We get it – summer in Louisiana can be tough. You want to be outdoors enjoying that fresh air, but the heat can be unbearable at times. Luckily, there are several shaded trails in Louisiana that will allow you to go exploring while also keeping the scorching rays at bay. Grab some bug spray and your sneakers, because these trails are perfect for summer adventures.
1. Monkey Trail
You’ll feel like you’re in the jungle while you’re strolling through this unique trail. Not only will you get some rare elevation (for Louisiana, at least) but the trail is located near Chimp Haven, a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center for chimpanzees, so you’ll be able to hear the chimps in the distance. The forest provides ample shade for both bikers and hikers, and the trail is roughly around six miles long.
Address: 8400 Mike Clark Road, Keithville, LA, 71047
2. Longleaf Vista Road to Backbone Trail
Nestled in the heart of the Kisatchie National Forest, this 10-mile trail is an absolute must for any outdoor enthusiast. The towering pines will shade you from the sun, and the rocky terrain will challenge even the experienced hiker, but the real kicker is the beautiful vistas that will make you question if you’re still in Louisiana.
Address: Par Road 329, Cloutierville, LA, 71416
3. Restoration Park Trail
Located in Restoration Park in West Monroe, this trail clocks in at about a mile in length, so it’s perfect for a quick and easy outdoor adventure. The trail leads you through wooded wetlands on a series of gravel and boardwalk trails that have some mesmerizing water views.
Address: 700 Downing Pines, West Monroe, LA, 71292
4. Lake Chicot Loop Trail
For an epic summer adventure, consider the Lake Chicot Loop Trail. This 20-mile trail completely encircles Lake Chicot, with beautiful swamp and marsh views along the way. There are several primitive campsites along the trail, so bring your friends and make a weekend out of it.
Address: 3469 Chicot Park Road, Ville Platte, LA, 70586
5. Comite Park Trail
Not only does this five-mile loop trail offer some much need shade on those hot summer days, the trail also leads to a small, hidden beach along the river. It’s a beautiful spot to sit for a spell and take in the beautiful view before heading back.
Address: 8900 Hooper Road, Baton Rouge, LA, 70818
6. The Tammany Trace
The Trace is a roughly 31-mile-long rail trail that meanders through five different cities in St. Tammany Parish. The paved trail is great for bikers, rollerbladers, or just a casual stroll through some delightfully charming towns. Of course, you don’t have to tackle the entire trek in one go, as there are five different trailheads where you can hop on and off and experience the Tammany Trace in shorter sections.
Mandeville Address: 675 Lafitte Street, Mandeville, LA, 70448
7. Acadiana Park Nature Station
Located in Lafayette, the Acadiana Park Nature Station is a 150-acre facility with approximately six miles of hiking trails that will lead you through some truly mesmerizing scenery. Be sure to keep your eyes and ears peeled for wildlife, as the area is home to over 150 species of birds and scores of other wildlife like snakes, turtles, possums, armadillos, and more.
Address: 1205 E Alexander Street, Lafayette, LA, 70501