We have lived here in Northwest Louisiana since 2002 and had no idea this little nature refuge existed until last Saturday.
We made a real estate road trip and returning into town, noticed the sign to the Red River Nature Reserve. Being that we enjoy hiking, we drove inside and couldn't believe what we found.
This large building houses classrooms, offices, a small museum and a gift shop.
We didn't have time to do any exploring but knew we would return.
So, Sunday afternoon while Dick had a choir rehearsal, I took advantage of the alone time for some walking time.
The reserve is a few miles from our home and right on the Red River, which runs north to south and eventually deposits into the Mississippi River down south of us.
I hope you enjoy taking this 3.5 mile hike with me.
It was a beautiful late afternoon on the water, which is still a little bit high after all the flooding a few months ago.
Even these lazy turtles were enjoying the sunshine and slight breeze.
This section of the walking path is shady and very well marked.
There are occasional glimpses of the river through the trees.
One of the signs tells you what things in nature the walker needs to be aware of. These include poison ivy, uneven paths and critters such as alligators, water moccasin and cotton-mouth snakes. That last part was a bit sobering. My imagination concocted all sorts of critters in this over-grown section of moss covered trees and vine covered bushes.
Unbeknownst to me, there is a lake hidden in this part of the river bed. It is called Lake Caroline. This was as close as I could get to it but the next trip will give us a much better view.
A portion of the path is along the river levee and a pecan orchard.
How intriguing is this path ahead! This dark wooded section brought no snakes but a couple large deer ran across the path ahead of me. That was exciting.
The River Path takes you downward toward the water and the path is more open and the soil is sandy.
The vegetation changes completely, and I was really surprised to find cactus growing here. It is not typical.
Needless to say, I didn't quite reach the speed limit.
The grounds of the reserve are lovely and inviting to families to spend time outdoors together.
I will go back and yes, I plan to take my man with me for protection.
Who knows what fascinating places might await you just around the corner. You just need to get out and explore.