David Bennett Galloway III suggests ways to unwind in NELA.
CHAPIN, SOUTH CAROLINA, January 14, 2023 — Relocating to a new area for college can be a trying experience for undergraduates, student-athletes, and even graduate students learning the ropes in a new area. For footballer David Bennett Galloway III, relocating for college to northeast Louisiana meant finding new haunts and ways to stay busy and active over long weekends and school holidays when returning home is not possible. Here are some of his top recommendations for getting out and enjoying all NELA has to offer.
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Kiroli Park in West Monroe is a great escape for shorter hikes or a day in the sun. The park requires a token admittance charge but offers multiple walking options featuring open and wooded areas to explore. There are unique sights to see on every walk, and occasionally an animal may offer a surprise during a visit. Kiroli is also host to a diverse assortment of events throughout the year, including a St. Baldrick’s festival, community craft fairs, and more.
Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge
For next-level hiking adventures, Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge blends some open trails and scenic overlooks with wooden platforms and pathways with true back-to-nature trails where all manners of wildlife are in play. Gator sightings are not unusual at the park, and a wide array of waterfowl, mammals, and reptiles call the refuge home. Like Kiroli, the sanctuary also hosts a variety of events throughout the year to educate residents and visitors about the location and the thriving ecosystem.
Chennault Park and Lazarre Park
In Monroe at Chennault Park and in West Monroe at Lazaree Park, a variety of sporting options are possible, but one of the more unique examples is Frisbee golf. Each park features one of the basket-based courses designed to take the old game of catch to the next level, David Bennett Galloway III shares. Several local sporting goods stores stock the discs, and larger tournaments are often scheduled in the region.
Bayou DeSiard and the Ouachita River
Bayou DeSiard snakes through Monroe and provides a fun option for boating, water skiing, fishing, floating, and, for some, swimming. Louisiana is known for its sports and waterways, and Bayou DeSiard is a great opportunity to engage in a bit of fun without traveling too far afield. The Ouachita River is also a close second for providing fun diversions in the great outdoors and also presents unique opportunities for volunteering with river cleanups and other activities routinely scheduled to involve the community in river care and recreation.
Downtown strolling, eating, and shopping
Downtown Monroe and downtown West Monroe are each experiencing a Renaissance, with new shops, restaurants, bakeries, and more opening regularly. From Instagram-worthy exposed brick to more intimate dining experiences, there is something for everyone in these districts. In Monroe, downtown radiates outward from DeSiard Street, while Antique Alley is the hub of West Monroe’s downtown area.