The primary mission of this refuge in the lower part of the Atchafalaya Basin is to preserve and manage habitat for the threatened Louisiana black bear, so there is potential for bear sightings along the system of interconnected trails. Other wildlife you are likely to spot include wading birds, neotropical songbirds, waterfowl, and various reptiles and amphibians Within the refuge, you can take your pick of four trails: Wood Duck Trail (approximately 10 miles); Black Bear Trail (12 miles); Alligator Trail (10 miles); and Yellow Bayou Trail (6 miles)..
For a purely urban paddling experience, this is the place. Bayou St. John affords the opportunity to canoe or kayak the calm water of a scenic waterway and enjoy the scenery right inside the city of New Orleans. The paddling is easy, and this could be a fun little trip for families with kids. Water levels are affected primarily by rainfall, and when the water is high, crossing under bridges can be a bit tricky. The short route takes you through a historic residential area along both banks of the bayou.