MARRERO, La. - If you're looking for a way to escape city stress, head to the Barataria Preserve in Marrero. You'll find a variety of trails stemming from the Visitor Center, but for something a little different, drive a short way down the road to the Ring Levee Trail.
Park Ranger Aleutia Scott took our Travel Girl, Stephanie Oswald, out for a nature expedition.
"This is called the Ring Levee Trail but we're not actually going out to the levee. You're not actually gonna be out on a big grassy berm levee at the end like you would near the Mississippi River. We are very near the West Bank Hurricane Levee but you won't see that from the end of the trail," says Ranger Scott.
This popular trail is only a mile and a half round trip, so most fit folks can do it in about an hour. It's great for families or anyone who wants to hit the trail.
Winter officially ends on March 20th this year, but while the leaves are still off the trees, this is a great time to go bird watching on the trail. While the WGNO crew was out there, they saw vultures, bald eagles and woodpeckers.
Most of the trail is unimproved clay with some gravel, but there's also some boardwalk thrown in for good measure. At the end of the trail, a wooden bench welcomes weary hikers ready for a rest.
Ranger Scott explained the history of this particular area: "There has been in this whole region a lot of oil and natural gas exploration and at the end of this trail was one of the sites where a company did try to find an oil or natural gas deposit. They didn't; it wasn't a big production site let's say. but that's the history of the land back here."
But if you'd like to make your modern-day history include a chapter on de-stressing in the forest, this is the perfect place to put away your phone and connect with nature.
The Barataria Preserve is part of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, which has multiple locations in the New Orleans area.