From LA 1 turn at on Elmer's Island Road. It is just before a small bridge and a short distance before getting to Grand Isle itself.

Not many roadways have been approved as stand-alone sites in the Louisiana birding trail system, but the entry road to Elmer’s Island is one of them. The birding is just that good. Moreover, the Elmer’s Island Entrance Road Marsh has made it onto eBird’s hotspot listing, so it’s also included.

Habitat/niche types along this access road include salt/brackish marshes with canals, tidal ponds, mudflats, inlets, black mangrove swamps, and sandy shorelines. The road is gravel with several areas to pull over and park.  A short gravel walking path allows close-up views of the marsh vegetation and creatures and leads from the main road to an elevated platform.

For birding purposes, a spotting scope/tripod is essential here, as the views are simply too expansive for binoculars alone.

When the tide is down, water levels in the roadside ponds, pools, lakes, and canals drop accordingly, and the mudflats fill with foraging and resting rails, shorebirds, seabirds, and wading birds. If you are a plover/sandpiper hound, time your trip here during low tide.

When the tide is up, shorebirds disperse to nearby beaches. The roadside water features fill with waterfowl and wading birds. Songbirds such as Marsh Wren, Red-winged Blackbird, Orchard Oriole, Nelson’s and Seaside Sparrows, and Common Yellowthroat perch atop the mangroves, groundsel, and marsh elder bushes. During migration periods, these shrubs may hold major surprises, especially wrens, sparrows, orioles, and warblers.

Common waterfowl include Blue-winged Teal, Gadwall, Lesser Scaup, Hooded, and Red-breasted Mergansers, among others. Other waterbirds of interest include Pied-billed Grebe, Clapper Rail, Sora, American Coot, Black-necked Stilt, American Avocet, Willet, Herring Gull, Least Tern, and many more.

This is a “site” for hard-core naturalists: birders, butterfly/dragonfly watchers, botanists, and nature photographers. There are no amenities besides the pull-offs and observation deck. Not handicapped accessible.

Viewing Platform/Observation Blind