Joyce Wildlife Swampwalk

If you have never been to the Joyce Wildlife Swampwalk in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, then you’re in for a treat! Located at Old U.S. 51, Ponchatoula, LA 70454 this nature preserve offers a variety of activities for the entire family, including boating, frogging, and hunting. You can even enjoy the view of wildlife from the boardwalk. It’s an experience you’ll never forget! Here are some of the top things you can do at the park.

The Joyce Wildlife Management Area Swamp Walk has reopened after being closed since August 2012. Hurricane Isaac destroyed portions of the boardwalk, but LDWF rebuilt it in May 2014. The boardwalk is now a popular attraction for locals and visitors alike, and it is the only access point into the Joyce WMA without a boat. The park is part of a Limited Access Area, so vehicles are not allowed.

The Joyce Wildlife Management Area contains 27,480 acres of swampland. A boardwalk leads through the swamps, where visitors can see birds, wildlife, and other creatures. The boardwalk was installed 25 years ago and was temporarily closed after Hurricane Isaac. Birders will find plenty to see here, including a number of neotropical migrants. It is also a designated American Wetland Birding Trail, and osprey and eagles have been spotted nesting in the area.

The Joyce Wildlife Management Area has a boardwalk, four-foot wide, less than a mile long. It was completed in 1990 and has since been rebuilt after hurricanes. A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries official used a leaf blower to clean the boardwalk. There is a museum on the grounds and a trail map to follow. The Joyce Wildlife Management Area is a great place to visit, especially if you have children.

Access to the Joyce WMA is extremely limited. Boating is not permitted and boating is only permitted in designated areas. Boating is permitted only in the upper reaches of the Middle and Black Bayous and Bedico Creek. The area has a public boat launch located on North Pass. Other access points include Lee’s Landing and Traino Landing. The area is also home to a variety of snakes and largemouth bass.

A 90-acre tract near the city center, the Ponchatoula Area Recreation District offers numerous activities. You can fish at the pond, play sports on a nearby soccer field, or walk the trails through the native trees. If you’re looking for something more exciting, try out the River Road Go-Karts, where you can try your hand at riding a nine-hp Dino or a five-horse-power single or double kart. If you love competition, check out the local kart tournaments.

If you’re a kayaker, you can try out the Swampwalk by canoe or kayak. You can also access it via the two ditches that are west of US 51. Make sure you bring your GPS, compass, and a paper USGS map. Even if you’re not a kayaker, you should bring your canoe or pirogue to experience the wildlife in the swamp. Learn more

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