Louisiana has 21 state parks peppered throughout the state, each one more beautiful than the next. From the tiniest to the mightiest, we have some incredible state park nature trails that will lead you through spectacular scenery. Many of these state parks also offer cabins to rent, so why not go ahead and make a weekend out of it and spend some time nestled in nature?
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Lake Claiborne State Park
There are a handful of nature trails at this scenic state park. The longest one is the White Tail Hiking Trail, which is roughly six miles long. It’s pretty common to see deer while on the trail, so keep your eyes peeled for these beautiful beasts along the way.
Address: 225 State Park Road, Homer, LA, 71040
2. Tickfaw State Park
Tickfaw State Park is a nature lover’s paradise. Visitors can experience four different ecosystems here: a cypress/tupelo swamp, a bottomland hardwood forest, a mixed pine/hardwood forest, and the Tickfaw River. There are multiple boardwalk and gravel trails that will lead you through these amazing areas, each one offering stunning views of the scenery.
Address: 27225 Patterson Road, Springfield, LA, 70462
3. Lake D’Arbonne State Park
Tucked away in the tiny town of Famerville in northern Louisiana lies Lake D’Arbonne State Park. This 655-acre state park is filled with beautiful rolling hills and a forest landscape, but the real attraction is the magnificent 12,525-acre lake. There are four nature trails that wind through the park, leading you through the tall pines and giving you glimpses at the beautiful lake along the way.
Address: 3628 Evergreen Road, Farmerville, LA, 71241
4. Chicot State Park
For a picture-perfect day, head on over to Chicot State Park. It’s Louisiana’s largest state park and it features over 6,400 acres of rolling hills and mesmerizing water views. The 20-mile nature trail completely encircles the lake, and there are several primitive campsites along the way. Bring your tent and set up camp halfway down the trail for a truly memorable adventure!
Address: 3469 Chicot Park Road, Ville Platte, LA, 70586
5. Chemin-A-Haut State Park
For equestrians, a trip to Chemin-A-Haut State Park is an absolute must. The equestrian trail here is eight miles long and a great opportunity to give your gentle giant some exercise. There are also a couple of pedestrian nature trails that feature beautiful scenery.
Address: 14656 State Park Road, Bastrop, LA, 71220
6. Palmetto Island State Park
Nestled along the Vermilion River, Palmetto Island State Park has a scenic nature trail that’s less than a mile long, making it the perfect spot to visit when you only have an hour or so to kill.
Address: 19501 Pleasant Road, Abbeville, LA, 70510
7. South Toledo Bend State Park
One of two state parks along the Toledo Bend Reservoir, South Toledo Bend is great for both fisherman and nature enthusiasts. The trails here offer incredible waterfront views of the reservoir, and the sunsets are particularly mesmerizing.
Address: 120 Bald Eagle Road, Anacoco, LA, 71403
8. Sam Houston Jones State Park
From tranquil lagoons to beautiful hardwood forests, the spectacular scenery at Sam Houston Jones State Park is truly inspiring. The 1,087-acre state park is a birdwatchers paradise; at certain times of the year, there can be nearly 200 species of birds in the area. All of the nature trails are under 3.5 miles, so bring the kids for an epic adventure you won’t soon forget.
Address: 107 Sutherland Road, Lake Charles, LA, 70611
9. Bogue Chitto State Park
Located in Franklinton, Bogue Chitto State Park offers both a 7-mile nature trail and a 14-mile equestrian trail, both offering delightfully scenic views along the way. Fricke’s Cave is a popular attraction at the end of the nature trail, which was formed by water eroding the surface underneath the pebbles, creating delicate sandstone spires.
Address: 17049 State Park Boulevard, Franklinton, LA, 70438
How many of these state park nature trails have you visited? Let us know in the comments below!