Two long trails traverse the forest around the bayou: The Karankawa Trail that winds through the heart of the forest to the shore of the bayou, and the Lady Bird Trail that begins in the forest and then follows the edge of the prairie back to the farm. Except for the boardwalk area near the visitors center, the forest trails are relatively primitive.
Armand Bayou is not as much of a birding destination as other area wetlands, but it hosts a diversity of wildlife, including woodland songbirds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, small mammals and the occasional white-tailed deer.
The historic farm complex lies at the end of the Lady Bird Trail, across from the visitors center. It includes the furnished Martyn farm house from the 1890’s, butterfly and vegetable gardens, a picturesque pond and a shed with antique farm implements. Volunteers often are available on the weekends to answer questions about the farm.
The Nature Center has a heavy schedule of tours and educational programs, including:
Paddling tour. Nature Center guides will take you on a canoe tour of the backwaters of Armand Bayou for $25 per person on the second and fourth Saturday of the month. The three-hour paddle covers about 2-3 miles and starts at 8 AM at Bay Area Park.
Pontoon boat cruises. If you don’t want to work that hard, there are a variety of pontoon boat cruises on Saturdays, including Breakfast on the Bayou at 8 a.m. for $25 and either a Sunset or Moonlight Cruise in the evenings for $20.
Owl prowl. A monthly moonlight walk through the woods in search of owls, deer and other nightlife for $8.
Prairie wildflower tour. A hay ride through the colorful prairie with a nature guide one Friday each month for $8.
Educational programs for children. The Nature Center hold more than a dozen educational classes on everything from birds to insects to ecology – most of them for about $7 per person. In addition, there are pricier Summer and Winter EcoCamps.
NATURE CENTER GALLERY