I-10 Exit 160 & Essen Lane

This sprawling botanic garden, museum, and natural area is located in the heart of Baton Rouge. But even though it’s in the city center, it’s a tremendous destination to experience diverse plants and animals.

Bird habitats include formal and informal gardens, grasslands, vegetable and field crops, orchards, wetlands, and forests. Additional water features include four artificial ponds, several small oxbows, and Ward's Creek. Birders can easily access all of these via well-maintained trails.

Nearly 160 bird species have been recorded at this complex. Common summer and year-round nesting species include Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Green Heron, Barred Owl, Great-crested Flycatcher, Summer Tanager, and Eastern Meadowlark. Indigo and Painted Buntings nest nearby, if not on the site itself, as they've been recorded annually throughout the breeding months of May through August.

Common winter species include Belted Kingfisher, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Eastern Phoebe, Blue-headed Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, White-throated, Savannah, Song, and Swamp Sparrows, and Orange-crowned, Pine, and Yellow-rumped Warblers.

The facility has a raised boardwalk, traversing a permanently wet hardwood swamp with tupelo gum and red maple trees. Amenities include paved and gravel parking and pull-off areas, a rural life museum, a visitors center, an arboretum, restrooms, water fountains, and playgrounds. Besides birding activities (including monthly birding walks), the site also offers a range of activities, including plant study, biking, cultural programs, and photography.  

Drinking Fountains
Gift Shop
Gravel Trails