There are a few things better than a pleasant hike in the embrace of nature – and Louisiana embraces many hiking enthusiasts! I have come across a surprising variety of forests, swamps, rivers, lakes, and rocky climbs in Louisiana, and they are some of my fondest memories. Let’s explore the gorge-oustrails for hiking in Louisiana.
Hiking in Louisiana is suitable for beginners, intermediates, and expert hikers. Some of the best trails are Northlake Nature Center South Loop, Bogue Chitto State Park Gorge Run Trail, and Longleaf Vista Road To Backbone Trail. You can see deer, snakes, and beavers in swamps, woodlands, and rivers.
Louisiana certainly fits into a unique hiking category due to its woodlands-swampy theme. That said, they provide fantastic opportunities for birdwatching, and there is a myriad of fauna and flora to explore.
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Hiking In Louisiana
Louisiana’s hiking trails often have varying difficulty levels in all one package. While completely manageable, beginner trails may have elements of moderate hiking trails, while strenuous and challenging hiking trails are not always hardcore.
They are many spiders, snakes, beavers, deer, armadillos, and other creatures that inhabit Louisiana’s natural environments. Furthermore, landscapes vary wildly, taking you from swamp to beach, to woodlands and forest; this can make it a little muddy at times, so watch your footing! Your canine friends can also join, provided they remain leashed.
Beginner-hikers will find an enjoyable amount of challenge in Northlake Nature Center South Loop, Fontainbleau State Park. The terrain has slight elevation ups and downs, but enough to keep you engaged and interested. The walkways are mainly asphalt, cement, and wood, and you can immerse yourself in the melodies of various bird species.
Intermediates will have a great time at Bogue Chitto State Park Gorge Run Trail. It offers enough room for social leisure activities and landscapes, including swamps, rivers, and pine woodlands. You can also expect to see large birds and frogs skulking in their natural habitat.
Hiking experts will find their thrill at Longleaf Vista Road To Backbone Trail. This trail can sway between 7 and 10 in difficulty, depending on the weather the day prior and the current day. You’ll face harsh rocky terrains, steep descents, and flowing water that will test your balance – certainly not for the faint of heart.
Louisiana Hiking Trails For The Whole Family
One of the best ways to drag the children away from their Playstations, Xboxes, or mobile phones, is with a great family hiking trail. Louisiana has some great options that aren’t physically demanding but allow for healthy exercise, beautiful lakes, wildflowers, and scenery while being suitable for all skill levels and ages.
Northlake Nature Center South Loop, Fontainbleau State Park
Northlake Nature Center South Circular is a 2.2-mile loop route near Mandeville, Louisiana that offers animal viewing and is perfect for hikers of all skill levels. The trail is accessible all year and is excellent for hiking, walking, and bird viewing. Dogs can come along provided they are on a leash.
It takes 52 minutes to finish the trip, passing through marshes, pine woods, and hardwood forests. The trek includes sections along an old road and a natural gas pipeline. A walkway and a bridge over a beaver pond also exist along the journey.
On the trek, you’ll pass through a lot of gorgeous regions and may encounter a variety of birds and other species. It will help if you carry insect spray because there are many ticks along the walk.
This route is usually at least 3 feet wide and comprises compacted silt, packed soil, cement, asphalt, and a wooden boardwalk. The path surface may be muddy, slippery, or have natural debris depending on current weather conditions and upkeep, so wear shoes with appropriate traction.
When these circumstances are present, trail users who use mobility equipment or a stroller may require more help or avoid the path. Furthermore, there are no designated accessible parking places with access lanes in the partially paved trailhead lot on the south end.
The Savanna Loop (accessible at the north and south loops) is another option for seeing snakes, banana spiders, frogs, and various birds.
Sugar Cane Trail, Kisatchie National Forest
Sugar Cane Route is a 6.4-mile lightly trafficked circular trail with a lake in Minden, Louisiana. It is excellent for hikers of all skill levels. The route is accessible year-round and provides varying activities. This route is available to dogs, but they must be on a leash.
It takes 2 hours and 44 minutes to finish this path. It is an enjoyable walk with various species, including green tree snakes. The path is an excellent opportunity to get out for a few hours and see the lake, with some incredible sights along the way.
After heavy rain, keep an eye out for some of the low regions since a few sections of the path may be prone to flooding.
Mostly in the woods, hot and windy, but lovely, and the walkway can have a lot of mud pools and tree roots. The height variations provide a little challenge, and the view is beautiful and enjoyable. Before you go hiking, apply DEET to yourself and your pets, and pull your trousers into your socks since this path has a lot of ticks.
The path also has slight changes in vegetation and fauna, with some sheltered areas and others more exposed to the sun. The trail is well-marked and straightforward to follow. Expect to find a lot of wild blackberries blooming along one of the trail’s last portions, which crosses the dam.
Louisiana Hiking Trails For The Intermediate Hiker
If you’re the kind of hiker that loves a trail for its workout and immersive potential, you’ll enjoy Louisiana’s intermediate trails. There are a lot of different landscapes that will challenge you along the way, and the elevation changes coupled with the interconnecting paths that allow you to choose your own path keep things interesting!
Bogue Chitto State Park Gorge Run Trail
Bogue Chitto State Park Gorge Run Path is a 5.7-mile moderately trafficked circle trail with a lake in Franklinton, Louisiana. The hiking trail is available year-round and provides a variety of activities. This route is also accessible to canine companions as long as they are on a leash.
It’s a lovely, well-marked route that passes through various landscapes, including rivers, ponds, cypress swamps, and pine woodlands. You’ll feel entirely alone and immersed in nature, yet you’ll never be far from a road, campsite, or public place. Furthermore, there are two bathrooms along the route! It should take 2 hours and 27 minutes to finish the path.
You may expect to see pine woodland, sandy beaches, and mossy wetlands along this hiking path, which offers a variety of terrain variations. This route has interconnecting trails with different inclines and distances and turns off the track to the river or beach.
You could also see deer, beavers under the river, many giant birds, and a few frogs in some areas. Overall, there are many magnificent views and room for social events.
Comite Park Trail, Comite River Park
Comite Park Path, a 5.1-mile moderately trafficked circle trail in Pride, Louisiana, features a river and classes as such. The entire trek takes around 2 hours to complete. Mountain biking is the most popular activity on the path. Overall, it’s a peaceful, engaging hiking track that’s well worth your time.
The trail is a well-knit network of dirt trails with a surprising topographical variety. The twisting paths complement its little rivers, minor ravines, and turtle pools. However, the directions aren’t clearly indicated, so bring a photo of the map with you or download an app. Additionally, it’s a good idea to have mosquito repellent with you.
It can get muddy at times, and brambles can be overgrown in some sections, although this is only a problem in the summer. If you go after a wet day, make sure you wear traction-enhancing shoes, or you’ll wind up coated in muck and clay.
You may also have many opportunities for bird watching. This track is great for both mountain bikers and hikers!
A labyrinth of paths connects a marshy, buggy, lovely forested region with sandy riverfront beaches in this hiking jewel. Hiking backward is a good idea because there are a lot of mountain bikes and being able to see them approaching is beneficial. Bring insect repellent and a swimsuit!
Louisiana Hiking Trails For The Born Mountaineer
For seasoned hikers who want nothing but the most strenuous and demanding hiking trails, Louisana has you covered! You’ll find the rugged slopes, overgrown areas, outcroppings, streams, and sandy terrains make for a satisfying workout. These trails often go on for longer than initially presented, so be prepared to choose your path.
Longleaf Vista Road To Backbone Trail
Longleaf Vista Road to Backbone Path is a 10.6-mile moderately frequented circular trail in Mora, Louisiana, regarded as strenuous and allows viewing animals. The route is accessible year-round and provides a lot of activities to do. This route is available to dogs, but they must be on a leash.
It takes around 4 hours and 42 minutes to finish this path. The magnificent section of the Kisatchie Forest with rugged slopes and spectacular vistas may surprise some. The trail is in working condition, and the changing colors of the leaves provide lots of views along the way.
Prepare yourself for demanding and challenging walking over rocky terrain, somewhat steep ascents and descents, and creek crossings. It’s a fantastic hiking trail for anyone looking for a place to stay the night or spend a long weekend. It’s also worth noting that the blazes change color, but the track remains the same.
The trail might be damp and muddy in certain spots, but it is readily passable. You may also come across dead trees on the route – frequent maintenance is standard – and a few areas of the track are narrow and practically overrun with small shrub-like trees.
The geology of Louisiana is diverse, ranging from rocky outcroppings to sandy-bottomed steams with cool, clear flowing water. The scenery is attractively decorated with blooming wild azaleas and dogwoods, making it a memorable experience. You may anticipate going through an old-growth pine forest with some hardwoods thrown in for good measure.
Monkey Trail, Eddie D. Jones Park
Monkey Path is a 10-mile moderately trafficked circular trail in Keithville, Louisiana, with magnificent wildflowers and a difficult rating. The path is open all year and is famous for hiking, jogging, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Canine friends are welcome to accompany you on this walk, but they must be on a leash.
It takes around 4 hours and 26 minutes to finish this path. The Monkey Trail is a network of circular routes that run through Eddie D Jones Park’s 800+ acres of mature hardwood forest, and it’s open every day from sunrise to dusk.
It’s an excellent track where you can expect to hear (and occasionally see) chimps and even enormous bucks. For the most part, the path is well-marked, but it may become confusing at times, so carry a map or download an app. To reduce the risk of ticks, apply insect spray.
Gravel roads, horse paths, and challenging single track make up the terrain. There’s also a surprising amount of elevation, especially for Louisiana. You may get far more than 10 miles, depending on how you want to bike or trek it.
The beginning is the most perplexing phase, so keep the app map active and following you at all times. After about three miles, the signage improves. You’ll come to a gravel road about the 6.5-mile mark. It will return you to the park’s entrance, or you may continue straight onto the red mountain bike track; it’ll be an 8.5-mile run if you do that.
Families and those new to hiking will have fun with Northlake Nature Center South Loop, Fontainbleau State Park because it aims to provide a visually appealing experience. Seasoned hikers will receive a great workout from Bogue Chitto State Park Gorge Run Trail and Longleaf Vista Road To Backbone Trail because of the continuous landscape changes.