Become One with Nature at Louisiana’s State Parks - TravelMole


Become One with Nature at Louisiana’s State Parks

Wednesday, Aug 16, 2023 0

 

You don’t have to leave behind your comforts of home to rejuvenate in nature. If you’ve been to one of the nearly two dozen Louisiana State Parks, then you know the kind of relaxation and inspiration that only the Bayou State can offer. And if you haven’t been yet, prepare yourself for an unforgettable adventure. Discover a world where you can kayak and paddleboard through bayous under the canopy of cypress trees, cast a line into the crystal-clear waters of one of the South’s largest lakes, and spend some quality beach time in the Gulf waters at Grand Isle. Our state parks are great for day trips, but you must consider taking advantage of the many overnight options on offer as well. There are countless ways to enjoy Louisiana State Parks, and there are quite a few ways to stay, too. Overnight guests can camp au naturel in backcountry tent sites, pull up an RV to a cozy wooded spot with full hookups, or sleep in a rustic cabin on the lake. Louisiana has the perfect options for you to enjoy our Sportsman’s Paradise!

 

If you are driving in your own accommodations, you can take your pick of almost any state park. Favorite parks among RVers are Fairview-Riverside State Park on Louisiana’s Northshore, a quiet retreat 45 minutes from New Orleans, and Lake Claiborne State Park up north between Shreveport and Monroe with all its fun water activities, including fishing its well-stocked freshwater lake. Chicot State Park situates you in the middle of the state so you can hub-and-spoke out to any of your favorite cities. Additionally, the Louisiana State Arboretum next door offers walking trails, nature programs and children’s activities. Tent camping, like real estate, is all location, location, location. South Toledo Bend State Park on Louisiana’s western border has five tent camping spots on a bluff overlooking the Toledo Bend Reservoir, a picturesque body of water nationally renowned for its bass fishing.

 

Louisiana is a haven for equestrian enthusiasts featuring miles of serene trails crisscrossing the state. Imagine riding through cypress swamps located just a short drive from New Orleans, or sauntering up a well-worn path deep in the pine forests of the northern part of the Bayou State. Here, you’re never more than a few hours’ drive from breathtaking views you can see from your saddle. Bogue Chitto, on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain has 14 miles of designated horse trails that wind through a variety of terrains, from the shoreline of the sandy Bogue Chitto River to the tupelo-cypress forests that surround it. Bring your horse and ride the trails, or stop by Rocky Bottom Tubing and Canoeing (located inside the park) to embark on a lazy afternoon of fun on the water. Get birds-eye views of the landscape at Chemin-A-Haut State Park, a popular yet secluded north Louisiana park with hilltop trails surrounding Bayou Bartholomew. Bring your horse and explore eight miles of horse trails, and take time to hang out with the kids at one of the park’s playgrounds or swimming complex. Lake Bistineau State Park is located just 30 miles from Shreveport, making it the ultimate day trip for horseback riders visiting northwest Louisiana. The park features a variety of landscapes, from hardwood forests to stands of cypress and tupelo trees, to the namesake lake itself. Six miles of equestrian trails wind through the park, and after a long day, visitors and their horses can bed down at specially designated horse-friendly campsites. Other highlights of Lake Bistineau State Park include an 11-mile-long canoe trail and a disc golf course.

 

Not quite into the camping scene? Just looking to dip your tow in and test it out? Now, there’s one more option to add to that list of accommodation options: glamping. That’s the shorthand term for luxury camping, where creature comforts are put front-and-center, and your camp host — in this case, Louisiana State Parks — takes care of campsite logistics. Louisiana State Parks has partnered with Tentrr, a company that specializes in creating private camping experiences by connecting nature lovers with private and public landowners. When you arrive at your site (pre-booked through Tentrr.com or ReserveLaStateParks.com), you’ll find a safari-style canvas tent already set up, with a queen-size bed, tent heater, camp table and benches, Adirondack chairs, fire pit, grill and sun shower. Tentrr and Louisiana State Parks have taken the guesswork and hassle out of camping, helping guests make the most of their Louisiana outdoor adventure. Louisiana State Parks that have Tentrr reservations available include Bogue Chitto State Park in Franklinton, Chicot State Park in Ville Platte, Fontainebleau State Park in Mandeville, Jimmie Davis State Park in Chatham, Lake Claiborne State Park in Homer, Lake D’Arbonne State Park in Farmerville, Lake Fausse Pointe State Park in St. Martinville, South Toledo Bend State Park in Anacoco, and Grand Isle State Park. While your hosts want you to have a comfortable stay, they also want you to stay safe. In fact, most campsites within Tentrr’s extensive international network are surrounded by 10 acres, offering more privacy for its guests, naturally. Sites are thoroughly cleaned before and after each stay, and offer a self-check-in feature as well.

 

At Poverty Point Reservoir State Park, cast a line, watch for exotic waterfowl and keep an eye out for elusive black bears at this northeast Louisiana outpost. Poverty Point Reservoir is a 2,700-acre man-made lake set against a backdrop of the wide, flat Mississippi Delta bottomlands. It’s a haven for anglers, birdwatchers, families, weekend adventurers and I-20 travelers looking to explore rural north Louisiana. There’s much in store for those groups and more. Largemouth bass, sac-à-lait (crappie), catfish and bluegill are plentiful in these waters, and on weekends, you’ll find boaters casting lines from dawn ’til dusk. Birders also flock to Poverty Point Reservoir State Park. Because this section of Louisiana is part of the Mississippi Flyway (one of the main migratory routes through the continental U.S.), both native and exotic bird species can be spotted within the park. One of the best vantage points for birdwatchers is on the half-mile-long trail bordering Bayou Macon. On the trail, you may be fortunate enough to spot one of the park’s shyest friends: the Louisiana black bear, which in early 2016 was removed from the federal endangered species list. Tread lightly, and be sure to safely store all food and refuse. Bear-proof containers are available for park visitors. Overnight visitors are in for a treat, thanks to the man-made peninsulas stretching into Poverty Point Reservoir that contain waterfront cabins. Choose from one of eight deluxe cabins or four lodges. At the park’s south end, more than 50 RV campsites are available. Attractions outside the park tend to focus on outdoor activities. Black Bear Golf Course in Delhi is part of Louisiana’s celebrated Audubon Golf Trail, and nearby Poverty Point World Heritage Site features over 3,000-year-old Native American mounds and artifacts.

 

Learn more at ExploreLouisiana.com or LAStateParks.com.



Learn more about Louisiana Travel


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