Day Trip to Mary Ann Brown Preserve – Saint Francisville, Louisiana

Map of the trail at Mary Ann Brown Preserve
Map of the trail at Mary Ann Brown Preserve

Nice little hike we made to Mary Ann Brown Preserve outside of St. Francisville, Louisiana


First – Quick Directions to Mary Ann Brown Preserve:
The preserve is located 30 miles north of Baton Rouge off of Hwy. 61. Turn East on Hwy. 965 and travel 5.5 miles. The preserve is on the left


Earlier this year, me and the wife decided to get out a bit and try something different. We decided to check out the historical town of St. Francisville, Louisiana. St. Francisville is located in the east-central part of the state almost half-way between Baton Rouge and the Mississippi border. St. Francisville itself is an inviting place with hotels, restaurants and a more than a few antique stores that are worth visiting. There’s also numerous plantation homes in the area that are fun to check out.

Well we ended up at Mary Ann Brown Preserve, a campground/hiking trail about 5 miles south of Highway 61 on LA 965. The Welcome Kiosk is actually situated a little off the highway and a little hard to see. There is a split rail fence We passed it up twice while looking for it.

The main trail is almost a mile-and-a-half long with an “outer loop” that extends it just over another half-mile. As far as difficultly goes, this was a very pleasant hike. Very much like a casual stroll through the woods. It was very early spring when we went so it was a little chilly and somewhat overcast. That said the hike was quite relaxing. I got the impression it would be very hard to get lost. There are benches and bridges all along the way as well as stairs to make steep terrain easy to navigate. There’s a stream that runs through the northern part of the trail, but being it was very early spring, this wasn’t much to behold. A couple of other attractions here are a still pond and a scenic overlook along the eastern edge of the trail.
Along the southwestern end of Mary Ann Brown Preserve is large pavilion on the side of peaceful lake. The trail goes along the far edge of the lake while a driveway goes up from the highway to the pavilion. As an added little extra, a large gazebo is over the water.

We completed the the whole hike – outer loop included – in about an hour-and-a-half. While there’s nothing terribly extravagant or extreme about Mary Ann Brown Preserve it was a very satisfying and fulfilling hike. Peaceful and quiet. If you’re looking for a little get away for the day I can’t recommend this little distraction enough. The hike coupled with the visit to stores at St. Francisville was well worth the drive to get there.

If you’re interested, here’s a link to a little more info at Nature.org as well as the Mary Ann Brown Preserve Facebook Page.

A Few Pictures from the Hike at Mary Ann Brown Preserve

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