There are many national parks to visit in the United States and one of them is in Louisiana. There are over 600,000 acres of rolling pine slopes and outdoor activities in the Kisatchie National Forest. The southwest forest of Alexandria offers travelers some of the most beautiful sights in Louisiana. It’s a wonderland of pristine scenic beauty, thrills, knowledge, recreation and biodiversity that lurks in the Everglades, beneath ancient pines and bare cypress woods.
Since Kisatchie is still the only national forest in the state, it attracts special attention. Visitors will find themselves surrounded by nature and will undoubtedly have fun in the forest. Let’s explore all that can be done while visiting the forest.
Explore the forest through an adventurous hike
Kisatchie has over 100 miles of hiking trailsextending from a quarter of a mile to about 30 miles.
Deciding which hiking route to follow will be difficult as each offers in-depth exploration of the woods and all the natural splendor.
So pack the hiking essentials you should always have and go on an adventure.
Longleaf Vista Interpretive Trail
An informative route looping through various forest environments is available at Longleaf Vista Recreation Area.
The brief path offers plenty of fun for tourists after completing it, including meadows, swale oaks, towering mesas, and streams. This walk is ideal for first-timers, families and anyone who appreciates a great view.
Little Creek Loop Trail
The Little Creek Circuit Trek navigates through various terrains. Several stream crossings surrounded by a landscape of forested bottomlands and blanket of tightly packed mountain pines will entice hikers to move, but also require special attention.
Even though there are several trail intersections, the yellow markings will keep hikers on the path.
The Indian Ridge Trail
The Indian Ridge Trek is a short, simple hiking route along a ridge surveying Kincaid Cove and outlying areas.
The breathtaking landscapes of water and wildlife make this short route worth the trip.
Go horseback riding in the Kisatchie National Forest
Visitors can ride the trails on horseback at various locations in the forest.
Caroline Dormon Trail
Among the most famous areas seems to be the Sentier Caroline Dormon, which includes 10.5 miles of stunning routes who hang out in the woods.
It also has marked space for horse trailers.
Gum Springs Horse Camp
The Gum Springs Equestrian Center is a major attraction for horseback riding enthusiasts from across the state. It’s a fantastic trip through the forest, and the path is wide enough to allow horse-drawn carriages.
Visitors can explore two established horse trails and miles of vast woodland. Parts of both routes cross Keiffer Prairie.
Visitors will also enjoy the pines and oaks while galloping along these trails.
Enjoy Fishing in the National Forest
Fishing activities are available in Kisatchie National Forest. Anglers could catch perch, bass, catfish and other fish at the famous fishing spots.
Kisatchie Bayou Recreation Area
Views of the rocky bayou and beautiful old foliage can be seen from Kisatchie Bayou Recreation Area. Here, fishing is a prominent activity with the possibility of catching crappie, bass, catfish or perch.
Boat launch from the south shore of Lake Corney
Visitors can take in the beautiful lake scenery at the dock on the south shore of Corney Lake. Visitors can fish for bluegill, catfish and bass here.
Watch out for flora and fauna
Supertrees called National Longleaf Pines can be found in Kisatchie Forest. Visitors can also spot very old pines while walking through the forest.
Visitors may notice the white birches, loblolly pines, and perennial southern magnolias that line the embankment as visitors cross the walkway over the chilly waters of Kisatchie Bayou.
The forest is home to various animals including deer, armadillos, raccoons and wild turkeys. Many species of birds and ducks thrive here, providing endless birding opportunities.
Visitors should watch for red cockade woodpeckers. Visit the Butterfly Conservatory and Catahoula Hummingbird to observe the many species of plant-loving insects drawn to the tranquil pond.
Where to stay near Kisatchie National Forest
Sleep Inn & Suites Auberge Pineville
Breakfast, Internet access and self-parking are offered to guests of the Sleep Inn & Suites Pineville – Alexandria. The hotel has 70 rooms and all have beverage machines, daily newspapers, and beds with luxurious linens.
The 24-hour coworking space is available to business travelers. Guests can take advantage of the spa bath and amenities such as the 24-hour front desk and laundry rooms.
Visitors can relax before heading out for a full day of exploring as it is only about 13 miles from the forest.
Holiday Inn Express
There is a gymnasium and an outdoor swimming pool at this property. The 81 air-conditioned rooms of the IHG hotel include television, spacious seating, drink makers and more. Refrigerators and ovens in the rooms are also available to visitors.
Visitors can benefit from the 24-hour head office and free internet access in common areas. Bathrooms include a bath, complimentary toiletries and a drier.
Freebies including a buffet breakfast and free parking are popular with visitors. Daily housekeeping is also offered.
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson
A 24-hour gym and outdoor pool are available for hotel guests. The common areas offer free Internet access to visitors. There is access to a corporate office and a conference center. Local shuttle and airport transfers are free for guests.
Amenities include a patio, travel assistance, barbecue grills and daily newspapers. A daily cleaning and laundry service is also available.
Kisatchie National Forest is a must see for anyone looking for adventurous activities. Be sure to include this location in your Louisiana itinerary.