Moonseed Loop is a 4.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Lafayette, Louisiana that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.3 miles Elevation Gain: 62 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

stroller friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

running

forest

river

views

wildlife

bugs

The Nature Trails are open for exploration every day of the year, from dawn until dusk. Located in a wooded section of Acadiana Park, a 110 acre facility in the northeastern corner of Lafayette, Louisiana (south-central Louisiana), the Nature Station and its accompanying 3+mile trail system is owned and operated by the Division of Arts & Culture, in the Department of Community Development, Lafayette Consolidated Government. Environmental education programming began here in 1974 as an offshoot of our parent organization, the Lafayette Science Museum. As a result of increasing demand for our programs, the Nature Station was constructed in 1978. Since that time, our staff has conducted field trips, workshops, and other educational activities and programs for many thousands of school children and adults alike. Ecologically, the Nature Station Trails are situated at the juncture of two major systems: the Gulf Coastal Tallgrass Prairie (or remnants thereof), and the Mississippi River Floodplain. Several thousand years ago, as a result of large volumes of meltwater streaming southward at the end of the last "Ice Age", the ancient Mississippi River strayed westward into what is now south-central Louisiana, expanding its floodplain by about fifty miles, and flowing through this area for approximately one thousand years. As glacial meltwaters gradually subsided from the north, the river moved back into its "original" stream bed; a course which it continues to follow today, taking it through the cities of Baton Rouge (fifty miles to our east) and New Orleans (one-hundred- twenty-five miles to our southeast), before emptying into the Gulf of Mexico, some one-hundred miles south of New Orleans. As a direct result of these historic climatic/geologic changes, present-day Acadiana Park straddles this ancient juncture of river and prairie, with the prairie terrace itself laying some 45-50 feet above the adjacent floodplain (where the Nature Station itself is located). Separating these two land forms is a wide, bluff-like shelf (escarpment) which was actually the western bank of the ancient Mississippi. Thus, present day Acadiana Park supports three major habitat types: a bottomland hardwood forest on the Mississippi River floodplain, a transitional oak-hickory forest on the escarpment, and the remnants of what once was a tallgrass prairie on the prairie terrace. Of course, each of these major habitats supports its own plant communities; and in turn, each plant community supports its own compliment of animals. While the plant communities are pretty much fixed, the animal communities vary according to yearly seasonal cycles.

hiking
1 day ago

The first section is great for a short walk! The 4 mile trail (loop) itself is super easy. It’s dirt paved and very woodsy-so spray yourself beforehand for mosquitoes bc as soon as you stop moving they’ll eat you alive. There’s car noise bc it’s off Louisiana Avenue but honestly it’s not a bad walk for something in town.

hiking
blowdown
bugs
muddy
over grown
1 month ago

hiking
over grown
1 month ago

Most of this trail was nice and easy walking. Avoid the ridge section along the Vermillion. That part was pretty narrow with overgrown tall grass and could be pretty dangerous for snakes. I did not see any, but that does not mean they are not there. It was a little cooler, today.

hiking
over grown
1 month ago

We walked the entire loop this week. There’s definitely some parts that are overgrown and narrow, but given the times it’s understandable. This is especially the case the closer to the Vermilion you are on the trail. Once the elevation starts to gain, it becomes less defined. Still a fun way to get out of the house!

hiking
muddy
2 months ago

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

hiking
flooded
muddy
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

trail is relatively bug free at the moment and the cc marathon is on saturday

mountain biking
8 months ago

We did the trails on the South side of the canal parking next to the tennis courts where the trailhead was located. This was obviously a mountain bike trail with a pretty smooth riding surface consisting of berms, jumps, and some downhill-type stuff. It is a fun trail to build some skills and easy to circle back around to retry jumps and other obstacles. Never really had a problem with spiders here; I think enough people use the trail to justify its upkeep. This side was fun, but I will have to check out the North side some day.

hiking
bugs
muddy
8 months ago

Super easy trail, but oh the mosquitoes! They laugh at deet!

hiking
Sat May 18 2019

It’s definitely time for bug spray. Mosquitoes and horse flies galore.

hiking
Wed Apr 10 2019

Nice maintained trail with a few muddy areas, no snakes today which is good. You’re in the woods most of the time until you walk along the river. Bugs were not to bad yet.

hiking
Sat Mar 23 2019

Hidden gym within Lafayette. Way nicer than I anticipated. We had the trail to ourselves… Didn’t see anyone else for 2 1/2 hours. Didn’t see any snakes

hiking
bridge out
Wed Mar 20 2019

Sun Feb 03 2019

Really cool place for hiking. The bike trails can be hiked in reverse which is a bonus. Probably 10+ miles worth of trails throughout the area

hiking
Wed Jun 13 2018

I like to use this trail as "training" its perfect 5 miles thats good for breaking in new boots, trying new gear, or stretching your legs to prepare for a bigger or longer trail. Good for kids too just bring a stick to hold out infant of you to knock down spider webs and watch for snakes.

running
Wed May 02 2018

Very pretty trail. with the usual bayou country inconveniences...namely spider webs everywhere. The good news is that of the 25 or so snake varieties in Louisiana, only 6 are commonly found in the park. But nothing is free in this world - they're the 6 most venomous! The map here does not reflect all the trails south of the canal, nor the fun boardwalk, but they'll be the first things you see. Watch for snakes (ref: above) as they are there. I saw a big cottonmouth just off the Palmetto Loop. You will also see lilies, palmettos and incredible live oaks...Enough to make you sad human society is expanding. Some paths run by the canal. I didn't see any gators, but it's not the one you see that gets you. Be careful and have fun! :)

Sun Feb 25 2018

It’s a very easy hike It’s walk in a park kinda thing

hiking
Mon Dec 11 2017

Great place to spend a morning. Enjoy a nice walk in the woods, canoeing in the vermillion, experience the nature station

hiking
Sun May 07 2017

Cool trail but a little overgrown and buggy.

running
Tue Mar 14 2017

I run here pretty often. My favorite time of the day to run trail is in the afternoon. The position of the sun makes the trail beautiful. I've ran the trail in the morning and it was purdy scary, snakes were everywhere especially on the vermilion ridge. Then about every 20 yards I was running through a a massive spider web (my kung fu is strong). Its a fun trail that does have some small up and downs. For more distance you can just do laps the trail doesn't get boring.

Wed Jan 11 2017

Good mountain biking trails.

hiking
Fri Dec 30 2016

This is a great place to hike with young kids, Cub/Boy/Girl Scouts. Lots of boardwalk trails. The nature station is great for the kids to see lots of things up close. Great staff that is knowledgeable about the area.

hiking
Sun Oct 09 2016

fun family trail especially for little ones

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