From Hwy. 190 in Lacombe, go south on Transmitter Road to Bayou Paquet Road. Turn west (right) on Bayou Paquet Road. The trail head is marked by a Fish and Wildlife Sign.

Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge's Boy Scout Road Trail is a good hike, beginning just north of the Refuge Headquarters, and traversing marsh, longleaf-mixed pine savannah, and oak-dominated bottomland forest near Bayou Lacombe. The first half mile of the trail consists of a handicapped-accessible raised boardwalk. 

There’s a good chance to see the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker in early spring. More of the other southeastern U.S. woodpecker species are here year-round, although the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is only present in the fall and winter. Woodland songbird activity is a bit less conspicuous, though at least seven flycatchers and over twenty warblers have been recorded here.

In fact, 210 bird species have been recorded from the Boy Scout Road Trail. The bird community is as diverse as the trail's habitats. Fifteen species of wading birds have been recorded from the marsh and long-leaf pine ponds, along with King, Clapper, Virginia, and Sora Rails, ten species of sandpipers and other shorebirds, Common Gallinule, Belted Kingfisher, and others.

Twelve raptor species have been recorded, including Swallow-tailed (spring best) and Mississippi (spring/summer) Kites and Bald Eagle. 

The Boy Scout Road Trail is 4.5 miles long. Once the accessible half-mile boardwalk ends, the trail becomes a mix of gravel and bare dirt as it winds through several plant communities. Visitors on this portion of the trail are encouraged to be prepared for ticks and mosquitoes during the warm months. 

Besides birding, other popular activities include biking, hiking along several boardwalk and gravel trails (including overlooks, viewing platforms, and blinds), nature photography, hunting, and visits to the refuge's Visitor Center/Nature Center.

Gravel Trails
Parks & Nature
Viewing Platform/Observation Blind
Visitors Center/Nature Center