Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters

From the intersection of I-10 and US 171 (Exit 33/ Moss Bluff Exit) in Lake Charles, go east on I-10 for 2.7 miles to Exit 36/ LA 397. Go south on LA 397 for 5.8 miles to LA 14. Turn left and go east 5.0 miles to LA 27E. Continue south on LA 27E for about 11 miles to the facility on the right side of the road.

Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge is a 9,500+ acre site that was restored from rice agriculture back to freshwater marsh habitat in the 1980s. A boardwalk across a pocket of freshwater marsh leading to the visitor center always produces excellent sightings of birds, butterflies, and dragonflies. Birding visitors may also peruse the strip of woody vegetation and mixed grassland behind the center for additional songbird species.

The freshwater marsh holds year-round residents such as Marsh Wren, Common Yellowthroat, and Red-winged Blackbird darting over the tops or peeking between the cattails, rushes, and sedges. During spring and fall migration, look for Least Bittern, Green Heron, Virginia Rail, and various swallows. In the woody strip behind the center, check for Eastern Wood-Pewee, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Gray Catbird, Summer Tanager, Lincoln’s Sparrow, and Orchard Oriole.

From November through March, winter residents such as Belted Kingfisher, Loggerhead Shrike, Sedge Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and Yellow-rumped Warbler decorate the facility’s utility poles, small trees, and shrubs. Several raptor species are visible while perusing the mixed-grass fields to the west and north of the center. The bird species total for this location stands at 126.

The refuge’s visitors center provides hard-surfaced parking, restrooms, water, and informational brochures. Also, take the time to view the center’s interpretive display focused on the ecology and cultural history of the site.

Drinking Fountains
Visitors Center/Nature Center