LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)— Situated in the heart of Lafayette, Acadiana Park Nature Station is home to native birds, trails, a campground and other recreational amenities.

WGNO’s sister station, KLFY, headed to the park for a look at why it’s a destination for Louisiana residents to visit.

“It’s a hidden gem because not a lot of people know about it, but in your city limits, if you live in Lafayette, there’s a big forest that’s been well taken care of for the last 45 years, and it’s easy to go take a hike,” Kyle Patton, with Acadiana Park Nature Station, said.

Acadiana Park Nature Station and its accompanying six-mile trail system has been owned by Lafayette Consolidated Government for over 40 years. Field trips, workshops, and other educational activities take place at the park for school children yearly.

“I encourage everyone to visit. We are right next to campgrounds so we get people from all over the nation, all over the world, and they get to come experience the swamp and the heartland of the forest,” explained Patton.

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Patton explains experiencing nature, especially at Acadiana Park Nature Station, is beneficial to one’s health. It can be referred to as ecotherapy.

“We see that it actually helps the body to fight off infections like viruses and bacteria,” said Patton.
Acadiana Park Nature Station is open from 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

It’s located at 1205 E Alexander Street in Lafayette. The staff hopes to open the museum in November.
“We do have a canoe and kayak launch and it connects directly to the Vermilion River so if the Vermilion River is very low, you can’t launch out of it, but it’s free. It’s open to the public,” added Patton.