Summer is a big time for travel, and when you take to the highways in the state, Keep Louisiana Beautiful has a favor to ask.

They’d like travelers to remember these few simple tips on reducing litter, thus limiting what ends up on the roadside:

•Bring a litter bag for the car

•Smokers, use the car ashtray and/or pocket ashtray to dispose of cigarettes, lighting material and butts

•Set an example for children be teaching them that littering is not acceptable, even if traveling long distances

•Use trash receptacles provided by businesses, food vendors, convenience stores, etc. to throw away trash and waste

• Join local cleanup efforts

•Remember that if caught littering, the fines range from $50 to $5,000

Keep Louisiana Beautiful says Louisiana taxpayers spend $40 million a year on litter clean up. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to use those funds elsewhere in the state’s strapped budget?


Landrys at Paragon

Louisiana alligator hunters Troy and Jacob Landry, from the History television series Swamp People, will visit Paragon Casino Resort’s Atrium in Marksville on Saturday, July 23.

The famous duo will be available from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., signing autographs for guests. Photo opportunities are also available. This event is free and open to the public.


Park hours, launches

The Office of State Parks is changing certain operating hours at its park facilities in Louisiana. The changes to operating hours are to accommodate a reduction in staff due to recent budget cuts.

Entrance station hours now will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Gates will continue to open at 6 a.m. at sites with boat launches and at 7 a.m. at sites without boat launches. Late-arriving guests are advised to contact the park prior to their visit to make check-in arrangements.

On a case-by-case basis, park managers also may be able to accommodate early arrivals and late departures.

Operating hours for Historic Sites will remain 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s days.

Meanwhile, the boat launches at North Toledo Bend State Park, near Zwolle, and South Toledo Bend State Park, near Anacoco, have been closed to boat traffic. The water levels at the boat ramps at both parks are 12-14 inches deep, creating unsafe conditions for launching boats.

The Sabine River Authority has issued warnings regarding all boat-related traffic on the lake. According to the SRA, the lake level is approximately 9-1/2 feet below the safe level of 168 feet mean sea level.

Additionally, the current extreme drought situation is causing the lake to fall approximately one-half inch per day, creating potentially hazardous areas even in established boating lanes. Caution is advised in the boat lanes, as there have been reports of damage to boats in boat lanes as well as in less-traveled areas of the lake.

All water sports participants are advised to avoid excessive speed and exercise caution when navigating waters not in normal boat lanes.


Keep Louisiana Beautiful, Louisiana State Parks and Paragon Casino provided items for this column. Louisiana Travels is a weekly column about travel destinations and events in Louisiana. Email items for Louisiana Travels to or or mail to Judy Bergeron, News Features assistant editor, The Advocate, 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810.