- Associated Press - Monday, January 11, 2016

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) - With the start of a new year, one place in Southwest Louisiana never stops to mind the passing change in time.

The Creole Nature Trail, home to a 180 miles long drivable scenic byway, features stops of picturesque landscapes beyond transcription.

The Byway, part of America’s Byway’s system, is known for its distinct waters, pristine blue skies, and stops along the drive adorned with plenty of wildlife and bird spotting that can either fill an entire weekend, or simply an afternoon’s drive.

With 2016’s arrival, Victor and Jackie Baff of Sulphur, made their traditional trek to the Creole Nature Trail Sunday afternoon. “Oh, we’ve been coming for years. We try to make it a point to get down here at least once a year, if not more with Ray,” said Victor. Ray, the couple’s golden retriever, knows just how epic of an experience the Byway can be. “He just loves this. It’s really a time for us all together to be out enjoying the weather, and it’s wonderful when have those lucky moments spotting out some special varieties of birds,” said Jackie.

Both, with no complaints of the slight chill to the air, tell of always meeting newcomers to the trail.

Sure enough, within five minutes of walking up the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge Wetland Walkway’s path, Lloyd and Nurtac Denton, of Istanbul, Turkey experience what it means to see the pure, natural goodness that is Southwest Louisiana, a unique spot on the map.

“Oh, this is purely incredible. Our favorite was the lookout. Very interesting seeing the perspective of the terrain so smooth, with the waters overlooking. We’ve enjoyed it,” said Lloyd. “We rented a rental car and hoped on down and over here from Texas,” said Lloyd. The Nature Trail, one of the first National Scenic Byways designated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, sees hundreds of thousands of visitors, annually, all passing through this delicate ecosystem.

On your next adventure out, perhaps take a scenic drive down to our most southern of drives, and renew in the new year with a cruise on the Creole Nature Trail


Information from: American Press, https://www.americanpress.com

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