Fish on thousand-acre lakes or play at a historic sugar mill. These are Louisiana's most appealing state parks for families:
Green and grandiose, this park's historic sugar mill isn't the only thing that's sweet about it. Nearly three thousand acres of parkland embrace Lake Pontchartrain, where sailboats glide on sunny days. Sandy beaches are a launchpad for water sports and an old railway track is now a trail for cyclists and in-line skaters. More than four hundred kinds of animal and bird inhabit the park, which is uniquely positioned at the convergence of three differing lake ecosystems. Hike the nature trails to spot rare species.
Your family will love playing at the tennis courts in this seven hundred acre park, which overlooks the fifteen thousand acre Lake D'Arbonne. Bass, crappie, catfish, and bream attract fishing fans, whilst boating and waterskiing appeal to families. Explore nature trails beneath sky pricking pines, and biking trips through some of the state's prettiest landscapes.
Your family will be wowed by the home of the Chitimacha Indians, which was colonized in the 18th century by French farmers and later by the Spanish. Fishing and boating on the lake are popular, or you can canoe trails through glades filled with wildlife. Be sure to stop off at heritage sites St Martinville and Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site.
From woodlands to wetlands, beach hikes to nature trails, these are the best hikes in Louisiana:
Follow a 3,000 foot nature trail to an observation deck that offers superb views of the reservoir. While bass fishing tournaments draw fishermen from all over America, hiking along the lakeshore is also popular, and there are cycling tracks to follow too. Keep your eyes peeled for soaring bald eagles, which nest in the area due in part to its stocks of catfish, bream, perch and bass.
Cyclists can embark on bike treks through the northern hills of the state, while nature fans explore the woodlands and lakefront at Jimmie Davis State Park. Binoculars reveal rare bird species hiding out in the pine forests, while you can relax on the fishing pier or take a boat out on the water after your hike.
Explore four distinct ecosystems over the course of a mile of boardwalks at Tickfaw State Park, where cypress swamps and hardwood forest give way to the sparkling Tickfaw River. The wetlands are a habitat for diverse wildlife, many of which you can learn about at the park aquarium. Bike, hike, or in-line skate along the park's web of paths, or bring your kayak and follow trails along the Tickfaw River.
Horse-ride beneath spires of stone, or wander through a forest of magnolia trees to find legendary fishing lakes at these Louisiana state parks:
The largest of Louisiana's State Parks, Chicot is a haven for fishing fanatics. Chicot Lake is teeming with largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, and sunfish. The lake is also famed for yielding record catches. A boathouse, three boat launches plus rental facilities make this a fishing haven. Looping hiking trails hug the shoreside, which are also used by mountain bikers. And don't miss the Louisiana State Aboretum, located inside the park. It is home to a stunning forest of beech and magnolia trees and winding nature walks.
Just a half hour outside of New Orleans, this park is a playground for adventure sport fans. Canoe, kayak, fish and hike your way through the park's natural wonders, which include salt and freshwater lakes, and playgrounds for children. Go swimming at the park's wave pool, and hike through unique ecosystems.
Horse-riding trails weave through this spectacular park, which is home to a unique cross section of the state's wildlife. What's more, nearly two thousand acres are threaded by sparkling streams and swampland. The park is also distinguished by its unique sandstone spires, which you can navigate via a network of boardwalks. Don't miss Fricke's Cave, and kayaking and canoeing on the park's eleven lakes, which are packed with freshwater fish.