There are so many awesome hiking trails in Louisiana, it can be a bit overwhelming! Whether you’re looking for something short and sweet that you can bring the whole family (including the dog) or an extensive all-day hike through the forest, we’ve compiled some of the best hikes in Louisiana to add to your bucket list.
Best Hikes in Louisiana
Want to tackle the best of the best? These are some of the most popular hiking trails in Louisiana, given a top-notch score from other AllTrails users around the state.
1. Bogue Chitto State Park Gorge Run Trail
Bogue Chitto State Park, 17049 State Park Blvd, Franklinton, LA 70438, USA
Location: Franklinton, Louisiana Mileage: 5.7 miles Difficulty: Moderate FYI: Admission to all Louisiana State Parks is $3.00 per person. Not only can you bring your dog, but there are equestrian trails, too. If you’re planning to hike this trail in the summer, bring some bug spray.
Gorge Run Trail
is a fairly easy 6-mile trail that’s gravel paves for most of the way with a few sandy sections mixed in. As the trail meanders around the Bogue Chitto River, you’ll have some lovely waterfront views along the way and plenty of spots to sit by the water or go for a quick dip.
2. Wild Azalea Trail
Wild Azalea Trailhead, 352-398 Castor Plunge Rd, Woodworth, LA 71485, USA
Location: Kisatchie National Forest Mileage: 23.9 miles Difficulty: Moderate FYI: Camping is allowed on the trail, just make sure you’re far enough away from the actual trail. Dogs are welcome to join and can be off-leash at some points. The Wild Azalea Trail
is the longest primitive hiking trail in Louisiana, and you’re in for a pretty extensive hike if you tackle all 23.9 miles. With an elevation gain of around 1,300 feet, this is certainly one of the most unique hiking trails in Louisiana. If you do plan on making a weekend out of it, Valentine Lake is a popular camping area, and there are a few other trails in the area that may be a fun side quest. The trail is named for the abundance of wild azaleas that grow along the trail, and if you want to see them, then you should plan to hike the trail towards the end of spring, from April to the beginning of May.
3. Tammany Trace
Tammany Trace - Covington Trailhead, 419 N New Hampshire St, Covington, LA 70433, USA
Location: St. Tammany Parish Mileage: 27.1 miles Difficulty: Easy FYI: Paved trail, great for kids, stroller-friendly, pet-friendly, and plenty of parking at each trailhead.
We just learned that the Wild Azalea Trail is the longest primitive hiking trail in Louisiana, so it’s a great time to introduce the
aka the longest paved trail in Louisiana. The Tammany Trace is a converted rail trail that connects five cities in St. Tammany Parish: Mandeville, Covington, Lacombe, Slidell, and Abita Springs. There are trailheads in every town, and the trailheads are typically in the downtown areas of these towns, so you’ll have plenty of parking, restaurants, and bathrooms nearby. Since it’s paved, it’s popular with rollerblades and bicycles and there’s even an equestrian path that runs along the trail for a good portion (but not the entire trail).
Best Short & Easy Hikes in Louisiana
Sometimes, you just don’t have the time or the energy to take on a lengthy trail. We get it. These hiking trails in Louisiana are short and sweet, so you can still spend some time outdoors without it eating up too much of your day.
4. Driskill Mountain Trail
Driskill Mountain, Louisiana 71275, USA
Location: Bienville, Louisiana Mileage: 1.8 miles Difficulty: Easy FYI: This trail (and the mountain) are on private property, but they’ve allowed the public to use this trail. Make sure you leave no trace so that others can continue to enjoy the trail.
At 535 feet, the
Driskill Mountain Trail
will bring you to the tallest natural summit in Louisiana. While that may be laughable in comparison to other states, we are proud of our tiny mountain! The hike is pretty easy, though it can get muddy if you’re hiking after a hard rain. Be sure to sign the guest book at the top! Once you reach the top, you’ll find a few benches to sit and rest before you hike back down.
5. Mandalay Nature Trail
Mandalay Nature Trail, Rue De La Manson, Houma, LA 70360, USA
Location: Houma, Louisiana Mileage: 0.9 miles Difficulty: Easy FYI: Great family-friendly trail with tons of wildlife. Dogs are not permitted on the trail, though, so be sure to leave them at home for this hike.
If you’re a birdwatcher, then you’ll love the
Mandalay Nature Trail.
This quick and easy trail volleys back and forth between gravel and boardwalk, giving you the chance to traverse over the marsh and into some beautiful wetlands. If you’re visiting during the warmer months, you stand a great chance of seeing an alligator or two.
6. Restoration Park Trail
Restoration Park West Monroe, 700 Downing Pines Rd, West Monroe, LA 71292, USA
Location: West Monroe, Louisiana Mileage: 1.5 miles Difficulty: Easy FYI: A quick and easy loop trail that’s fun for the whole family. Dogs are welcome, but must be on a leash.
Restoration Park Trail
is one of my favorite hiking trails in northeastern Louisiana. It’s perfect for families with young nature lovers, and with the abundance of wildlife in the area, you’re all but guaranteed to spot some critters along the way. Rabbits and deer are common sightings, and once you get to the waterfront portion of the trail, keep an eye out for egrets, herons, ducks, and more.
Hardest Hikes in Louisiana
We may not have insane elevation gains, but Louisiana’s hardest hiking trails will still get the blood pumping. These are some of the hardest hikes in Louisiana to tackle when you need a challenge:
7. Tunica Hills-C Trail
Tunica Hills WMA, LA-66, St Francisville, LA 70775, USA
Location: St. Francisville, Louisiana Mileage: 3.6 miles Difficulty: Moderate FYI: In order to visit this WMA, you’ll need one of the following: a Wild Louisiana Stamp, a Louisiana Fishing License, or a Louisiana Hunting License, otherwise you’ll be risking a fine. Dogs are not permitted on the trail, and hikers are advised to wear orange and stay on the trail because this is a seasonal hunting ground.
If you want to get away from it all and spend a few hours surrounded by towering pines and a rugged landscape, this
trail in Tunica Hills
is just for you. This particular trail is located in the southern portion of the WMA (not the part that hugs the prison) and is rated as moderate due to the unique terrain in the area. Don’t worry, it’s nothing crazy, but it is a chance to see a part of Louisiana’s natural landscape that we don’t often see!
8. Backbone Trail
Backbone Trail, Montrose Rd, Natchitoches, LA 71457, USA
Location: Cloutierville, Louisiana Mileage: 14.7 miles Difficulty: Moderate FYI: This is an out-and-back trail, but technically you can make it a loop if you want to by walking on the highway once you get to the end of the trail. Dogs and horses are welcome.
The Kisatchie National Forest is a 600,000+ acre playground for nature lovers, and the
is ideal for anyone looking to push themselves on a longer hike. With 1,000 feet of elevation gain, you’ll have a rare opportunity to get some treetop views along this hike! This is a popular hike to extend into an overnight adventure, and you can pitch a tent in several spots along the trail. Just make sure to pack out what you pack in!
9. Longleaf Trail
Longleaf Vista Nature Trail, Unnamed Road, Natchitoches, LA 71457, USA
Location: Gorum, Louisiana Mileage: 1.5 miles Difficulty: Moderate FYI: Plenty of parking near the trailhead, and pet-friendly, just make sure to keep them on a leash.
Longleaf Vista Trail
may be on the shorter side, but don’t let that fool ya! It packs quite a punch in the 1.5 miles, including some steep sections that’ll have you scrambling. As the name suggests, you’ll be walking underneath canopies of beautiful longleaf pines with a few beautiful overlooks along the way.
Best Waterfront Hikes in Louisiana
With an endless amount of lakes, bayous, swamps, and marshes, you definitely don’t have to travel far to find yourself in front of some water. These waterfront hikes in Louisiana will give you some stunning scenery:
10. Bayou Coquille Trail
Barataria Preserve Visitor Center, 6588 Barataria Blvd, Marrero, LA 70072, USA
Location: Marrero, Louisiana Mileage: 1.9 miles Difficulty: Easy FYI: This trail connects to the Marsh Overlook Trail, though AllTrails has reported that the Marsh Overlook Trail is closed from storm damage. This portion of Barataria Preserve also closes in the fall for alligator hatching season. Speaking of alligators, these critters have a reputation for sunbathing right along the trail, and even on the trail at some points, so it’s best to leave the pups at home.
The trails within the
are some of the best hikes in Louisiana, and easily some of the most scenic. This trail, in particular, is part-boardwalk, part gravel, and takes you on a journey through the preserve’s swamps, marshes, and forests, giving you access to parts of Louisiana’s wetlands that you just wouldn’t be able to see any other way. This is a great trail to take the kids on, especially animal lovers. If you’re tackling this trail in the warmer months, you’ll spot plenty of wildlife, including alligators.
11. Comite Park Trail
Comite River Park, 8900 Hooper Rd, Baton Rouge, LA 70818, USA
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana Mileage: 5.1 Miles Difficulty: Moderate FYI: This is a great trail for hiking, but it’s very popular for biking, too. The trail does tend to get washed out after a rainstorm, so try to time your visit around storms. Dogs are not permitted on the trail.
Comite Park Trail
is one of the most popular hiking trails in the Baton Rouge Area and for good reason! The 5-mile loop trail will take you through Comite Park, a beautiful public park on the northeastern edge of Baton Rouge. The trail is the best of both worlds: you get a secluded hike through a forest plus some lovely waterfront views along the way.
12. French Quarter River Walk
French Quarter River Walk, St Philip St &, N Peters St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana Mileage: 1.3 Miles Difficulty: Easy FYI: This is a popular trail for hiking, biking, and running along the Mississippi River. Dogs are allowed and should be kept on a leash. There is little shade along the River Walk, so plan accordingly!
French Quarter River Walk
is a popular path for both locals and tourists alike. You’ll have a lovely time watching the barges and boats float down the Mighty Mississippi, and there are plenty of spots to sit for a spell and admire the view.
Best Winter Hikes in Louisiana
Since Louisiana doesn’t see the harsh winters like our northern friends do, many of the hiking trails listed in this article can be accomplished year-round, including winter. While you may not have to deal with any snow on these trails, they are ideal for a winter hike:
13. Wetland Walkway
Wetland Walkway, LA-27, Cameron, LA 70631, USA
Location: Cameron, Louisiana Mileage: 1.4 Miles Difficulty: Easy FYI: There is little to no shade on this trail, so make sure you are wearing sunscreen and have a hat! Dogs are welcome on the trail but must be on a leash.
Located in the Sabine National Wildlife Reserve, the
is a quick and easy boardwalk trail over the marsh that leads to a beautiful view of the area. This is the perfect trail for families with little ones, and there’s a great chance you’ll spot some wildlife along the way. In the winter, you probably won’t see many alligators (if any) but there are plenty of birds!
14. Cane Bayou Track
Fontainebleau State Park, 62883 LA-1089, Mandeville, LA 70448, USA
Location: Mandeville, Louisiana Mileage: 4.4 Miles Difficulty: Easy FYI: This trail is located within Fontainebleau State Park, which charges a $3 per person admission fee. Dogs are welcome, just make sure they are on a leash.
Cane Bayou Track
is one of Fontainebleau State Park’s most popular hiking trails, just make sure you come with some bug spray. There’s a lot of history to see here, and along your walk, you’ll pass the ruins of the old sugar mill from when the area was a plantation, and informational signage along the way educates visitors on everything from historic sites to the local flora and fauna in the area.
15. Moon Seed Loop
Acadiana Park Nature Station, 1205 E Alexander St, Lafayette, LA 70501, USA
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana Mileage: 4.1 Miles Difficulty: Easy FYI: Dogs are welcome, just make sure they are kept on a leash. The park is open from dusk until dawn daily and there is plenty of parking.
You’ll find the
Moon Seed Loop
trail in Acadiana Park Nature Station, a 150-acre nature preserve in Lafayette. If you have the time, swing by the Visitor Center to learn more about the history of the area, which was heavily used by Native Americans many years ago. There are two very unique ecosystems here at play, and as you traverse the bottomland hardwood forest and the oak-hickory forest, you’ll learn all about these important ecosystems and how they came to be.
Best Hikes near Baton Rouge
As one of the most populated cities in Louisiana and the state’s capital, you can bet there are plenty of hikes near Baton Rouge to keep you busy. Here are some of our favorite hikes near Baton Rouge:
16. University Lake Trail
University Lake, Baton Rouge, LA 70808, USA
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana Mileage: 2.5 Miles Difficulty: Easy FYI: This is one of the most popular trails in Baton Rouge, so just be aware that you’ll have plenty of others on the trail with you. Dogs are welcome but must remain on a leash.
As an LSU alum, I can confirm that the
University Lake Trail
is easily one of the most popular trails in the area. It earns a spot as one of the best hikes in Louisiana for its easy access and beautiful views, and we think you'll agree. The trail winds around the south shore of University Lake, with beautiful waterfront views every step of the way. You’ll see plenty of birds hanging out, too, which is why it’s important to keep your pets on a leash while you’re enjoying the trail.
17. Black Swamp Trail
LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens, 4560 Essen Ln, Baton Rouge, LA 70809, USA
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana Mileage: 2.2 Miles Difficulty: Easy FYI: The trail is open year-round, and pets are welcome just make sure to keep them on a leash.
Black Swamp Trail
is one of the trails you’ll find within the LSU AgCenter Botanical Gardens. After spending some time strolling through the gardens, head off on a short and sweet nature trail into the swamps, where you’ll feel like you’re a million miles away from it all. Informational signs are peppered along the trail so you can learn a few things along the way.
18. Hardwood Forest Loop Trail
Frenchtown Conservation Area, 17819 Frenchtown Rd, Central, LA 70739, USA
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana Mileage: 2.1 Miles Difficulty: Easy FYI: Sorry, but no pups are allowed on this trail so you’ll have to leave them at home for this adventure.
Hugging the Amite River, the
Hardwood Forest Loop Trail
gives you the best of both worlds. You’ll be walking through a beautiful hardwood forest while having lovely glimpses of the river along the way. If you can time your visit during the week, you might just find you have the trail all to yourself!
Have you explored any of these hiking trails? What do you think the best hikes in Louisiana are? Let us know in the comments below! If not,
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More to Explore
Hiking Trails in Louisiana
Does Louisiana have good hiking trails?
Louisiana has great hiking trails! Louisiana hiking trails may not have the high elevation gain that other state hiking trails are known for, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get some great views. Whether you’re looking to challenge yourself on a long hike through the forest or a quick and easy boardwalk trail through the swamps, Louisiana’s hiking trails offer something for everyone.
What are the best months to hike in Louisiana?
Spring and Fall are some of the best months to hike in Louisiana, though the majority of
Louisiana’s hiking trails are hikeable year-round, due to our mild winters. Summer months can be uncomfortably hot and buggy, but the payoff is getting to spot more wildlife, like alligators and turtles sunbathing.