Louisiana State Parks Activities
Fairview-Riverside State Park offers the best grounds for those who prefer camping in RVs. The park has over 81 sites, which all feature electricity and water hook-ups, as well as nearby comfort and dump stations. Its lush greenery and well-kept areas make for an unforgettable camping experience!
At Lake Claiborne State Park, you’ll never run out of things to do! The park’s campsites are very popular with families accompanied by energetic young kids due to the many fun water activities and fishing opportunities found here.
For a picturesque camping trip, head on over to South Toledo Bend State Park, situated on Louisiana’s western border and whose camping spots sit on a bluff overlooking the Toledo Bend Reservoir. End your day with a stunning view of the sunset over this huge body of water.
On the other hand, if you’re in the mood for beachside camping, then Grand Isle State Park is your best bet! Sites here are located on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico and its rolling waves will undoubtedly lull you to sleep.
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At Chicot State Park, visitors love hiking through the Louisiana State Arboretum found inside the park. Its covered walkways and trails provide a great educational experience for hikers, featuring informative signs throughout the entire route that allows you to identify the diverse wildlife and foliage that you’ll come across.
For a unique hiking experience, check out the Toledo Bend Reservoir Trails found in North Toledo Bend State Park. These meander around the largest man-made reservoir in the United States with incredible scenes of the surrounding nature landscapes. Keep an eye out for Bald Eagles soaring overhead!
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The 22-mile trail around Chicot Lake at Chicot State Park is a great backpacking adventure, offering breathtaking views of the Cypress Swamp. There are stations along the route so you can take a breather but be sure to bring your own water!
Backpackers also love the scenic 31-mile Tammany Trace Trail at Fontainebleau State Park, which passes through several historic sites, including the remains of a 19th-century sugar mill, as well as towering cypress trees. This is surely an adventure that you’ll never forget!
Bogue Chitto State Park is a favorite fishing hole for many anglers with 11 lakes found within that are well-stocked with bass, perch, brim, catfish, and more. Some anglers, on the other hand, prefer to fish in the beautiful and clear waters of the Bogue Chitto River.
The waters of Grand Isle at Grand Isle State Park are believed to hold over 280 different species of fish, making it the go-to destination for many anglers across Louisiana. The park also features an old fishing bridge, which offers a plethora of opportunities to catch white trout, Spanish mackerel, sea perch, and more that feed around its wooden piling legs. Additionally, a fish-cleaning site found within the park is appreciated by many anglers.
Caches are hidden within the grounds of Cypremort Point State Park, Hodges Gardens State Park, and Lake Fausse Pointe State Park. Caches here are well-concealed among the trails that meander all throughout the park so geocachers up for a challenge will undoubtedly have tons of fun locating them.
Day Use Areas
Grand Isle State Park is renowned all over Louisiana for their stunning views of the sunset, making it the perfect spot for a late afternoon picnic. Take in your meal as you wait for the sun to go down!
The 100-acre Fairview Riverside State Park situated along the Tchefuncte River is another great picnic destination. Cookout areas are located underneath the towering oaks found within the park, and the grounds also feature rings and barbecue pits to take your picnic to the next level.
Bogue Chitto State Park has a number of biking trails made for riders of all skill levels. The 5.2-mile Gorge Run Trail and the 2.4-mile Zephyr Trail are both perfect for those who want to take on a challenge with natural obstacles and rough terrain. On the other hand, a 10-mile route trailing all over the park is great for those looking for a leisurely and laid back ride.
At Sam Houston Jones State Park, a 7-mile trail is beloved by intermediate riders from all over the state. This route features several challenges and should only be taken on by those daring enough to do so!
For an unforgettable boating excursion on the 75,000-hectare Toledo Bend Reservoir, head on over to either North Toledo Bend State Park or South Toledo Bend State Park. The largest man-made lake in the United States offers incredible views, as well as glimpses of a diverse set of wildlife!
Lake D’Arbonne, found inside Lake D’Arbonne State Park, also makes for a great afternoon on the water. This 6,200-hectare lake is situated in a quiet rural area near the town of Farmerville so those looking for a peaceful and tranquil boating experience will find this spot to their liking.
For a more adventurous excursion, check out Lake Claiborne at Lake Claiborne State Park, which offers an abundance of facilities and water recreational activities. This lake is considered to be Louisiana’s most scenic lake, thanks to its plethora of wildlife and incredible natural surroundings.
Fontainebleau State Park boasts of more than 200 different bird species, making it the perfect destination for Birders looking to explore The Pelican State’s diverse wildlife. Waterfowl and other wading birds are often seen from the shore while the Brown-headed Nuthatch is known to frequent the stately pine trees found within. Be advised, though, that this park tends to get crowded with avid bird watchers during the weekends. So grab your binoculars and head out early, or consider going birding during the week if you can to avoid some of the crowds.
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At Lake Bruin State Park, swim in the cool and crystal blue waters of Lake Bruin, named after Peter Bryan Bruin, a plantation owner. The park is filled with cypress trees that offer shade as you swim under a scorching sun.
Lake Fausse Pointe State Park is another popular swimming hole in Louisiana, especially among residents wishing to unwind after an exhausting work week. The 2,400-hectare park features a labyrinth of waterways, as well as a large lake, making it the ideal destination for many swimming enthusiasts.
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Approximately 12 miles of scenic ATV trails are found within South Toledo Bend State Park, featuring rough terrain and natural challenges. Keep in mind that visitors wishing to take on these trails must first secure a permit at the park’s entrance station.
Saddle up at Bogue Chitto State Park, which features over 14 miles of designated horse trails that meander through a variety of terrain! Explore the shoreline of the sandy Bogue Chitto River, as well as the tupelo-cypress forests that surround it.
Approximately eight miles of equestrian trails are also found at Chemin-A-Haut State Park, offering riders incredible views of the natural landscapes that surround the park. This underrated park also features an abundance of hilltop routes that surround Bayou Bartholomew.
Lake Bistineau State Park, on the other hand, offers over six miles of equestrian trails that take you through hardwood forests and towering cypress trees. The park also has designated horse-friendly campsites, making it the ultimate day trip for horseback riding enthusiasts visiting the northwest region of Louisiana.
Recreational Equipment Rentals
If you’re after a lazy and leisurely paddling excursion, check out the kayaking opportunities found in North Toledo Bend State Park and South Toledo Bend State Park. Both parks offer canoe and kayak rentals so visitors are sure to have a great time here!
Those looking to rent boats can do so at Poverty Point Reservoir State Park, a man-made lake best explored while on a watercraft vehicle.
Aside from Kisatchie Falls, another must-see at Kisatchie National Forest is Wolf Rock Cave, used pre-historically as a rock shelter. Those who want to explore this cave must first get through a rather challenging hike through wooded and rough terrain so be sure to keep this in mind.
The Otis House Museum at Fairview-Riverside State Park was originally built in the 1880s as the family home of William Theodore Jay, a former sawmill owner. American history enthusiasts will love the engaging and compelling guided tour offered by this museum.
Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site is another must-visit, situated along one of the most historic corridors in South Louisiana. This historic home and former plantation was built in 1835 and is one of the most documented, as well as the most intact, plantation complexes in the South. After looking through the inside, make sure to explore the sprawling formal gardens that surround the house.
A great winter destination in Louisiana is Hodges Gardens State Park, which puts up light arrangements that wow visitors year after year. These incredible displays show off the natural beauty of the park, oftentimes referred to as “Louisiana’s Garden in the Forest.” Keep an eye out for whitetail deer and beavers that have made their homes inside the park!
Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
There are a ton of great diving spots in Louisiana, including Cypremort Point State Park, perfect for snorkelers who wish to stay close to land.
On the other hand, divers looking to see schools of fish and underwater boat wrecks should head over to the Toledo Bend Reservoir, which can be accessed through North Toledo Bend State Park and South Toledo Bend State Park.