Davis Bayou Gulf Islands National Seashore Park in Ocean Springs is now offering two new programs to get you outdoors and involved in the park this summer.
The ranger-led programs – All About the Alligators and Kayaking 101 – are not only available to everyone but are free.
All About the Alligators is a weekday tour that is all about the bayou apex predator. Gators can often be misunderstood, and the program is designed to help offer more appreciation for these animals that live in the waters on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. A portion of the tour will explore the history of the American Gator and its preservation.
Helen Dhue, a seasonal park ranger, is hopeful many people will show up to take advantage of these fun tours.
“We appreciate our visitors. That’s why we are here, that’s what keeps us going,” Dhue said. “[The programs] are designed to promote education, have fun, and to give us a chance to interact with nature.”
All About the Alligators program will be available every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 11 a.m. Meet at the corner of Robert McGhee Rd. and Boat Launch Rd. Expect a half-hour walk with the ranger, no promise the gators will be seen but there are plenty in the park. Pets are welcome on a leash.
Kayak 101 and Kayak Bayou Tour starts at 9 a.m. with the next session scheduled for August 13. Each tour offers a chance to get out on the water and will be guided by park rangers. You have a chance to learn how to kayak, paddle around the bayou, and experience the open water. On a recent trip, dolphins were spotted swimming nearby.
Kayak Tours must be scheduled with the visitor center ahead of time. If you are interested, call (228)230-4121 to make a reservation as openings are limited. All equipment is provided, such as the kayak, life jacket, and paddle. Participants should wear sunscreen and bug repellent. Also, with this heat, it is important to pack a water bottle to stay hydrated.
Location: Davis Bayou Gulf Island National Seashore Park, 3500 Park Ave, Ocean Springs, MS