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Monday, October 19, 2009

Swamp Tour in Louisiana

One of the great aspects of a motorcycle trip is that I enjoy getting off the beaten path and seeing new things. So, while on the way back from Florida in July 2008 my son and I stopped in Baton Rouge to go on a swamp tour.

After some Internet research I chose the Alligator Bayou Eco-Swamp Tour.

Alligator Bayou lies south of Baton Rouge, a few miles off of I-10. Even though you are not many miles away from the constant flow of traffic, you feel like you are out in the “boonies.” Once you pull into the gravel parking lot you can see that the owners take great care to have minimal impact on the environment.

We were heartily welcomed by the staff and owner. There was a small shop where one could purchase a drink, a snack, and/or souvenirs. We walked up to the swamp/bayou and looked in front of the pontoon boat that we would later be riding and we saw a big alligator waiting for a snack.

The tour began with a short walk to a man-made pond where the tour-guide waded in with small gators and snapping turtles. He gave a talk about the animals and fed a few of them. He even handed one of the visitors a gator, showed him how to hold it, and then allowed him to walk around so that all of us could pet the gator.

After the presentation we walked to a larger area where the guide called up “Goliath” – a huge alligator that crawled out of the pond knowing that he would be feed. The guide fed Goliath and continued telling us about alligators. We also walked out on a deck above some more ponds with a lot more gators.

After the walking tour we boarded the boat and headed out for about an hour tour. We saw more gators as well as other wildlife. The guide brought out a nutria (large rodent) and a possum that he had on board. He explained a lot about the animal and allowed visitors to pet it. At one point we docked on the side of the bayou and viewed some of the oldest know Cypress trees in America. He also presented the visitors with the opportunity to hold an alligator.

We enjoyed the sunset on the bayou as we made our way back to the dock and the tour headquarters.

The guides were informative and fun. They love nature and strive to preserve it.

My son and I loved the tour. We hope to go again.

I highly recommend you stop by Alligator Bayou for a tour.

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