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Palmetto Trail | 52 Hike Challenge 2017 | Hike 6

The Hike

After my first visit to Barataria Preserve, I had to make sure Eric got out there to experience it before we left Louisiana. We headed to the preserve to tackle a little bit of a longer hike, connecting the Palmetto Trail, the Bayou Coquille Trail and the Marsh Overlook Trail. That ends up being about a 3.6 mile out and back hike. It was a beautiful, sunny, warm day to hike. The real treat in this park, though, was once again the wildlife!

 

The Critters

Before the fauna, we took in some exciting flora, including white spider lillies and blue iris! But in no time we started seeing critters move along the flat dirt and boardwalk trail. We saw gators, we saw turtles, and then there were the snakes! There were so. many. SNAKES! I could have spent hours watching them slither around. What interesting creatures. Take a spin through the photo gallery to see some still shots of our new marshy friends, and check out the videos of these reptiles in action!

The Otter

The highlight of this hike, though, was the few minutes we spent with an OTTER! I never thought I’d see a wild otter in Louisiana of all places, but there it was. It was, as otters are, so, SO cute. I managed to get a few peeks of it on video!

 

"Summit" selfie!

Couturie Forest | 52 Hike Challenge 2017 | Hike 5

Elevation

New Orleans is known for its below sea level status, so naturally we had to go find the highest point in the city. This point happens to be in City Park, a can’t miss sight in the Crescent City. NOLA’s highest elevation (43′) is the summit of Laborde Mountain on the Couturie Forest Trail.

The Hike – Couturie Forest

We prepared for our arduous journey by having a lovely Sunday brunch and casually deciding to go for a walk. The weather was perfect for a stroll along the well-kept mile-long path. Right off the bat we see a turtle train, sunning on a log. I love seeing wildlife while hiking so this was a great start. The rest of the trail to the summit wasn’t very crowded and it looked like there was some trail maintenance going on. The trail mostly follows the bank of some marshy water, surrounding hikers with green. We stopped at one point to check out a huge pile of snail shells on the bank. Not sure what, but some critter had a feast here!

We headed to the high point and hung out to chat with a friend for a bit, then headed back to the car through the forest and some impressive and beautiful palms. While this was a super quick hike, it was a nice way to get outside and move while staying conveniently in the city.

Have you hiked in the New Orleans area? Tell me about it in the comments!