Cat Island NWR - Updates
Information on accessibility, special events and general announcements can be found below. General information on Cat Island NWR can be found by clicking here.
Every year Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge floods from the rising waters of the Mississippi River, which makes this refuge so unique. Parts of the refuge will periodically be closed due to the high water that can get as deep as 20 feet or more in places. The champion bald-cypress tree, which is several miles by road from the refuge entrance, will become inaccessible.
Follow the information on this page to plan your visit to Cat Island NWR. At
|16' wooden kayak in front of a very large bald-cypress tree in Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge, near St. Francisville, La..|
certain flooding levels, hiking and other activities will become very limited. However, it is the best time to paddle your canoe, kayak and pirogue. All precautions of boating safety should be taken, as it is easy to get lost if you are not familiar with the area. Purchase a map at the WFP Historical Museum on Ferdinand St.; bring a compass or GPS, and plenty of drinking water. If you are not experience in tracking your way, it is recommended to paddle down the main road and/or the ATV trails. Beware; cell phone service is limited on the refuge.
It's a great time to view migratory birds, discover some very old and large bald-cypress trees - some nearly as large & exciting as the champion tree, photography and interesting nature when things change from dry to underwater.
Enjoy the wonders of nature but be very cautious, this is a very remote area.
Reported birds sightings so far include; vireos, summer tanagers, cardinals, herons, egrets, chickadees, pileated woodpeckers, red-headed woodpeckers, bald-eagles, swallow-tailed kites, Mississippi kites, barred owls, hawks, indigo buntings, painted buntings, chat, variety of warbles, various ducks, vultures, crow, red-winged black birds, grackles, owls and more.
July 3, 2016: The big tree (National Champion Bald-cypress) is accessible by foot, approximately 1/4 mile easy hike from parking lot.