The Northlake Nature Center showcases the natural and cultural resources of the Florida Parishes in southeastern Louisiana. The only part of Louisiana east of the Mississippi River, the region is named because it was originally part of a British colony known as “West Florida.” Eventually, the territory was ceded to the United States and then to Louisiana upon its statehood in 1812. 

The Northlake Nature Center allows visitors to experience hardwood forests, mixed pine-hardwood forests and cypress swamps. Ponds in the swamp are the result of beaver dams. Perhaps the best birding trail is the 1.75-mile North Loop along Castine Bayou. A shorter Savanna Lake Loop branches off the southern end of this trail. 

Look for Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal, and Mottled Duck on the water. Common wading bird species include Great Blue, Little Blue, Tricolored, and Green Herons, Great, Snowy, and Cattle Egrets, and White Ibis. Located near Lake Pontchartrain, it's not unusual for commuting and foraging Laughing and Herring Gulls, Least, Forster's, Caspian, and Royal Terns to show up. 

Swallow-tailed Kites are fairly common here in March and April. Other raptor species include Bald Eagle, Red-shouldered, Broad-winged, Red-tailed, and Cooper's Hawks, and Barred Owl. Songbird activity is high year-round. Nesting species include Prothonotary, Northern Parula and Pine Warblers, Summer Tanager, and Northern Cardinal. Look for bluebird nest boxes set up to replace lost habitat along the North American Bluebird Society Trail between Lacombe, Alberta (Canada) and Lacombe, LA. 

Site amenities include pull-off parking, restrooms, directional/interpretive signage, nature trails, and raised boardwalks. An open-air pavilion overlooking the Beaver Pond is available for group activities, picnics, and individual relaxation. The site is used primarily by outdoor educators, birders, hikers, and nature photographers. 

Parks & Nature
Visitors Center/Nature Center