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Outdoor Recreation
Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Immerse yourself in nature at the Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge. This majestic 4,500-acre expanse of lake, swamp, bottomland hardwoods, mixed pine and hardwood uplands is a wildlife habitat with all manner of plant species and everything from small alligators and turtles to coyote, deer and a wide variety of fowl. Delight in the beauty of herons, egrets, orioles and red-winged blackbirds from the wildlife pier or bird blind. Walk on a nature trail that meanders through a forested wetland. Marvel at the quiet beauty of the 1,600-acre lake from the quiet of your rented canoe with stately cypress and tupelo trees towering overhead. The Visitors’ Center, a restored 1880s Acadian house, offers interactive exhibits and a nature shop. Behind the center is a covered amphitheater for educational programs. Visit the conservation learning center with its mural of the lake and live animal exhibits of native fish and reptiles. Other features include an arboretum with labeled Louisiana native tree and woody shrub species, a photo blind, boat launch, canoeing, year-round fishing, and seasonal hunting opportunities. Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Hours: Refuge open daylight hours. Visitor Center open 8-4 weekdays; 9-5 Sat.; 1-5 Sun.
Cost: Admission: Free; Boat launch fee: $2; Canoe rental fees: $20 for 1/2 day (4 hours), $35 for a full day. Call to schedule
480 Richland Pl
Monroe, LA 71203
Web: www.fws.gov/refuge/black-bayou-lake
Tel: (318) 387-1114
Cheniere Lake Park
Beautiful 3,000 acre lake, covered picnic areas, playground, boat launches and climate-controlled lodge available for weddings, receptions and reunions. Cheniere Lake Park
104 Cheniere Lake Road
West Monroe, LA
Tel: (318) 387-2383
Chennault Park Golf Course
An 18-hole, par-72, 7,042-yard municipal course with flat wooded landscape. Driving range and carts with GPS systems. Check out the 2007 Buick Open Winner Brian Bateman's trophy display. Hint: Look out for the 18th hole - it's par-4 with water all the way down the right side.
8475 Millhaven Road
Monroe, LA 71201
Tel: (318) 329-2454
Country Club @ Frenchman's Bend
This beautiful, semi-private, championship 18-hole, par-72 gold course features undulating greens, 5 sets of tees, driving range and restaurant. The tips play at 6,900 yards. Hint: Keep the ball down low as the wind is a factor on this course.
Hours: Tues- Sun 7:00 AM - Dark, Dinning Room: 10:00 AM -10:00 PM
1484 Frenchman's Bend Road
Monroe, LA 71203
Web: www.frenchmansbend.com
Tel: (318) 387-2363
D'Arbonne National Wildlife Refuge
Hunting, fishing, wildlife observation & photography. Boat launch, observation tower & walking trails. Scenic Bayou D'Arbonne.
Highway 143 in Union Parish - 10 miles north of West Monroe
Farmerville, LA 71241
Web: www.fws.gov/darbonne
Tel: (318) 726-4222
Forsythe Park
A neighborhood park encompassing over 53 acres with picnic areas with metal and wooden pavilions, park restrooms, bandstand/stage area, a 9-hole golf course, putt-putt golf, tennis courts, softball, soccer fields, and children's park. Beach volleyball courts, a jogging path and a public boat launch are located over the levee along the Ouachita River. The Monroe Advocates for Safe Streets (MASS) have developed 6 bike trails through the City of Monroe based out of the park.
Hours: Park closed from 12:00 AM (Midnight) until 5:00 AM Daily
2300 Sycamore
Monroe, LA 71202
Web: www.monroela.us
Tel: (318) 329-2442
H2 Go Paddle
Rent kayaks or stand up paddle boards from this shop! Load them in your vehicle and head to the Ouachita River, Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge, or Bayou Desiard. Plus, this shop sells specialty accessories and gear for paddling and camping adventures.
Hours: Monday-Friday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Saturday: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM, Closed Sundays
2814 Desoto St.
Monroe, LA 71201
Web: www.h2gopaddle.com/
Tel: 318-372-8801
Johnny Myers Golf Course
This 9-hole, regulation-length golf course with driving range can give a golfer a fun experience at any skill level. Hint: Have the putter on target as the greens are turtleback.
Hours: 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
2500 Sycamore Street
Monroe, LA 71201
Tel: (318)807-0534
Kiroli Park
160 acres of park with forested areas and large playing areas, including the Smiles Park an all-inclusive park where all kids can play and the Raising Cane’s Dog Park, which is separated into two sections for large and small dogs. Jogging and nature trails, a fishing pond, beautiful gardens, covered picnic areas, and a theatre stage for performances. Home to the Ballet Under the Stars in the spring. A climate-controlled lodge is great for receptions and family reunions. Kiroli Park
820 Kiroli Road
West Monroe, LA 71291
Tel: (318) 396-4016
Lazarre Park
Located over the levee along the Ouachita River, this park is a great place to launch your boats or kayaks on the Ouachita River. It also features two 18-hole disc golf courses! Plus, catch the Ronald McDonald House Annual Big Bass Tournament here in May. Lazarre Park
Corner of Hamilton & Thompson Street
West Monroe, LA 71292
Tel: (318) 396-4016
Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo
This is an 80 plus acre zoological park and gardens for family fun and education with almost 2 miles of pathways wondering through animal exhibits, park like grounds and gardens. Don’t miss the Zooasis Splash Pad, playground, Safari Boat ride, and the Train. You can see over 400 birds and animals with over 100 species. Areas include the Land Down Under, The Louisiana Purchase and a petting zoo. Want to bring a group? They offer group rates and you can rent a pavilion for your family or business events. Enjoy hours of fun at a family friendly price. Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo
Hours: Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day.
Cost: Adults $4.50, Seniors $3, Children $3, 2 & under are free. Call for group rates.
1405 Bernstein Park Drive
Monroe, LA 71210-0155
Web: www.monroezoo.org
Tel: (318) 329-2400
Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office Training Center & Public Range
The Public Range at the OPSO Training Center includes a Firing Range as well as an Archery Range. The Archery Range features a youth area, elevated shooting, and walk-thru bag & 3D range.
357 Sheriff Richard Fewell Road
West Monroe, LA
Tel: (318) 807-1188
Ouachita Wildlife Management Area
This bottomland hardwood forest restoration-in-progress is nestled on 8,747 beautiful acres and features three reservoirs located on an agricultural tract and offers crawfishing opportunities, as well as fishing for bluegill, crappie, and largemouth bass. A camping area that is located on eight secluded acres is also available.
Cost: $15 WMA hunting permit-for hunting only. Must have a current hunting or fishing license or a LA Wild stamp when entering WMA.
120 Bud Smith Road
Monroe, LA 71202
Web: www.wlf.louisiana.gov
Tel: (318) 343-4044
Restoration Park
A beautiful 70-acre forest and wetland park with several overlooks and a 1.2-mile stone trail for jogging, walking, or relaxing. Surrounds a scenic lake with native cypress trees draped with Spanish moss. Restoration Park
700 Downing Pines Road
West Monroe, LA 71209
Tel: (318) 322-8903
Russell-Sage Wildlife Management Area
Cost: $15 WMA hunting permit-for hunting only. Must have a current hunting or fishing license or a LA Wild stamp when entering WMA.
Within the Bayou Lafourche flood plain -- 7 miles east of Monroe
Monroe, LA
Web: www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2777
Tel: (318) 343-4044
Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge
Hunting, fishing, wildlife observation & photography. Boat launch & accessible fishing pier. Scenic river road.
Along the Ouachita River - Union & Morehouse Parishes
Farmerville, LA 71241
Web: www.fws.gov
Tel: (318) 726-4222
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