Renowned as one of the wildest and most pristine swamplands in the United States, the murky, algae-coated waters of Honey Island Swamp are a prime habitat for native wildlife, including alligators and wild boar. Plus, according to local folklore, the lake houses an even more menacing resident—the notorious Honey Island Swamp monster.
Stretching for 18 miles (30 kilometers) and surrounded by dense forest and overhanging cypress trees, the wetlands are best explored by boat. Learn about Cajun culture, the legend of the swamp monster, and wetland ecology from a local guide as you make your way through the shallow backwaters on a flat-bottom bayou boat. Keep an eye out for wild boar, raccoon, mink, otters, turtles, and a huge variety of birdlife.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Honey Island Swamp is a must-visit for nature lovers, adventure travelers, and families.
- Swamp tours from New Orleans typically last between two and four hours.
- Don’t forget to bring protection against bugs; mosquitos love the swamps and bayous of Louisiana.
- Most tours are not wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Honey Island Swamp is located in St. Tammany Parish in eastern Louisiana, about 37 miles (60 kilometers) northeast of New Orleans by road. Some swamp tours depart from Crawford Landing on the West Pearl River in Slidell, while others include round-trip transportation from New Orleans.
When to Get There
Swamp tours are generally more interesting during the warmest hours of the day and in the summer months, when animals—especially big gators—are more active. Summer can be hot and humid, however; visit in the winter if you want to avoid the heat.
Things to Do in Nearby Slidell
There’s plenty more to nearby Slidell than Honey Island Swamp excursions. The historic downtown district comprises several historic buildings filled with restaurants serving Louisiana specialties, museums, and some of the area’s best antique shops.