The beautiful state of Louisiana is home to unique swamps, fascinating wildlife, and incredible natural views. However, the Bayou State isn’t just all water. Louisiana is truly a hiker’s paradise, complete with incredible trails that offer a wide variety of difficulty, terrain, and stunning sights.
If you’re planning on camping in a Louisiana State Park, you have plenty of options when it comes to trails to trek. In this quick guide, we’ll break down six of our top favorite trails, so you can plan ahead accordingly. Check out our top picks below!
If you want to hit all of the best hikes in Louisiana on your upcoming trip, these six are the best of the best! We split up our top picks down to the best individual trails in each of Louisiana’s state parks, including Fontainebleau State Park, Chicot State Park, Bogue Chitto State Park, Lake Claiborne State Park, Lake D'Arbonne State Park, and South Toledo Bend State Park.
Fontainebleau State Park - Cane Bayou Track
This super easy trail in Fontainebleau State Park is about 3.7 miles long and is an out and back trail. Located near Mandeville, this popular hiking trail is often very busy year-round, so keep that in mind before making the trip. Not only is this trail a very beautiful one, but there are also a number of different activities that are accessible from the trail during all seasons, from fishing to mountain biking to nature tours.
Just make sure that you’re okay with getting a bit muddy. Cane Bayou Track takes hikers straight into the brackish marsh, which can be quite damp during all seasons. Boots are a must-have. Feel free to bring your dog along on this trail, as the terrain isn’t too intense-- but make sure they are on a leash.
Chicot State Park - Lake Chicot Loop Trail
Looking for a trail that is a bit more challenging than Cane Bayou Track, but not incredibly intense? Lake Chicot Loop Trail is the perfect trail to explore. This moderate-difficulty loop trail is approximately 17.3 miles. Despite its length, the trail itself isn’t too difficult to hike in one go. On this trail, visitors can enjoy some seriously gorgeous views, including Lake Chicot and huge swaths of wildflowers during the spring and summer. We recommend taking this trail on between October and June for the best temperate experience.
You can bring leashed dogs on this trail. However, at a somewhat intense 744-foot elevation, this trail may not be ideal for families with children. This trail can also be a bit muddy throughout the year as well. However, the plus side is that this trail isn’t heavily trafficked.
Bogue Chitto State Park - Gorge Run Trail
Bogue Chitto State Park Gorge Run Trail is a must-hike when visiting this state park. A 5.7-mile loop trail that can be accessed near Franklinton, this trail is a somewhat moderate hike that is ideal for inexperienced hikers. There are also activities available throughout the year on this trail, such as bird watching and horseback riding.
This is a great hiking trail to take on if you want to get some serious natural views and take photos. Just as well, there are a number of very old parts of the trail that are relatively unmaintained. This can be a downside for hikers that don’t want to deal with intense brush or rocky terrain, but it can be a plus side for hikers who want to enjoy natural beauty.
Lake Claiborne State Park - White Tail Trail
Looking for a super simple trail? White Tail Trail is the perfect loop hiking trail to try if you want a shorter walk, easy-to-navigate terrain, and have a family with children with you. This 2.5-mile trail in Lake Claiborne State Park is a fantastic spot to try because it is very rarely trafficked, so you and your family can enjoy the sights and sounds of nature without too much human intervention.
From White Tail Trail, visitors can enjoy a great view of Lake Claiborne at a relatively low elevation of 282 feet. Leashed dogs are permitted and visitors can also access activities such as camping and fishing throughout the year.
Lake D'Arbonne State Park - Cypress Bend Trail
Lake D'Arbonne State Park is a very beautiful and exciting state park worth visiting in Louisiana, and Cypress Bend Trail is one of the park’s few available hiking trails. Since this state park is not exactly known for its hiking trails, there are very few available-- and all of them are lightly trafficked. Cypress Bend Trail is the most well-known loop trail that spans 3.8 and relatively simple terrain. You can enjoy all of the best views of this trail, including views of the lake, wildflower fields, the dense forest, and more. This is a particularly great trail to take on if you love birdwatching.
Keep in mind that this state park often has a significant number of tree falls that occur along the trail, which can take this hike from a moderate to difficult level for even experienced hikers.
South Toledo Bend State Park - Toledo Bend Reservoir Loop
Probably the easiest hiking trail on our list, Toledo Bend Reservoir Loop is a 1.6-mile loop trail that can be accessed near Anacoco. This trail is unique in that it is rarely trafficked and offers excellent views of a river. We recommend taking on this trail between April and October, as it can get extremely muddy and can sometimes flood during the off-season. This trail is also partially paved, making it the perfect trail for families with children and dogs.
Book your Louisiana camping trip and make sure you visit one of these trails - you won't be disappointed!