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Incredible Louisiana Hiking + Biking Trails For Your Bucket List

03.21.18

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Incredible Louisiana Hiking + Biking Trails For Your Bucket List
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  • Cyclists along the 31-mile Tammany Trace rail trail.- Incredible Louisiana Hiking + Biking Trails For Your Bucket List
  • There are many sights to see along Tammany Trace, natural and otherwise.- Incredible Louisiana Hiking + Biking Trails For Your Bucket List
  • Longleaf pine forest found along the Caroline Dormon Trail.- Incredible Louisiana Hiking + Biking Trails For Your Bucket List
  • A creek crossing along the Caroline Dormon Trail.- Incredible Louisiana Hiking + Biking Trails For Your Bucket List
  • Small ferns growing out of a knot on a tree along the Caroline Dormon Trail.- Incredible Louisiana Hiking + Biking Trails For Your Bucket List
  • A plank berm is one of many obstacles and improvements made to the Bonnet Carre Spillway Trail.- Incredible Louisiana Hiking + Biking Trails For Your Bucket List
  • The Bonnet Carre Spillway Trail parallels the Spillway waterway.- Incredible Louisiana Hiking + Biking Trails For Your Bucket List
  • The Marsh Overlook Trail in Jean Lafitte Barataria Preserve Wetlands.- Incredible Louisiana Hiking + Biking Trails For Your Bucket List
  • The plank walkway of the Marsh Overlook Trail in Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve.- Incredible Louisiana Hiking + Biking Trails For Your Bucket List
  • A boardwalk that makes up the Marsh Overlook Trail in Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve.- Incredible Louisiana Hiking + Biking Trails For Your Bucket List
  • A hiker stops to look downstream on the Chicot State Park Hiking Trail.- Incredible Louisiana Hiking + Biking Trails For Your Bucket List
  • Lake Chicot cypress trees. - Incredible Louisiana Hiking + Biking Trails For Your Bucket List
  • Beautiful cypress swamps along the Bald Cypress Trail at the Louisiana Arboretum. - Incredible Louisiana Hiking + Biking Trails For Your Bucket List
  • A cool boardwalk at the entrance of the visitor center at the Louisiana Arboretum.- Incredible Louisiana Hiking + Biking Trails For Your Bucket List
  • One of the many boardwalks in the arboretum trail system. - Incredible Louisiana Hiking + Biking Trails For Your Bucket List
  • Swampy scene found along the Riverwalk Trail.- Incredible Louisiana Hiking + Biking Trails For Your Bucket List
  • Picturesque scenes along the Sam Houston Jones State Park Riverwalk Trail.- Incredible Louisiana Hiking + Biking Trails For Your Bucket List
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Contributor

It would be fair to say that the trails in Louisiana are often overshadowed by the popular attractions on the West Coast and East Coast, but you’d be doing yourself a disservice by not exploring some of the incredibly scenic trail systems of Louisiana. From the hills of northern Louisiana to the swamps of southern and central Louisiana, the trails found here are diverse and rich in wildlife. Birders and wildlife photographers will be delighted by the ample viewing opportunities so frequently found along the trails. Mountain bikers can challenge themselves along the hills of the Caroline Dormon Trail or enjoy a smoother ride in Bonnet Carré Spillway. Get out there and find yourself completely immersed in the cypress trees and Spanish moss. 

1. Jean Lafitte Barataria Preserve Wetlands Trails

Offering up-close and personal views of the wildlife that inhabits the wetlands of southern Louisiana, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve has 2.3 miles of easy trail that all can enjoy. Visitors can often get a glimpse of a wild alligator during the warm season. You can learn more about the flora and fauna in the area thanks to the informative signage found along the pathways. 

2. Caroline Dormon Trail

The 10.5-mile Caroline Dormon Trail stretches through the heart of Kisatchie National Forest. Open to hiking, backpacking, biking, and horseback riding, the Caroline Dormon Trail can be experienced in many different ways. The trail will take you through a rare longleaf pine forest and over some of the steeper hills found in Louisiana.

3. Chicot State Park Hiking Trail

One of the longest stretches of single trail in the state, the 19-mile Chicot State Park Hiking Trail encircles Lake Chicot. The route follows the shores of the swampy lake and leads over the occasional steep hill, and it is open to hiking, backpacking, and biking. Backpackers can stay at one of the six established primitive campsites found along the trail. 

4. ​Louisiana State Arboretum Preservation Area

Nestled in Chicot State Park, the Louisiana State Arboretum Preservation Area has 4.3 miles of trails surrounding the visitor center. These trails collectively give you a true Louisiana nature experience. If you visit, be sure to hike the short Bald Cypress Trail that takes you to an especially swampy portion of Chicot Lake. 

5. ​Tammany Trace

Found just north of New Orleans, Tammany Trace is a hiking and bicycling path that runs around 31 miles through St. Tammany Parish. The trail was once a railroad turned into a paved pathway for the enjoyment of cyclists and runners alike. Bicycle rentals, bathroom facilities, and water fountains can be found along the trail. There are six different trailheads, making it easy to plan a trip that’s just the right length for you.

6. ​Bonnet Carré Spillway

The Bonnet Carré Spillway Trail was originally intended for bikes, but it makes for a nice hiking path as well. The area is designed to alleviate flooding of the Mississippi River, but it has been turned into a technical bike course for those who are looking for a little more adventure. Built with obstacles, plank berms, and jumps, the Bonnet Carré Spillway keeps things interesting for bicyclists. 

7. ​Riverwalk Trail

At about 2 miles, the Riverwalk Trail in Sam Houston Jones State Park passes through swamps and forests. Much like the rest of the hiking trails in Louisiana, this is a great place to spot wildlife. It’s not uncommon to see turtles, alligators, and herons while hiking along this pathway. 

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21 Adventures Explored
21 Adventures Published

Published in collaboration with Louisiana Travel

With year-round hunting, fishing, and countless other opportunities for outdoor recreation, it is easy to see why Louisiana's nickname is "Sportsman's Paradise.” Sure, that’s a lot to live up to. But with thousands of hiking and biking trails, beautiful State Parks, and one of the largest game preserves in the United States, Louisiana is the ultimate playground for all outdoorsmen. Our vast expanse of coastal wetlands and countless birding trails make our state a habitat for many rare and endangered species and a natural paradise for bird watchers as well. Come step into the wild outdoors of Louisiana.

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