This Louisiana nature trail offers a beautiful walk in the woods in the gentle hills near St. Francisville. The area was once home to artist and naturalist John James Audubon.
I arrived at the Mary Ann Brown Trail at sunrise. The weather was cool and clear. Flashes of sunlight streaked through the thick canopy of trees as I started my 2.5-mile-long hike. Autumn color arrives in November in Louisiana, and I see the gold and reddish leaves beginning to lose their grip on the high branches. Fallen leaves blanket the trail.
slow down along this louisiana nature trail
This trail through the woods near St. Francisville, Louisiana is well marked and easy to follow. And you will find wooden benches along the trail that are an inviting place to stop, relax and enjoy the natural surroundings. “The more you slow down, the more you will see, the more you will observe,” explains Will DeGravelles of the Louisiana Nature Conservancy. He refers to the different layers of nature, “from the very small to the scale of the canopy of the entire landscape.”
The Nature Conservancy of Louisiana owns and operates this preserve and trail. It’s one of the few Nature Conservancy properties in Louisiana that is open to the public. DeGravelles explains that most of the preserves are closed, “either because of access issues or because we’re protecting a rare natural community.”
Beauty large and small along the trail
Mary Ann Brown Trail featured on TV
Louisiana’s contribution to the birds of america
Artist and naturalist John James Audubon spent time of the forested hills of this region of Louisiana in the 1820’s. Audubon lived at the Oakley Plantation, now a Louisiana Historic Site, a short distance from the Mary Ann Brown Preserve. “It’s very possible Audubon roamed through this very spot,” DeGravelles tells me. “He loved Louisiana and was inspired by it, Degravelles says, adding, “and that’s evident in his writings and paintings.”
getting to this louisiana nature trail
The Mary Ann Brown Nature Preserve and Trail is located at 13535 LA-965, St. Francisville, LA. Phone: (225) 338-1040.