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Palmetto Island State Park in Abbeville features a splashpad for the kids. Other state parks offer swimming pools, which open for the summer on Memorial Day weekend.

Louisiana's Office of State Parks is getting summer ready.

The parks will host family activities to open the season, beginning with Kids to Parks Day on Saturday, May 18.

"The day, celebrated annually on the third Saturday of May, is a national day of play connecting kids and families with their local, state and national parks," a news release says.

The parks will also open swimming pools in late May to kick off Memorial Day weekend. Most pools will open on Friday, May 24; the Bayou Segnette wave pool in Jefferson Parish will open on Saturday, May 25.

Pool hours and fees, if applicable, are as follows:

  • Bayou Segnette State Park, 7777 Westbank Expressway, Westwego — 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., $13; $10 for children under 4 feet tall.
  • Chemin-A-Haut State Park, 14656 State Park Road, Bastrop — 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Lake D’Arbonne State Park, 3628 Evergreen Road, Farmerville — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • North Toledo Bend State Park, 2907 North Toledo Park Road, Zwolle — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Pools and the wave pool will remain open through Monday, May 27, then close Tuesday-Thursday for maintenance before resuming regular schedules of Thursdays-Sundays through the summer.

For more water fun, check Louisiana State Parks’ website for a list of water playgrounds and beaches.

National Outdoors Month in June kicks off with National Trails Day on Saturday, June 1, with guided hikes at several sites, including the Louisiana State Arboretum in Ville Platte, Fontainebleau State Park in Mandeville, Bogue Chitto State Park in Franklinton and Port Hudson State Historic Site in Jackson, according to the news release. 

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will hold its annual free fishing weekend Saturday and Sunday, June 8-9. Fishing licenses are not required during this weekend.

The weekend also coincides with National Get Outdoors Day on Saturday, June 8.

Special outdoor activities at the parks include:

  • Bogue Chitto State Park, Franklinton: outdoor classroom, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; astronomy night, 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Louisiana State Arboretum, Ville Platte: bird hike, 9 a.m.
  • Fontainebleau State Park, Mandeville: guided hike, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

In addition, 4 miles of single-track mountain bike trails at Bogue Chitto are now available.

For a complete list of activities at Louisiana State Parks this summer, visit LaStateParks.com, or follow Louisiana State Parks on Facebook and Twitter.

Cruising Cajun style

The Cruisin' Cajun Country Cruise In will take place May 15-18 in and around New Iberia.

While car enthusiasts go for a spin, spectators can take in free car shows and entertainment, along with tours, demonstrations and food.

For more information, including registration, visit iberiatravel.com.

Plants, animals, more

The 29th annual BBBB (Bogs, Birds, Butterflies, Baygalls, etc.) is set for Friday-Sunday, May 17-19, at Allen Acres in Cravens, Vernon Parish.

The 26-acre west central Louisiana property is listed as a State Natural Area and includes a bed-and-breakfast.

Events on Friday include a butterfly plant workshop led by Charles Allen, a potluck supper, PowerPoint presentations and networking.

On Saturday, there are tours of bogs and baygalls, an optional visit to Almost Eden Plants in Merryville, possible afternoon field trip, PowerPoint presentations, potluck supper Power-Point presentations, a firefly count and mothing.

There will be another field trip on Sunday morning, depending on the group’s interests. 

For more information, contact Charles Allen or Susan Allen, (337) 328-2252, email native@camtel.net or go to allenacresbandb.com. The bed-and-breakfast is offering a special $70 rate per night.


Follow Judy Bergeron on Twitter, @judybergeronbr.