Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
547.00 ft (166.73 m)
Trail type
Shuttle
Distance
10.50 mi (16.90 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Caroline Dormon Trail in Kisatchie National Forest is one of the best ways to access remote wilderness in Louisiana. A point-to-point trail, Caroline Dorman stretches 10.5 miles through beautiful and somewhat rare longleaf pine forest. The trail is named after a botanist and naturalist who was born in 1888. Caroline Dorman was the first to propose the creation of the Louisiana State Arboretum, which was the first state-supported arboretum of its kind. She also helped spearhead the creation and protection of Kisatchie National Forest. 

The trail begins almost directly off of the Longleaf Scenic Byway. There is ample parking, including large spaces for trucks with horse trailers. The trail is very well-marked with orange blazes that are clearly displayed on the longleaf pines. The trail has some inclines and declines along the way, but overall it is relatively flat and can be finished rather quickly. Something about hiking through this forest is especially peaceful and quiet, allowing for a good opportunity to do some reflecting.  

One of the best ways to see the trail in its entirety is via backpacking. There are several primitive campsites along the trail, or you could push through the entire trail and camp at the opposite end in Kisatchie Bayou Campground. The trail ends at this campground, which is located right next to the Kisatchie Bayou. The sound of rushing water from the bayou is lovely and will help you fall asleep at night. To increase your camping/hiking options in Kisatchie National Forest, you can connect to the Backbone Trail and/or Sandstone Trail to make your backpacking adventure a multi-day experience. 

Another attraction in the area is the Longleaf Scenic Byway, which has several points of interest along 17 miles of road. Be sure to stop and check out the view from Longleaf Vista along the byway. 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Fall
Winter

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Very peaceful. Not crowded.

Cons

Lacks points of interests.

Trailhead Elevation

70.00 ft (21.34 m)

Highest point

220.00 ft (67.06 m)

Features

Family friendly
Backcountry camping
Old-growth forest
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Horseback riding

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Biking
Horseback

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Southern Red River Valley, Louisiana
Northern Red River Valley, Louisiana
Southern Red River Valley, Louisiana

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Northern Red River Valley, Louisiana

Comments

The Backbone Trail makes a loop through the designated wilderness area and starts at the eastern trailhead for the Dormon Trail. Worth checking out while you are there.
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