Cameron Prairie NWR - Trails E of Pintail Loop

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 12.7 miles to the drive entrance on the left side of the road. As you drive the one-way loop, take a right turn in the third turn.

A short wildlife drive called Pintail Loop starts two miles south of Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge headquarters. By taking the loop, birders can add more bird species to their day lists by taking walking trails located on the eastern edge of the loop. The trails traverse a freshwater marsh habitat and are lined with canals, black willows, and tallow trees, all of which attract songbird species.

Walkers can still spot the same wading bird and waterfowl species viewed on the driving loop. But the trails yield better views of scrub-shrub species such as Marsh, Sedge, and House Wrens, Savannah, Song, and Swamp Sparrows, Common Yellowthroat, Palm Warbler, Red-winged Blackbird,  Boat-tailed Grackle, Painted and Indigo Buntings, and Orchard Oriole.

Chances are also better along the trails for shy species such as King Rail, Common and Purple Gallinules, Least Bittern, Greater Yellowlegs, and Wilson's Snipe.

During spring and fall, there are numerous possibilities for migrants and vagrants. If water levels are appropriate, shorebird numbers here can be very impressive. During summer, Least Bittern, Green Heron, Purple Gallinule, Marsh Wren, and Orchard Oriole can be seen. During winter, Tricolored Heron, Virginia Rail, Sora, and Sedge Wren are present, as are loads of puddle ducks.

The primitive trails are for serious naturalists. There are no amenities available, and the trail is not handicapped-accessible.