Louisiana boasts some of the most gorgeous hiking trails in the country, with diverse animal and plant life in any number of locales. It’s nearly impossible to narrow down all of Louisiana’s possible hiking routes to the five most beautiful, but we’ve compiled our favorites, picked for a variety of different hikers. Whatever you prefer, you’re sure to find a hike to enjoy below.
Hike the six-mile Gorge Run Trail through Bogue Chitto State Park for a moderately difficult time. The hike is surrounded by forest with a nice river along the path. Make sure to pay attention to the weather, though, as recent rains can make the river overflow and make your hike much more treacherous. Don’t leave home without your bug spray.
If you’re in the mood for a longer hike, the 20-mile Lake Chicot Loop might be for you. While it’s open year-round, most suggest visiting between March and October. Total elevation gain is almost 1,200 feet, which can make it difficult for some, but there are sections of the trail that have very little elevation gain and could be quite easy for others. Beware of the deer flies, and consider the weather before heading out: The heat can be oppressive.
There are several trails in the Jean Lafitte area that are easily accessible to those in a wheelchair or families with small children. Among those that are accessible are the half-mile Bayou Coquille Trail, the .4-mile Marsh Overlook Trail, the .25-mile Visitor Center Trail, and more. The dirt and gravel hiking trails are the .4-mile Wood Duck Trail, the 1.8-mile roundtrip Plantation Trail (loop), the 1.4-mile roundtrip Old Barataria Trail, and the .6-mile Twin Canals. Keep an eye out for birds, fishing, and wild flowers along the way.
This 10.5-mile horseback riding, hiking, and biking trail is situated within the immaculate Kisatchie National Forest. This trail can be described as moderate, so those with very minimal experience may want to come prepared. The elevation gain does not exceed 800 feet and this is also a common birding area. Bring your binoculars!
This park near Bastrop, Louisiana, is among the most beautiful in the state. Chamin-A-Haut overlooks Bayou Bartholomew and is described as a “natural paradise for lovers of unspoiled beauty.” While there, check out the 1.1-mile Bobcat Trail or the quarter-mile Boy Scout Trail. None of these trails are too long, but be sure to always come prepared!