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Lake Chicot Water Trail

Chicot State Park

Mississippi River Delta + Swamps, Louisiana

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Lake Chicot Water Trail

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  • A stand-up paddleboarder looks eagerly out into the lake. - Lake Chicot Water Trail
  • Vines and cypress trees growing out of the swampy Chicot Lake. - Lake Chicot Water Trail
  • Alligators are present in these waters.- Lake Chicot Water Trail
  • A group of turtles out enjoying the afternoon sun. - Lake Chicot Water Trail
  • The south landing fishing pier stretches out far into the lake. - Lake Chicot Water Trail
  • A stand-up paddle boarder enjoying the Lake Chicot water trail. - Lake Chicot Water Trail
  • Paddling through Lake Chicot is a real treat. - Lake Chicot Water Trail
  • The scenery found on Lake Chicot is truly special.- Lake Chicot Water Trail
  • Bright yellow signs clearly guide paddlers up and down the trail. - Lake Chicot Water Trail
  • A couple of fishermen try their luck on the lake as the sunsets over the state park. - Lake Chicot Water Trail
  • Beautiful reflections from the cypress and water tupelo trees. - Lake Chicot Water Trail
  • Bright yellow signs clearly guide paddlers up and down the trail. - Lake Chicot Water Trail
  • The covered dock comes in handy during the heat of the day. - Lake Chicot Water Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Trees help block wind. A well-marked trail.
Cons: 
Mosquitos. Alligators.
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Region:
Mississippi River Delta + Swamps, LA
Access: 
Vehicle
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Site characteristics: Water: 
Lake
Motorized watercraft allowed: 
Yes
Year round: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
General Day Use Fee
Portage required: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Put-in location (lat, long coordinates): 
30.830154, -92.276550
Shuttle required: 
Yes
Take-out location (lat, long coordinates): 
30.790682, -92.270757
Total Distance: 
8.00 mi (12.87 km)
Trail type: 
Shuttle
Typically multi-day: 
No
Water difficulty: 
Easy / Class A
Water temperature: 
73.00 °F (22.78 °C)
Current Local Weather:
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Paddle Description

Paddle Description

Contributor

Lake Chicot is part of the 6,400-acre Chicot State Park in Louisiana. Lake Chicot occupies 2,000 of those acres, and it offers some incredible paddling opportunities among other outdoor activities. The lake is found just 45 minutes south of Alexandria in the rolling hills of Evangeline Parish. The state park conveniently offers both flat bottom boat rentals and canoe rentals that can be rented for an entire day. The boat rentals can be paid for and picked up at the entrance station of the state park. The paddle trail stretches 8 miles from north to south and is marked by easy-to-see yellow signs. 

Getting on the water is made easy enough with three boat launches: one on the north landing, one on the south landing, and the less-used east landing boat launch. There are several other places in the state park where you could easily get a boat into the water, but the north landing is recommended. The water here is clear, and as soon as you get in the water you'll see a sign for the water trail that takes you south through a maze of cypress and tupelo gum trees draped in Spanish moss. The sounds of various birds and amphibians can be a delightfully intoxicating auditory experience. It really is like stepping into another world that is quite peaceful. 

The wildlife viewing on Lake Chicot is great. Birders would have an excellent time on this water trail with several types of large bird species that frequent the lake. The state park is home to an abundance of reptiles, including alligators. You might even catch some of the mammals found in the state park coming to the lake shore for a drink on hot days. If you’re looking for that good Louisiana swampy experience, take a detour from the water trail and head toward the Louisiana Arboretum, going underneath the bridge that crosses a section of the central eastern portion of the lake. A GPS device is encouraged if you plan to get off the trail. 

Chicot State Park has much to offer in addition to paddling, including fishing, hiking, camping, and nature photography. The Louisiana Arboretum found within the state park is definitely worth checking out before you leave the state park. 

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Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

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(3 within a 30 mile radius)

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