautiful view. There are also covered picnic areas and a bike/walking trail that leads directly to the Bonnabel playground. An extra bonus for the kids!
Audubon Louisiana Nature Center
Audubon Louisiana Nature Center is the perfect blend of education and outdoor adventure. Located adjacent to Joe Brown Park, the center features an interpretive center where visitors can learn about wildlife and the ecosystem of the area. The center also features multiple trails to choose from, a boardwalk, and a crawfish pond.
Looking to have more adventures in nature this spring?
Check out these free outdoor experiences!
New Orleans Botanical Garden is free on Wednesdays for Louisiana residents. Simply bring your state ID with you to enjoy free entrance to the beautiful garden. As a bonus, during the month of April, you can enjoy live music at the signaguate Evenings with Enrique each Wednesday in April from 5 pm - 8 pm. I find that it's the perfect after-school outing to enjoy a nice evening with the kids or without them for a perfect date night or girls' night out with friends.
Canoeing at Joe Brown Park. Each Saturday from 10 am - 2 pm NORD offers free open canoeing at Joe Brown Park. The park has canoes available for use and park volunteers are also available to give introductory paddle lessons.
New Orleans Public Library Culture Pass Program. The New Orleans Public Library’s Cultural Museum Pass program is a great way to visit local museums for free including the zoo and aquarium. You can bring up to 2 adults and 7 children with you on a pass, so it’s great for group outings as well. You can reserve your day pass using your library card either online or in-person at your local library branch.