The park is sizeable and has a beach along the river for swimming, picnics or BBQ. The picture above is one of the funkier plants that grow in the beach area. Here's a wider shot of the river, itself;
(There was a great blue heron across the river just before I took this shot, but he flew away before I could get my camera up.)
The (noisy, crowded,) day use area (not shown,) has lots of splashy, water-based fountains and fun for the kids (and more BBQ pits.) We headed away from that, toward the hiking trails, where Charles spotted this small, American toad. In this area I also found a red-headed woodpecker's primary flight feather and we saw a prothonotary warbler.
There is "water, water everywhere" around this park, but here in S. Louisiana, that usually means gators, too.
See what I mean?
The river is beautifully clear. After checking out some of the upland trails, we went down to the boardwalk in the gorge.
Ebony jewelwing, a local damselfly (slightly different from dragonflies, although we saw plenty of those, as well.)
As temperatures increased, we appreciated the shade of the boardwalk. There's an area down here commonly known as "Frickes Cave," although that's a bit of a misnomer. Some people mistake the delicate sandstone spires for stalagmites, but the two are completely unrelated.
We didn't get down by Frickes Cave (where the spires stand a couple of feet tall,) but I did see some of the sandstone spire process not far from where I'd parked.
Summer azure butterfly (thanks to Ray Simpson for the ID.)
There were lots of people fishing (and lots of places to do it.) We didn't manage to explore the whole park--there are 7 miles of hiking trails (and 14 miles of equestrian trails,) after all--but we'll definitely go back to this beautiful area once things cool down a bit.
(Also, happy belated birthday to Roger Waters, who turned 67 on Sept. 6th.)