Creole Nature Trail
Driving the Byway
Beginning on State Highway 27 near Sulphur and Lake Charles, this 180-mile trail cuts through the marshlands of southern Calcasieu and Cameron Parishes and hugs the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
- Beginning in Sulphur, Louisiana, travel south along SH 27.
- Cross the Intracoastal Waterway and continue south to Hackberry.
- Travel on SH 27 south to Holly Beach. There, you can travel State Highway 82 west to the Texas State Line or travel east through Cameron, Creole, Grand Chenier, and the Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge.
- Traveling east on State Highway 82, travelers might opt to turn onto State Highway 27 at Creole and travel north to Creole, the Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge and Lake Charles.
- At Holmwood, State Highway 27 will turn into State Highway 14, stay on LA-14 north and head to the City of Lake Charles.
From Sulphur to Holly Beach
- Travel south on State Highway 27 from Sulphur.
- The Cameron Parish line appears soon after crossing the Intracoastal Waterway on the Ellender Bridge.
- Continuing south you will approach the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge.
- Four miles farther south is the refuge's Wetland Walkway.
- After exiting the Sabine Refuge, travel approximately seven miles to Holly Beach.
From Holly Beach to the Texas Border
- From Holly Beach, one of two spurs off the trail's main loop veers westward on State Highway 82 along the Gulf of Mexico past natural sand beaches to the Louisiana/Texas state line.
- A few miles west of Holly Beach is Johnson Bayou.
From Holly Beach to Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge
- After returning to the main loop, take SH 27/82 east out of Holly Beach.
- Cross the Calcasieu Ship Channel via a large public ferry before entering the town of Cameron.
- Continue east on SH 82 for 6 miles until you come to a Y in the road. Straight ahead, Trosclair Road continues the byway east along the coast past Rutherford Beach to the junction with SR 82 just the other side of the Mermentau River.
- To your left heading north, State Highway 27/82 heads toward Creole. In Creole, Highways 27 and 82 diverge, with 27 taking you north toward Lake Charles while 82 heads south to rejoin the coastal route.
- Heading eastward from the junction with SR 82, the byway makes its way to Grand Chenier and Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge.
- The byway ends near the county line past the refuge.
From Creole to Lake Charles
- Proceeding north on LA-27 from Creole, the byway gradually leaves the salt marshes behind for fresh water marshes.
- Approaching the Conway LeBleu Bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway again, the trail enters the Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge.
- Immediately after exiting the bridge, the entrance to Pintail Wildlife Drive appears to the east.
- The main facility of the Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge appears soon after returning to the northern trek on Highway 27.
- At the juncture of SH 384 and 27, there is an opportunity to take a loop west toward Lake Calcasieu (Big Lake) or continue north toward Holmwood. Either route will take you to Lake Charles.
- By turning west on 384, the route crosses the Intracoastal Waterway, passes through lakeside communities such as Big Lake, then turns north on SH 385. Continue past the Lake Charles Regional Airport into Lake Charles proper until this leg of the byway ends at I-210.
- Continuing north along Highway 27 takes you toward Holmwood. This side of the loop passes an area that served as an army pilot training base in World War I, formerly known as Gerstner Field.
- Either route loops up toward Highway 14 in Lake Charles, the hub to five other unique communities in Calcasieu Parish: DeQuincy, Iowa, Sulphur, Vinton, and Westlake.
From Lake Charles Regional Airport
Distance: 180 miles
Driving Time: 1-1/2 to 2 days, depending on route
While there are five entrances to the Creole Nature Trail, the largest and most frequently traveled begins on State Highway 27, just south of Interstate 10 exit 20, in Sulphur, Louisiana. A thriving community, Sulphur rests midway between Houston, Texas, and New Orleans, Louisiana. The trail loops through 180 miles of bayous and marshlands and along the shore of the Gulf of Mexico before once again heading north. The remaining entrances are located on LA 82 at the Texas state line in the west and the Vermilion Parish line on the east; exit 36 from Interstate 10; and exit 6A on I-210 just north of the Lake Charles Regional Airport on LA 385.